Posts Tagged ‘Barefoot Contessa’

Growing up, french toast was our Saturday night dinner treat. My folks usually had evening plans, and while mom was getting beautified with her handy-dandy bonnet hair dryer with the hose, dad would handle the rowdy, hungry supper crowd. His go-to dish ““ and our fave ““ was Daddy’s French Toast. (Of course since the next generation has come along, it’s been re-monikered “Papa’s French Toast.”) My dad’s secret ingredient, which set his french toast apart from that of mere mortal chefs, was yummy vanilla extract.

Vanilla extract aside, french toast is really only as good as the bread you make it with. Given its name, this recipe obviously calls for challah, but suggests that you…

I was so excited about this salad we made last night that I just had to find the time today to write about it!

I am one of those sorts who really appreciates the nuances of season change. From the little things ““ remembering what socks are after a long, flip-floppy summer and switching makeup colors to a less bronzy look ““ to big things like earlier sunsets, jewel-toned foliage and craving heartier, more comforting dishes, I don’t lament the ever-changing face of Mother Nature.

With the cooler temperature, last night I had a hankering for something quintessentially autumn. I wasn’t up for a ton of work, so I decided to throw a couple of chickens in…

Meeeee luvvvvvv cooooookiessss!

My super-duper sleuthing has uncovered the fact that Eli Zabar’s shortbread recipe is published over and over again throughout the Barefoot library in different variations. Shortbread hearts, linzer cookies, shortbread cookies with dragés…it’s all the same shortbread.

Granted it’s just four ingredients and it’s yummy, but I like making these because there are few things more fun than using cookie cutters! Takes me back to little cans of Play-Doh (“Doh!” ““ how Homer Simpsonian!), a tiny rolling pin and plastic cookie cutters. I haven’t made these cookies in ages, and I was so happy to find my worn bag of steel cutters in different shapes and sizes. (My favorite cutters? Four copper ones in…

If it’s a mushy, cheesy, kid-pleasing side dish you’re seeking, look no further.

Otherwise, meh. Not so much.

This was the second dish Zack selected and made with that scrumptious roasted chicken last week, and again, he did a stellar job. He stirred and stirred for ten minutes until all the stock was incorporated into the corn meal, and then he added the texture and flavor enhancers ““ cream cheese, rosemary, and parmesan. “It’s…a piece of cake (snap), Bren!”

While the kids loved it, I thought it was an almost-insulting accompaniment to the lovely entré. (I preferred the other ““ greener ““ side dish much more…we’ll get to that later this week.) The flavor was less-than-sophisticated, and the texture reminded…

Barefoot Contessa Perfect Roast Chicken

Okay, besides my dad and my darling friend, John, raise your hand if you don’t like a perfectly roasted chicken.

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

There aren’t many more satisfying simple pleasures than roast chicken ““ with its crackly, golden skin and velvety, savory meat. I’ve been a sucker for a good roasted bird since I was a young girl, when my favorite dinner was a Purdue oven stuffer roaster with Croutettes stuffing. The thought of either one of those ingredients now makes me slightly queasy, but oh, how I used to look forward to the occasional Monday night, when my dad would be off at a Propeller Club meeting and my mom would take…

Mmmmmm! Cake!

What do you do when you wake up early on a gloomy Saturday morning, while all the little Muppets are still sleeping peacefully? If you’re the Muppet Mom, you bake a Sour Cream Coffee Cake, and then watch them all smile when they wake up and smell that cinnamony sweetness wafting up the staircase.

Ina’s intro note mentions that this cake is her take on a Drake’s coffee cake — but this one is a million times yummier. The sour cream makes it incredibly moist, and the flavor is all butter and vanilla. The walnuts are optional in the crumb filling/topping, and I included them this time. I remember making it in the past without the nuts,…

Barefoot Contessa Parmesan Chicken

A few very cool things have happened as a result of this Barefoot blog:

• I’ve gotten to spend some time in the kitchen teaching each of my boys a bit about cooking

• I’ve gotten more disciplined about planning meals in advance so dinner isn’t always a last-minute nightmare

• I’ve gotten to write every day!

• I’ve gotten to work on improving my pitiful photography skills

• I’ve gotten a HUGE compliment from Eli Zabar, who tasted my brownies and proclaimed them even better than Ina’s originals (he said it had to be the chocolate, and he was actually going to…

When it comes to salmon and most oily fish, I think simple is better. I’m a big fan of grilled fish without a lot of embellishment, and I much prefer savory flavors to sweet with fish, although my mind may be changed next week when I am in the brilliant hands of Eric Ripert and company at the ne plus ultra of fancy fish restaurants, Le Bernardin.

Although I don’t make salmon as often as I should, this recipe is right up my alley. The marinade-slash-finishing sauce has just four ingredients: garlic, mustard, soy sauce and olive oil, which makes for a zesty albeit slightly too salty kick. We picked up a beautiful piece…

Barefoot Contessa Tzaziki

About the only thing more fun than spelling tzatziki is eating it!

This bright, fresh Greek dip is a cool complement to grilled lamb, and with the wide availability of strained yogurt (like Fage), it’s a cinch to make. Time was, you’d have to wrap up the plain yogurt in cheesecloth and let it drain over a bowl for a few hours to get all the liquid out, or you’d wind up with a thin, watery dip. Nowadays, the only thing you have to drain is the grated cucumber. And I mean you really need to have the time and patience to let it drain.

Check this out:

This is what’s left…

Barefoot Contessa Grilled Leg of Lamb

Mary may’ve had a little lamb, but we need a great big lamb to feed these hungry carnivores!

We have made this recipe countless times over the years, with varying results. The first variable involves marinating the meat. Often we get the bright idea to grill lamb too late in the day to be able to get the tenderizing benefit the yogurt marinade provides. One of the welcome upsides to this Barefoot project is that it makes me plan ahead, so when the recipe advises you to marinate the lamb overnight or up to three days, I can actually give the lamb a nice soak for a good seven or eight hours, rather than a scant…