Barefoot Contessa

  • Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?

    Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?

Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?

  I know this review is long overdue. I’ve had this book for a while now. But I’ve had bronchitis twice, the flu, and then a sinus infection, and I wanted to give this the proper attention. (Are you sick of hearing about me being sick? I’m sick of talking about it. Let’s move on, then.) I went through this book, page by page, as soon as I got my hands on it. I’m a big, huge fan of Ina Garten because her recipes are fool-proof. Some are more involved than others but the emphasis, in her latest book “Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?” is on “her easiest recipes ever.” Garten’s road to culinary celebrity was not the typical one. Once a White House nuclear policy analyst, she loved to entertain. Eventually, she left her career to purchase gourmet food shop the Barefoot Contessa. It was the right fit. She went on to release […]

  • Barefoot Contessa’s brioche loaves Barefoot Contessa’s brioche loaves

    Barefoot Contessa’s brioche loaves

Barefoot Contessa’s brioche loaves

I made this recipe out of laziness. I couldn’t find any brioche or challah to buy for one of Dorie Greenspan’s tartine recipes in either of my local grocery stores and I didn’t feel like driving to my favourite French bakery to buy any. So, I made some myself. Once again, Ina Garten’s “Barefoot in Paris” book came through with a fail-proof recipe. It sounds like a lot of trouble to make, but it’s nearly effortless. If you’re not familiar with brioche, it is a French bread verging on a sweet with a high egg and butter content that translates into a tender crumb and a dark, golden, flaky crust. It’s ideal to use when making French toast, bread pudding, or even to toast and spread with a thin layer of butter. I used to wonder what all the fuss was about when my mother would fall into raptures over brioche. Even […]

  • Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe

    Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe

Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe

  I promised myself I’d tackle one of Martha Stewart’s ice cream bombes this summer, a rather delicate, precious one called a “raspberry pavlova bombe” that involves placing dozens of delicate raspberries inside a bowl. Yes, well, as much as I’d love to do that, I thought I’d start with something less ambitious. And so when I saw the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for an ice cream bombe in her book “Barefoot in Paris” I knew I’d found the right recipe for me: only three ingredients. If you don’t have the book and it’s too late to run to the bookstore and invest in this worthy tome, you can find the recipe on the Food Network website. To be honest, I have no idea what an ice cream bombe has to do with Paris, and I have eaten my way through that city four times, but maybe I missed the ice […]

  • Strawberry cheesecake Strawberry cheesecake

    Strawberry cheesecake

Strawberry cheesecake

  Everyone loves cheesecake. I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t. Some may politely take a bite out of my sticky toffee pudding and push it aside, explaining it is too sweet, too heavy; or protest through a mouthful of Bahama Mama rum cake that they can only have one bite; or observe the bowl of cherry chocolate trifle from afar; but any time I make cheesecake, the platter is wiped clean. Maybe it is the smooth creamy vanilla texture that melts on your tongue. Or maybe the ripe fruits glistening atop the cake are too much to resist. For me, the buttery graham cookie crust is irresistible. In any case, I have tried dozens of cheesecake recipes over the year. In fact, cheesecake was one of my standbys as a child (yes, when I was under 13). But it was only until I followed the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe […]

  • Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts

    Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts

Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts

  Ina Garten has never steered me wrong. Whether I’m making her strawberry cheesecake recipe, coq au vin, or French chocolate bark, her recipes always come out just right. As one of my friends once remarked, Garten’s husband seems to have the best life in the world as he seems to appear at the end of her cooking show just when she is pulling her food out of the oven. Sure, the Barefoot Contessa’s creations aren’t “good food fast” or “speedy supper” recipes — they take time. If you’re in a rush, this book isn’t for you. But isn’t that what getting “Back to Basics” all about? I made these tomato and goat cheese tarts for dinner, accompanied by Parmesan pork chops, and a cold beet salad with goat cheese, pecans, red wine vinegar and freshly chopped basil. Here’s a recipe adapted from the “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” cookbook. […]

  • French chocolate bark French chocolate bark

    French chocolate bark

French chocolate bark

  This recipe is from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” cookbook. Ingredients:1 cup whole salted, roasted cashes6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped6 to 7 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped1/4 cup dried crystallized ginger, 1/2-inch diced1/2 cup dried cherries1/2 cup dried apricots, 1/2-inch diced1/4 cup golden raisins Directions (Abbreviated by myself):Preheat oven at 350 degrees.Roast cashews in one layer and bake for eight minutes. Set aside to cool.Place semisweet chocolate and half of bittersweet in glass bowl and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds. Take out and stir. Repeat until chocolate is just melted. Immediately add rest of bittersweet chocolate and allow to sit at room temperature, until it’s completely smooth.Pour melted chocolate onto parchment paper into rectangular shape – about 9 by 10 inches.Sprinkle top in following order: ginger, cashews, cherries, apricots and raisins. Set aside until firm. My substitutions:I couldn’t find […]

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