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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients Hardcover – October 28, 2008
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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is the essential Ina Garten cookbook, focusing on the techniques behind her elegant food and easy entertaining style, and offering nearly a hundred brand-new recipes that will become trusted favorites.
Ina Garten’s bestselling cookbooks have consistently provided accessible, subtly sophisticated recipes ranging from French classics made easy to delicious, simple home cooking. In Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina truly breaks down her ideas on flavor, examining the ingredients and techniques that are the foundation of her easy, refined style.
Here Ina covers the essentials, from ten ways to boost the flavors of your ingredients to ten things not to serve at a party, as well as professional tips that make successful baking, cooking, and entertaining a breeze. The recipes--crowd-pleasers like Lobster Corn Chowder, Tuscan Lemon Chicken, and Easy Sticky Buns--demonstrate Ina’s talent for transforming fresh, easy-to-find ingredients into elegant meals you can make without stress.
For longtime fans, Ina delivers new insights into her simple techniques; for newcomers she provides a thorough master class on the basics of Barefoot Contessa cooking plus a Q&A section with answers to the questions people ask her all the time. With full-color photographs and invaluable cooking tips, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is an essential addition to the cherished library of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.Ina Garten's Roasted Turkey Roulade and Baked Sweet Potato "Fries"
I don't know anyone who looks forward to carving a turkey on Thanksgiving. You're at the table, everyone's watching, and you're struggling to carve a hot bird. Instead, I decided to make a roasted turkey breast stuffed with all kinds of delicious things--sausage, cranberries, and figs. No bones and it cooks to juicy perfection in under two hours. How easy is that?
Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but their prime season is really autumn and winter. Choose potatoes that are smooth and unblemished, and use them fairly soon because they don't keep as well as other potatoes. These potatoes are crispy like fries but they're better for you because they're baked. --Ina Garten
(Photo credit Quentin Bacon)
Roasted Turkey Roulade
(Serves 6 or 7)
3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.
Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.) Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.
Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1-3/4 to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. (I test in a few places.) Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.
Baked Sweet Potato "Fries"
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into 3 long spears. Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil. Spread the potatoes in one layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn with a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve hot.
Ina Garten is one of the country's most beloved culinary icons and the author of five previous cookbooks. She can be seen on Food Network, where her shows, Barefoot Contessa and Back to Basics, are among the network's most watched. Ina also writes a column on entertaining for House Beautiful magazine.
From Publishers Weekly
The sixth cookbook from the Barefoot Contessa juggernaut contains exactly the kind of appealing, simple-yet-just-gourmet-enough recipes Garten devotees adore. There's nothing very surprising (Garten tries to claim an ingredient-focused premise), but her formula works. She offers such dishes as Lobster Corn Chowder, Creamy Cucumber Salad, Tuscan Lemon Chicken, Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter (which has just five ingredients, plus salt and pepper), and Brownie Pudding. Garten suggests tips on such things as setting the table and "10 things not to serve at a dinner party." Her tone can be charmingly pretentious, but she comes down to earth with admissions like "I have to admit that pastry still makes me anxious. When I discovered puff pastry, it was such a relief." Recipes are short and simple, and she often squeezes in insightful hints for making things work perfectly. (Oct.)
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Other recipes are not as spectacular, but definitely worth a try. She does tend to be heavy-handed with butter and/or cream. For instance, I thought the mustard-roasted fish had too much creme fraiche, which detracts from the integrity of the fish and clarity of flavor. I also find it strange that she lists measurements for salt and pepper. I much prefer the principle followed by Judy Rodgers and Suzanne Goin-- taste as you cook, season to your preference. Nonetheless, this cookbook is well worth the money.
Most recent customer reviews
Now how easy was that? ;-) Michael