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Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World Hardcover – April 1, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World
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  • Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You
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  • The Chew: A Year of Celebrations: Festive and Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion
Total price: $51.89
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Any longtime fan of Bravo’s Top Chef series will smile and nod at “Hootie hoo,” Hall’s key signature phrase of delight, surprise, and you-fill-in-the-blank. What’s even better in her second recipe collection (Cooking with Love, 2012) is her enthusiastic and knowledgeable embrace of all things spice, whether it be a mild lemongrass or a heated habanero chili. In fact, her cookbook centers on the philosophy that food and dishes are pretty much the same the world ’round; you change them by changing their spices. She starts with an easy foundational dish (with a heavy emphasis on vegetables), say, roasted fingerling potatoes, followed by at least two variations—in this case, curried potatoes and peas and double-mustard potato salad. No worries, because Hall won’t let any home chef flounder. Each dish includes a snappy personal introduction, directions (naturally), and Carla’s tips, ranging from ideas for swap-outs (substitute curry powder for vadouvan) to specific explanations about certain ingredients. Sidebars also show off her chatty style, such as her first experience cooking red lentils. Get ready for 111 different goodnesses, including baked corn pudding, hot fried chicken, and rustic bacon-apple pie. Nothing says lovin’ better. --Barbara Jacobs

Review

“Carla Hall knocks it out of the park with her first book, all about love, tradition, family, flavor and style, and flavor again. Her true natural ability to make things delicious is all over every single recipe. I love working with Carla on “The Chew” every day and simply get jiggy every time we get to taste her magic on set. With this sweet tome in the home kitchen anyone can make thoughtful tasty food with real style." (Mario Batali)

"Carla is a born teacher. Full of useful insights and her signature humor (and patience), Cooking With Love puts Ms. Hootie Hoo herself right there at the stove next to you, every step of the way. Whether you're a novice or expert, she'll have you dancing into the kitchen to whip up unbelievably simple, sumptuous feasts from scratch." (Daphne Oz, author of The Dorm Room Diet)

“I love Carla’s stories of how she develops her delicious dishes, tinkering with flavor combinations until she gets them just right. And what a range: her rustic mushroom tart is great and Granny’s five-flavor pound cake is worth the price of the book.” (Jennifer Reese, author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter)

“Anyone who watches (or works at!!) the Chew knows that Carla Hall has a special way with comfort foods from the South, so it should come as no surprise that she is also a master of tasty, fresh, and simple foods from the rest of the known world. These quick and easy recipes give me an inexpensive opportunity to travel vicariously through Carla's eyes, and her fun-filled anecdotes and notes create a happy place to make exactly what I feel like eating right now. Carla is the international ambassador of the perfectly delicious!” (Mario Batali)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145166222X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451662221
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Take what you thought were the best comfort food recipes, add unlimited international influences, and top it off with a big dash of Carla love...what do you get? An absolute treat for your taste buds. Carla manages to create some unforgettable recipes that transform your all time favorites into easy and thoughtful dishes everyone will enjoy. A must have!
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As the owner of an Indian meal kit delivery service (tiffintrove.com), I am usually skeptical when people put new twists on old Indian recipes.

Carla Hall will NOT disappoint. She has some marvelous new twists on classic recipes, like an Indian nectarine chutney. And it's not just Indian: she takes basic ingredients and transforms them into dishes from around the world: Italian, Irish, Thai, French, Greek, Moroccan, and of course All American. If you can only have one cookbook in your life, this is it.

I wish Carla Hall was my momma from another poppa bc I would love to eat this woman's home cooking. Even my niminy piminy children find these recipes appealing. Though my son drew a skull and crossbones over the peas on page 19, they can't wait to help make the peach cobbler and are excited about trying her other recipes.
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Format: Hardcover
Comfort food is usually full of butter and heavy cream so it is not surprising that is the case with these recipes. I tested two dishes -- the Baked Corn Pudding and the Salted Peanut Chocolate Pudding Tarts. I used frozen super-sweet corn in the Baked Corn Pudding rather than fresh because it is not yet in season, but the result was still sinfully good. And, the Salted Peanut Chocolate Pudding Tarts turned out perfectly and are every bit as decadent as they sound.

