Everyone knows that you don't mess with comfort food, especially Southern comfort food. Unless, that is, you happen to be a Southern chef. Chef duo Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing of MiLa restaurant in New Orleans know just how far to push the comfort food envelope and where a little extra brown butter makes all the difference.
• Who wrote it: Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: 100
• Recipes for right now: Vanilla Fresh Toast with Brandy Whipped Cream, Black-Eyed Peas Empanadas, Arugula Salad with Asian Pear and Sheep's Milk Cheese, Curried Squash and Crawfish Soup, Oyster-Swiss Chard Gratin with Country Bacon, "Shrimp Creole" Risotto, Coffee-Roasted Pork Loin, Banana Pudding Brûlée
• Other highlights: Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing hit just the right note with this cookbook, I think. These recipes and their rich ingredients are familiar to our palates, but they're elevated ever-so-slightly to give us more refined, complex, and intriguing dishes. Some of them are definitely "restaurant recipes" with a lot of steps (not to mention pots and pans) and an emphasis on presentation — great for dinner parties or if you're in the mood for a challenge, but less suited to a simple family meal.
• Who would enjoy this book? People who love southern cooking, fans of MiLo restaurant, homecooks who love the challenge of re-creating restaurant meals.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With by Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing
• Visit the author's restaurant website: MiLa Restaurant
(Images: Emma Christensen)