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Modern Comfort Cooking: Feel-Good Favorites Made Fresh and New

Modern Comfort Cooking: Feel-Good Favorites Made Fresh and New

by Lauren Grier
Modern Comfort Cooking: Feel-Good Favorites Made Fresh and New

Modern Comfort Cooking: Feel-Good Favorites Made Fresh and New

by Lauren Grier


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Vibrant Comfort Foods for the Modern Table

In Modern Comfort Cooking, Lauren Grier takes your favorite classic dishes and makes them feel new and fun again with irresistible mash-ups and global twists. At its heart, this cookbook is a celebration of today’s fresh flavors and real foods that comfort the belly and soul. Spice up your weeknight dinner or savor the weekend with 75 exceptional recipes such as Korean BBQ Burger with Miso-Candied Bacon, Falafel Waffle, Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Crepes and Mumbai Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa.

Wholesome ingredients from the farmers’ market paired with mouthwatering spices ensure that every bite will open your senses in all the best ways. Genius reinventions of fast-food dishes—we’re talking Lemon Chicken Nuggets with Mustard Tahini Dipping Sauce and Bacon Blue Cheese Brussels Sprout Tater Tots—will bring back fond memories of childhood and make your fancy-pants, health-conscious adult self pretty proud too. Outrageously delicious, nutritious, fun and simple to prepare, comfort food never felt so good.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624144592
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 12/05/2017
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 8.03(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Lauren Grier is the founder, recipe developer and photographer of the food blog Climbing Grier Mountain, where she shares the latest adventures in her kitchen and foodie trips around the world. She’s appeared on NBC and CBS Denver, and her recipes have been featured in national publications and websites, including Food Network, Bon Appétit, BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post. She lives with her husband in Denver, Colorado.

Read an Excerpt


Modern-Day Brunch

Living in Denver, Colorado, Mr. B and I are surrounded by brunch options — full-on fine dining, street fair, on-the-go breakfast burritos or coffee with donuts.

Eventually, we land somewhere that fits our mood and rumbling stomachs. Looking like Margo and Todd from Christmas Family Vacation, we order two coffees with cream and sip happily, dressed in our favorite Chuck Taylors and zip-up hoodies. We eat and converse about the latest political shenanigans, what's going on in Denver, our plans for the weekend and sometimes, life goals.

I'm a firm believer that brunch is just as important as dinner when it comes to connecting with others. The recipes in Modern-Day Brunch are my way of showing you that hearty staples like One-Pot Greek Biscuits and Gravy Cobbler (here), Hot Fried Chicken and Egg Sandwich (here) or Chai-Spiced French Toast Skewers (here) deserve a seat at the brunch table. These dishes are meant to be easily assembled, shared among friends and lingered over until the last cup of coffee is finished.

You'll find updated versions of standard staples like Quinoa Cake Huevos Rancheros Eggs Benedict (here), Mini Chorizo and Cauliflower Hashbrown Egg Loaves (here) and Banh Mi Breakfast Tacos (here). Make a few of these recipes on the weekend, and soon you'll have your own modern brunch favorites.


I'm a sucker for juicy, golden fried chicken. Well, who isn't? On the pecking order of comfort food, it's the cock of the walk. And lately, fried chicken has stepped up yet another notch: have you tried hot chicken? Or what some folks call "Nashville hot chicken," because that's where this glorious spicy chicken hails from. This brand of chicken isn't for the faint of heart. In fact, it ought to come with a warning about breathing flames once consumed. In my opinion, it's worth the dragon-level status. The chicken gets its heat from spices like cayenne, paprika and chili powder that are mixed with melted butter and brown sugar, and then mopped onto the meat. Put a piece of hot chicken between two rolls and top with an egg and pickles. That'll get your rooster crowin'!


4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
Pat the chicken thighs dry. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne, 2 teaspoons (4 g) of the garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons (18 g) of the spice mixture and set it aside. Meanwhile, cover the chicken thighs with the remaining spice mixture and set them on a large plate, covered, at room temperature for an hour.

Once the chicken has set, whisk together buttermilk and 1 egg in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Take a chicken thigh and dip it into the buttermilk, shaking off any excess. Next, dredge the thigh through the flour and set it on a baking sheet. For a double crunch, dip the thigh in the buttermilk and then dredge through the flour again. Repeat the process until all the chicken thighs have been covered.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large Dutch oven, filling it about 2-inches (5-cm) high. Heat the oil using a fry thermometer to 360°F (182°C). Once the oil is hot, add 3 chicken thighs. You don't want to add all the chicken at once because it will bring the heat down, causing the chicken not to cook properly. Fry the chicken for about 12 minutes, rotating every couple of minutes to keep the chicken from burning.

