Posts Tagged ‘family favorite’

Aw, c’mon now, you didn’t honestly think we were going to let the whole summer go by without making the quintessential Barefoot recipe, did you?

These are dessert nirvana ““ fluffy, buttery, vanilla-y cupcakes topped with luxurious cream cheese frosting and an ethereal sprinkling of coconut. A tiered cake stand of them is nothing less than a dazzling showstopper. Even a pie guy like Dave admits these are as scrumptious as they are breathtaking.

A perennial family favorite, I’ve made these cupcakes many times over the years, and they always come out a little differently, depending on the freshness of the baking powder and the particular oven. This time the stars were aligned and the gods were…

Here are the two finest compliments a dish can get:

1. “I don’t really like _______, but I loved this!”

2. “I love ______ and this was the best version of it I’ve ever had!”

And when you get both compliments on the same dish? You know it’s truly a winner!

Yes, both the skeptics and the die-hards waxed poetic about this ambrosial tomato soup. Zack was a pro making his first chicken-stock-based vegetable soup, gathering up tomatoes and basil at the Friday Farmers Market in East Hampton, and sending his dad around town for a food mill, one of the few kitchen gadgets we had neglected to buy initially.

Again, a simple process: simmer up the veggies…

Barefoot Contessa Tabbouleh

I’m considering renaming this “Pavlovian Tabbouleh.”

I always, always, always make this grain-and-veggie salad whenever I make a summer dinner of grilled leg of lamb, tzatziki and pita. Except for this time…I made it to bring to a cookout where we enjoyed delicious burgers, dogs, chicken and swordfish. And my regular tabbouleh eaters, who are so used to tasting Mediterranean flavors when they eat the dish, were actually slightly less enthused this time.

Was it awful? Hardly! It’s one of the freshest, coolest side dishes you can imagine. You soften up the bulgur wheat in water, lemon juice and olive oil, then toss it with diced English cukes, scallions, parsley, mint and halved cherry tomatoes. That’s all…

I must admit I wasn’t exactly looking forward to making this recipe, chiefly because of the time-consuming frying process…times two for my ravenous crew. And although I like onion rings just fine, thankyouverymuch, I’ve never had one that would compel me to willingly stand over the stove and tend a pan of hot oil for half an hour.

That is, until now. Meet the Cornmeal Onion Ring.

Jake had been clamoring to make this dish for a couple of weeks now, and I finally gave in to that cute, pleading face. Together we cut the onions and soaked the rings in buttermilk for an hour. And then it must’ve been my lucky day, because David reluctantly…

A picture’s worth thousand words, dontcha think?

Yes, they are as utterly scrumptious as they look. Yes, they are as rich and moist and chocolaty as they look. Yes, they are the best brownies ever.

And there’s nothing better to do with the best brownies ever than to share them and spread the love.

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In one of my favorite scenes from the 1985 film Fletch, Chevy Chase as, well, Fletch, pays a visit to Gail Stanwyck at the tennis club and orders lunch: “I’ll have a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich…and a steak sandwich, please.” If it was this truffled filet of beef sandwich? Heck I’d put two of ’em on Mr. Underhill’s bill too!

This is truly the magnum opus of steak sandwiches. A crunchy baguette slathered with truffle butter, then layered with medium-rare prime tenderloin slices, shaved parmesan and peppery baby arugula (followed by a Lipitor chaser!). There’s never a crumb left by my hearty carnivores when I make it.

Ina’s formula for cooking tenderloin is foolproof, and if…

Chocolate chunk cookies are my calling card. If you’ve ever been to my house, chances are you’ve seen my giant cookie jar brimming with the homemade treats, June Cleaver style. If you’ve invited me to dinner and I’m bringing dessert, I’ll probably have some cookies on me. Bake sale? Cookies. About to run a long, boring meeting? A tray of cookies makes it all the more tolerable. (Plus they make people smile.) Dave’s meeting with new clients? Cookies and milk break the ice. Parent-teacher conferences? I always bring a little baggie of them to the poor teacher who is inevitably strapped to her chair for the afternoon.

And nothing makes my boys happier than the sweet smell of…

Okay, okay, pipe down now. I know this recipe isn’t from one of Ina’s books per se, BUT…it’s from Anna Pump, whom Ina calls her mentor. Anna’s specialty food shop, Loaves and Fishes in Sagaponack, is beloved here in the Hamptons, and her fourth book, “Summer on a Plate,” even has an endorsement on the front from Ina, who says, “No one has inspired me more than Anna Pump…” So that kinda counts, right?

Plus how could I not share the dish that all seven diners (including guest diner Uncle Dan) gave the maximum five stars?

So here’s the scoop. Yesterday afternoon we wound up at the Friday Farmers Market in the Nick & Toni’s parking lot…

Part of the fun of making these recipes out here in East Hampton is that we get to use authentic local ingredients. And by authentic, I mean Eli’s Health Bread, as called for in the recipe…and smoked salmon hand-sliced by Eli Zabar himself! Ben and his minions hit the Amagansett Farmers Market (a/k/a Eli’s East) on foot to shop for these Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches, and introduced themselves to Eli, who keeps himself busy most of the summer at this great outpost at the top of our street. As the boys were trying to calculate how much salmon they’d need, Eli overheard the conversation and asked the boys what they were going to be making….