There are a number of other recipes among the 112 included in the book that I look forward to preparing. Chapters include Soups and Salads, Vegetables, Pickles and Preserves, Grains and Starches, Seafood, Chicken, Meat, Vegetarian Entrees and Desserts.

There is a lot to like about the book, but I also have some problems. First the good - the index is thorough which allows a recipe to be quickly located by name or main ingredient saving the user significant time. There is a very succinct International Spice Chart that lists, by country, the aromatics, herbs, spices and miscellaneous items the cook should have on-hand to prepare that style of dish. It is a shorthand pantry list to ensure basics are in the kitchen to reduce frustration and wasted time. Most of the items are things found in the majority of kitchens and if not are, with few exceptions, easy to find. The intent is clearly to make the recipes accessible.

It is great the comfort food is presented from various nations rather than just regions within the U.S. That alone invites exploration, something Carla Hall has always conveyed with her cooking style, so this feels quite genuine.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, I did want to turn all the pages to see what glasses Carla was wearing in each photo. She delights me on The Chew so I thought I'd give her new cookbook a try. After trying several of the recipes, I must say this book will continue to have a place in my kitchen. The use of color in typing the recipes helps differentiate Carla's tips, the ingredients, and the instructions. While not all recipes include photos, there are enough to make my mouth water. Most recently I made Carla's "Cooked-to-Death-Delicious Green Beens with Potatoes" and "Spanakopita: Lemon-Scented Spinach and Feta Pie." Both were easy to make and turned out quite tasty. Yes, I made spanakopita for the first time! I added beet greens which needed to be used that day and was quite pleased with the outcome. Next up: "Tomato-Corn Chowder." As a West Coast native, I'm used to a creamy, milk- or cream-based chowder so am looking forward to the tomato base in this recipe. Thank you, Carla, for pouring your heart into this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved Carla on Top Chef and watched her prepare a fantastic pea side dish that got rave reviews from the show's experts. I wanted that recipe, now I have it and am so excited (green peas are a favorite for me). The book is witty and interesting, a great buy from a great chef and a very nice person.
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Format: Hardcover
Took it out at the library ..several times..finally buying it..lots of vegetable dishes..esp peas..they are split up by the veg too..must make the corn pudding over and over..great prices now on used! Thanks Carla fir your one of a kind Cookbook!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I Love Carla on the Chew. She is fun and has tons of personality. It is a wonder she not only likes to express herself with her fun outfits, but through her food as well. She gives food a personality. That might sound strange, but its true. The personality is expressed through different spices and ingredients blending together to create a fusion of flavors. Sometimes we may not think to combine certain spices & ingredients like experienced chefs do. Yet, it works, and often really surprisingly good The photos of the food look inviting, too. I almost passed on getting this book because I saw not so good reviews on another site. However, I decided to literally not judge the book by its cover, or in this case reviews. I decided that I liked Carla from the Chew, as I do the other chefs. I thought I'm going to buy the book anyway because I like Carla. I like what she makes on the Chew most of the time. I am capable of making my own decisions. I got the book yesterday from Amazon, and I enjoyed it. Personally, I loved it, enjoyed it, and would try a lot of these recipes. Sure, there are some maybe I would not make, or might even tweak it, but that is ok. When we buy other cookbooks, we do not often use all the recipes. Just like when we buy a CD, we may skip a couple songs while we like the rest of the album. That is what is fun with cooking because you can be creative by adding, or taking out certain ingredients if you really do not like the. The recipes merely gives us ideas. You can follow it, or get creative. She says many times in the book she likes to relate to people through food because who does not love food. That is true. Today, we are always in a hurry, and some of us might resort to fast food. Yet, why not eat like people did back in the day.Read more ›
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