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The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Kindle Edition
Aimed at the cook who intends to entertain, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook draws on Garten's experience as a caterer, as well as her knowledge of what customers really want to eat when they arrive at her shop. She has culled her favorite recipes and has included timesaving tips, always striving for ease and simplicity. Neither cooking nor entertaining should be a chore, according to Ina Garten, and her lovely cookbook is a case in point.
This is an intensely illustrated cookbook that shows the foods to best advantage (and makes it a lovely gift book). Presentation counts for a great deal, and Garten's food styling adds to any food platter. But just as relevant are photos that bring in the spirit of fresh, locally grown produce. There's the local poultry producer proudly holding a laying hen in case anyone should wonder where the eggs come from.
Starting with appetizers, Ina Garten isn't afraid to include such basics as hummus and guacamole: she knows from experience that her versions make a profound impact. There are French Onion Soup and Corn Cheddar Chowder, Baked Virginia Ham and Salmon with Fennel, Roasted Carrots and Caramelized Butternut Squash--and then one killer dessert after another. Included, too, are some breakfast specialties. Any upscale bed and breakfast could have this book in the kitchen and get rid of all others.
This isn't a cookbook about getting outrageous with food. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook is about warming the hearts and souls of your guests with familiar food raised to a gourmet level. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Before I owned a specialty food store, I could spend hours making hors d'oeuvres for a cocktail party. Now I think it's more important to have fun and to spend time with my friends. If I am racing around getting drinks for everyone and then running back and forth to the kitchen to get hot hors d'oeuvres out of the oven, I have missed the point of having a party. So now I have several guidelines for myself.
First, all the fixings for drinks are on a table in the room where cocktails are served: glasses, wines, alcohol, mixers, ice, lemons, and limes. I often have one special drink which everyone ends up choosing: Campari with soda and blood orange juice, champagne and crème de cassis, or margaritas. Second, I do everything possible to ensure that I never leave the room. Friends need to be greeted, people who don't know each other need to be introduced, and the energy of a party is set from the moment people arrive. I choose appetizers that can be served at room temperature and everything is out on tables or ready to pass before the first guest arrives. Third, despite my passion for good food, it's not my first priority for a good cocktail party. The first one is the guest list. Are the people interesting? Will they enjoy each other's company? Are there surprises? I sometimes ask people to bring friends who are fun so surprises happen.
Cocktail parties with good, hearty food can be a very easy way to entertain, particularly on Friday night. I serve five or six different kinds of appetizers and three of each kind per person. Plan a menu like a meal: seafood (crab cakes), vegetables (roasted eggplant), and meat (chicken satay). You can even serve coffee and a country dessert platter at the end. Friends stop on their way home from work--who needs dinner after a good cocktail party?--and they can be home by 9:30, having had a wonderful start to their weekend. What could be better?
Roasted Eggplant Spread
serves 6 to 8
This is not only good, it's good for you. Many years ago we developed a group of recipes that have almost no fat for customers who like to save their calories for dessert. I love to serve this alongside other Mediterranean specialties, such as hummus, pita bread, Greek olives, feta cheese, and stuffed grape leaves.
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.
Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend.
Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with toasted pita triangles or crackers.
Lamb Sausage in Puff Pastry
makes 28 appetizers; serves 6 to 8
Whenever I am catering a party and the husband wants good old "pigs in blankets" and the wife wants something more sophisticated, I recommend lamb sausage in puff pastry. It looks the same but tastes so much better. You can use any kind of thin fresh sausage for this recipe. I like to serve it with extra mustard.
1 pound fresh lamb sausage, 1/2 inch thick, in a coil
2 sheets commercial puff pastry, thawed (see note)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon
water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake the sausage on a baking sheet for 20 minutes. Turn the sausage and bake it 5 to 10 minutes more, until it's fully cooked. Cool to room temperature.
Unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured board. Cut each piece in half lengthwise and brush the top sides with mustard. Divide the sausage into 4 equal pieces. Starting at the long end of the pastry, place 1 piece of the sausage on top of the mustard and roll it up tightly, overlapping the end by 1 2 inch and sealing the pastry by brushing the edge with water. Cut off the excess pastry. Roll the other 3 pieces of sausage in puff pastry. Place the 4 rolls, seam side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the egg wash. Lightly score each roll diagonally to make 7 equal pieces. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned. Slice and serve immediately.
Lobster Salad in Endive
makes 24 appetizers; serves 6 to 8
If you want to be good to yourself and your guests at the same time, ask your fish store to sell you cooked fresh lobster meat, instead of cooking a lobster yourself. This is a great summer appetizer or a special treat for New Year's Eve. This recipe is also good, and not quite so expensive, with cooked shrimp or crabmeat. You'll see that a little salad makes a lot of appetizers.
3/4 pound fresh cooked lobster meat, small-diced
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup small-diced celery (1 stalk)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
11/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
pinch kosher salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 heads Belgian endive
Combine the lobster, mayonnaise, celery, capers, dill, salt, and pepper.
With a sharp knife, cut off the base of the endive and separate the leaves. Use a teaspoon to fill the end of each endive leaf with lobster salad. Arrange on a platter and serve. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B00BVJG2GK
- Publisher : Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (2 April 2013)
- Language : English
- File size : 44384 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 331 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #648,744 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
Most of the recipes are just too simple, and could be found anywhere else and even are ones which one would already have in one’s own cooking repertoire. For example a chicken is simply cooked with lemon juice , olive oil and thyme. And do we really need to know that for “roasted carrots” we just have to add a touch of garlic and dill. An orange yoghurt needs – well some orange zest in it Tomato soup: not much of a surprise there either – cherry tomatoes plus tinned ones, with a couple of herbs added. A recipe for a potato salad can be found in any cookbook. Parmesan croutons: one doesn’t need a whole page to tell us that you need, bread, olive oil, salt and parmesan cheese! There are two whole pages on a fruit platter, one of them with an illustration and the other with the “recipe”. A fruit platter tells its own story – you just need to choose a variety of fruit, and one doesn’t need any guidance to do that. There is a beautiful photo illustrating this, which would have contributed to the book being the price it is, illustrations appearing on virtually every page of the book.
These are just a few examples among many, and one is left asking oneself "so what’s new?”. Her TV series showed much more exciting dishes which were also rather more complicated – a soufflé being one of them, which I had hoped to find in this book, along with a few others which I found innovative and unusual.
All these recipes then are ones which the eponymous food store would have provided and thus by the very nature of it being a “food store” meant the recipes had to be relatively easy to produce with a need for the either being cooked very rapidly for a customer, or pre-prepared. No one is going to find any of these recipes particularly new and it is certainly over-priced for telling us a lot of things with which we are already familiar. Having said that, for a first-time cook the book could, nevertheless, be useful.
I have not entirely given up on Ira Gartner, and might even order her “Cooking for Jeffrey” cookbook. I should imagine that this book would provide recipes for just two to four people, instead of the large numbers (i.e. 8-10) that most of the recipes cater for in this volume, but above all, hopefully will contain recipes from her TV series, which, to use her favourite word, sound really "deelicius".