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Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated, October 23, 2018
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From the Publisher
Cook Like a Pro by Ina Garten
Israeli Vegetable Salad.
Chicken Thighs with Creamy Mustard Sauce
I like doing the high-low thing: taking an inexpensive cut of meat like chicken thighs and serving it with a rich, flavorful sauce made with white wine, crème fraîche, and lots of mustard. It’s also fun to serve it in a casual way by placing the skillet in the middle of the table and letting everyone help themselves.
Place the chicken thighs on a cutting board, skin side up, and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the chicken with 1½ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Turn them over and sprinkle them with one more teaspoon of salt.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (11- to 12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan in one layer, skin side down. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes without moving them, until the skin is golden brown. (If the skin gets too dark, turn the heat to medium low.) Turn the chicken pieces with tongs, add the onions to the pan, including under the chicken, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring the onions occasionally, until the thighs are cooked to 155 to 160 degrees and the onions are browned. Transfer the chicken (not the onions) to a plate and allow to rest uncovered while you make the sauce. If the onions aren’t browned, cook them for another minute.
Add the wine, crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and 1 teaspoon salt to the skillet and stir over medium heat for one minute. Return the chicken, skin side up, and the juices to the skillet, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.
To ensure the chicken cooks evenly, choose thighs that are similar in size.
- 8 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2¼ pounds)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Good olive oil
- 2 cups halved and thinly sliced yellow onion (2 onions)
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 8 ounces crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
Baked Spinach & Zucchini.
Classic Daiquiris, Updated.
Panna Cotta with Fresh Raspberry Sauce.
A Best Book of 2018:
—New York Times Book Review
—City Book Review
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
—Food & Wine
"Garten has kicked things up a level, this time encouraging readers to try more ambitious recipes that are still signature Ina: warm, comforting, homey."
"As with everything else Ina has ever produced, this flawless book (her 11th!) is filled with trustworthy recipes that taste delicious and don't require a culinary degree to make (just a few of her pro tips)."
About the Author
INA GARTEN is a New York Times bestselling author and the James Beard Award-winning host of Barefoot Contessa, which has won an Emmy Award and airs on Food Network. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Jeffrey. This is her eleventh book.
- Publisher : Clarkson Potter; Illustrated edition (October 23, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0804187045
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804187046
- Item Weight : 2.4 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.79 x 0.93 x 10.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Ina’s cookbooks are based on a winning formula: easy high caloric recipes that are often winners and are accompanied by a plethora of glorious photographs provided by Quentin Bacon. She has often given credit to the late Anna Pump as a major inspiration and her cookbooks reflect the influence of Anna, Sarah Leah Chase, and The Silver Palate recipes. And that is a good thing. She cooks the way I like to cook and many of her recipes have been often repeated.
I own all 11 of her cookbooks and am often asked which one to buy. My answer is always “her first book.” Each successive book was less than the previous and the recipes were increasingly redundant. That is, an ingredient was swiped out and replaced for another in a subsequent book. This was happening much too often. Also, books were given theme titles—Back to Basic, How Easy is That?, Make it Ahead, Cooking for Jeffery, etc.—that seemed to have little to do with the books.
The most recent book Cook like a Pro is the weakest of her books. The recipes are uninspiring and the “Pro” theme is lame. Ina doesn’t claim to be preparing you to walk into a restaurant and fit in as a professional cook, however, the pro tips are steps most of us are already taking.
For instance, on page 44 is the heading Measure like a Pro with photos on the opposite page of measuring cups and a scale. This is where I would expect her to sing the praises of weighing ingredients vs. using measuring cups, but the photo’s caption simply states “Use a scale to accurately measure weights.” None of her recipes provides weights in addition to measuring by volume.
One of the most important steps a professional cook utilizes is mise en place. This refers to the French preparing and assembling all the ingredients prior to cooking or baking. The photograph on page 56 shows some of the ingredients gathered onto a half-sheet pan. The photograph on page 176 with the caption “Prep your ingredients in advance and check to make sure you’ve included every one” captures mise en place. But I wish more of the pro tips had really been that.
This cookbook came together after she was asked how do you cut cauliflower so it does not get all over the kitchen. A light bulb moment, aha, people want to know how to prepare food in the best manner. And, so, Ina shares with us how to cut cauliflower. She does a lot of things in her cooking with instinct, and she realized if we knew how to do things right, we would feel more confident about our cooking. Ina relates that she is still anxious about her cooking, she wants everything done the best she can.
If you follow Ina’s blog or instagram, she has shared several recipes from this book. The right method to cut cauliflower is included. A tomato and avocado salad with her wonderful lemon vinaigrette. I use this vinaigrette on most of my salads. I particularly like it on her orzo with roasted vegetables, which is where I first found the recipe. And, then her fig and ricotta cake, I used peaches, since I did not have access to fresh figs. One of the best cakes I have tasted.
Ina gives us her recommendations for good cooks to follow, one is Bobby Flay. She tells us he is intuitive, smart and his food is extraordinary. Ina is a fan of most cooks, and that is one place she was able to pick up her confidence in using her kitchen skills.
This cookbook has it all, recipes you will want to try, beautiful photographs of the food, tips and advice for most recipes. Ina is a pro at translating what the pros do, one interviewer said. Ina is one of my favorite cookbook authors, and I watch her shows on Food Network.
Recommended. prisrob 10-23-18