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the Dutch oven with a pair of tongs and place it on a wire rack to cool slightly. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken.

In a small saucepan, preheat the sunflower oil to medium heat. Add the reserved spices and the brown sugar. Once all the ingredients are combined and heated through, use a pastry brush to brush the spiced oil all over the fried chicken.

Next, preheat a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Crack 4 eggs into the skillet and cook until they are slightly opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the eggs and set them aside on a plate. Repeat this process with the remaining 4 eggs.

To assemble the sandwiches, place a chicken thigh on top of a roll bottom. Place the pickles and an egg on top of the fried chicken, followed by a top roll. Repeat until all the chicken sandwiches have been assembled. Garnish with mayonnaise and more pickles.


Back in grade school, peanut butter and jelly was my jam, y'all! I still crave a PB and J on occasion, but I've decided I need something less prone to disapproving glances. The answer is Almond Butter & Strawberry Croissant Pudding, a grown-up version of your standard peanut butter and jelly. Almond butter mixed with milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and buttery croissants is topped with fresh strawberries and a little strawberry jam, then baked into a glorious, golden pudding.


1 cup (250 g) almond butter
Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Spray a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23-cm) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside. In a large bowl, add the almond butter. Gently pour the milk into the bowl and whisk the almond butter and milk until they are combined. Next, add the eggs and whisk until incorporated with the almond butter and milk. Add ¾ cup (150 g) of the sugar, the kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Add the croissant cubes to the bowl and toss gently. Next, place a small plate that will fit inside the bowl on top of the cubed croissants. The plate will act as a weight to help the croissant cubes absorb the liquid. Place the bowl into the fridge for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, place the strawberries into a large bowl. Pour ¼ cup (50 g) of granulated sugar over the strawberries and toss to combine. Allow the strawberries to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Take the prepared baking dish and pour half the croissant mixture into the bottom of the dish. Top with some of the strawberry halves and dollop with 1/3 of a cup (110 g) of the strawberry jam. Repeat this step. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the pudding for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking at around 45 minutes to make sure it's cooking evenly. If the pudding is still obviously wobbly, keep cooking until the sides have pulled away and are golden brown and the center looks cooked. Remove the pudding from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with powdered sugar.


Give me a plate of chilaquiles and I will be your BFF. I don't know what it is about this tortilla chip-based dish covered in spicy tomato sauce, cheese and topped with a fried egg that makes me all googly-eyed. Usually only Chris Hemsworth has that effect on me. Still, whenever I see chilaquiles on a brunch menu, I'm like an ant to a sugar cube: I MUST have them. Kinda like Chris Hemsworth's biceps. Oops! Did I just say that out loud? Sometimes I can't wait for the weekend to enjoy this traditional Mexican dish, so I take matters into my own hands and make my own version. I slow-cook pulled pork covered in cumin, chili powder, coriander, garlic powder and paprika, and pile it high over crispy tortillas, saucy tomato sauce and cheese. The best part? Instead of a fried egg on top, I mix things up and pour eggs over the entire operation and bake it like a frittata. They're the cheesiest, fluffiest, crispiest chilaquiles you'll ever eat. Make them for Chris Hemsworth and he'll be your new BAE.


1 tbsp (8 g) chili powder
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Place the boneless pork shoulder into the bottom of a slow cooker. Rub the spices all over the pork. Next, add the chicken stock to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Once the pork has been cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks. Set it aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). In an oven-proof skillet, heat the fire-roasted tomatoes over medium heat. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes to let some of the juice of the tomatoes simmer off. Turn the heat off and begin to layer the tortilla chips into the sauce. Top the tortillas with some of the pulled pork.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, the eggs, ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Pour the eggs over the pulled pork and tortillas. Top the eggs with the Monterey jack and the cheddar cheese. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until the eggs have set like a frittata. Remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole and fresh jalapeño rounds.


I'm on team savory when it comes to brunch. Give me a fried egg with hot sauce and I'm yours for life. But every now and again, I get a random craving for something sweet. Pancakes and waffles are cool, but French toast is extra special, held on permanent reserve for those slow, indulgent Saturday mornings. My version has cubes of thick white bread dredged through a chai-spiced egg batter, cooked until golden brown. Did I mention you have time to skewer these lovely cubes? Yeah. And don't forget to dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup. I mean, as if you'd forget to do that!


