Side Dish: Cookbook has plenty to chew on _lowres



“The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” edited by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones

Kingswell, $19.99

255-page paperback

Fans of the television lifestyle show “The Chew” will welcome the latest cookbook from its five hosts — Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. “The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” includes recipes from each host, along with crafts and fun ideas on decorating and hosting parties throughout the year.

The new recipe collection features colorful photographs and graphics which capture the feel of the lively show. Its engaging hosts share their favorite recipes and offer plenty of entertaining advice for every occasion from game day to New Year’s Eve.

The book is divided into four sections. All-American Classics, Happy Holidays!, Milestones and Big Bash. Planning an elegant dinner party? You’ll find a menu for the party in the Big Bash section. Among its suggested recipes is the Sazerac, the cocktail born in New Orleans. Looking for a spicy dish to serve at a Halloween meal? Try Chicken Diablo from the Happy Holidays! section.

Among the book’s other recipes are Green Chili and Chocolate Walnut Cookies for game day, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Pumpkin Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving, Frisée Salad With Candied Bacon and Bananas Foster Crepes for Mother’s Day, and Mistletoe Bellini and Roasted Pork Loin With Cranberries for Christmas.

I made Hall’s Rum Balls for a recent get-together with my dinner club. While everyone liked them, the members agreed with me that they didn’t have much of a rum flavor — and I had added extra rum. I suggest using bourbon instead. They will make a pretty Christmas treat.

Cookbook signings

Kit Wohl will be signing copies of her newly released cookbook, “New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes,” at the Garden District Book Shop from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St., New Orleans.

Among authors attending the New Orleans Baby & Child Fest at the Pontchartrain Center Saturday will be Patrice Kononchek and Lauren Keller, co-authors of “In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes,” and Kid Chef Eliana, author of “Cook Kids Cook: Fresh & Fit and Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana.”

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is Advocate-tested recipe

Rum Balls

Serves 24. Recipe by Carla Hall is from “The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” (Kingswell), a cookbook from the five hosts of the television lifestyle show, The Chew. Hall says “if you have a hankering for another liquor, go right ahead and make the change. If bourbon is your thing, swap it in for the rum. Or use red and green sprinkles to decorate them.”

31/4 cup dark rum

6 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 tbls. butter

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

11/2 cups powdered sugar

Salt, to taste

White sprinkles, for decorating


1. Heat the rum in a small skillet over medium heat until reduced by half. Set aside.

2. Set a heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. Add chocolate and butter to the bowl and melt, stirring to combine.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts, rum, powdered sugar and salt until fully incorporated. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. This can also be prepared a few days in advance and stored covered in the fridge.

4. Portion dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sprinkles. Chill in an airtight container until ready to serve.