4 eggs
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, whole milk, kosher salt, vanilla extract and chai tea. In another small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and pepper.

Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet. Dust the tops and bottom of each slice with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Go as heavy or as light as you want! Next, cut each slice into four 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes.

Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon (14 g) of butter. In batches, lightly dredge the bread cubes through the chai milk mixture making sure to shake off any excess batter. Cook the bread cubes on both sides until golden brown, or for about 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat the process until all the bread cubes have been cooked.

Next, take a skewer and thread on 4 to 5 bread cubes. Place the skewer on a plate. Repeat the process until all the skewers have been assembled. Serve the Chai-Spiced French Toast Skewers with powdered sugar and maple syrup.


Whenever we have family or friends coming to town, I make sure to have something in the fridge we can nosh on, especially for breakfast. The ceremony of letting folks wake up casually, sip a hot cup of coffee and talk about plans for the day is something I cherish. My standard company breakfast is an egg casserole that I whip up the night before and slide into the oven the morning of. But time is precious, so I've got a way to feed a crowd even faster! Hold onto your horses, and meet the modern version of an egg casserole: baked egg-in-a-hole. All you have to do is lay bagel slices in a casserole dish, crack an egg into the hole and bake! Breakfast is ready in less than five minutes. But don't forget the green goddess dressing for a little extra nourishment!


3 whole wheat bagels, sliced in half
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Spray a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23-cm) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place bagel slices into the bottom of the baking dish. Depending on your bagel size, you may need to use a small knife to cut a bigger hole to ensure the egg will sit nicely inside the bagel. Crack an egg into each bagel hole. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake the eggs for about 5 minutes, or until the egg whites are set. Remove the baking dish from the oven.

In a food processor blend the anchovies, basil, parsley, garlic, dill, jalapeño, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, adjusting the salt and pepper, as needed.

Drizzle the bagels with the green goddess dressing and garnish with avocado, cucumber and microgreens.


Decisions are the worst — especially when it comes to ordering brunch. Two of my go-tos are eggs benedict and huevos rancheros. Both are strong, hearty dishes whose unique flavors make me positively giddy. So, one recent fateful morning, I decided these two should get hitched — and hitched they got! The quinoa cakes in this recipe have the flavors of huevos rancheros stuffed inside. Top the cakes with a poached egg and a spicy hollandaise sauce and you've got a brunch made in heaven.



1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

8 large eggs


1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter

In a skillet preheated to medium-high heat, add the olive oil, shallot, green pepper, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of ground pepper. Sauté the veggies until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely.

Once the veggies have cooled, place them in a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa, chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, black beans, eggs, panko, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Mix to combine. Take the mixture and form into eight to nine 3½ x 1-inch (9 x 2.5 cm) diameter cakes. You may want to rinse your hands in between forming the cakes. Place the cakes onto a baking sheet, then place them into the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

Remove the cakes from the fridge. Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Place 4 cakes gently into the skillet and crisp them on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes each. Remove the crisp cakes from the skillet and place them on a plate. Repeat the process until all the cakes have been cooked.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, with a spoon begin stirring the water in a large, circular motion. A tornado will form, and that's your cue to drop the egg into the water, allowing the egg to stay intact in the whirlpool. Cook the egg for about 2½ minutes and remove it with a slotted spoon. Place the poached egg on top of the quinoa cake. Repeat this process until all the eggs have been poached.


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until it is slightly sizzling. Once the butter has melted, pour the butter into a large liquid measuring cup so you can stream it into the blender. Place the egg yolks into the blender or food processor. Turn the blender on low to allow the yolks to get a running start. Take the warm butter and, while the blender is still on low, gently stream the butter into the blender. Keep pouring the butter until it's gone and then immediately add the lemon juice. If the sauce is too thick, add some more lemon juice and keep blending. Add the cayenne pepper and continue to mix until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

To serve, place 2 quinoa cakes on a plate. Top each cake with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Garnish with sour cream, pico de gallo and cilantro.


Excerpted from "Modern Comfort Cooking"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Lauren Grier.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
One Modern-Day Brunch,
Two East Meets West,
Three Ultimate Mash-Ups,
Four Vintage Classics Re-Mixed,
Five Modern Drive-Thru,
Six Retro Desserts Re-Dished,
About the Author,

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