Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: How to Get Great Flavors from Simple Ingredients
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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: How to Get Great Flavors from Simple Ingredients

3.3 306
by Ina Garten
     
 

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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 con-sistently provided accessible, subtly sophisticated recipes ranging from

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Overview

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 con-sistently 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.

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Editorial Reviews

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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Library Journal

Simple recipes with lots of flavor have always been Garten's hallmark, from her days as the owner of her gourmet take-out shop, Barefoot Contessa, in Long Island's Hamptons to her current Food Network shows. Here, she emphasizes finishing touches that brighten a dish and "bring out [its] essence," whether it's a squeeze of lemon juice or a final scattering of fresh herbs. Each recipe chapter opens with a page of ideas for easy entertaining (e.g., "10 No-Cook Things To Serve with Drinks") or other tips. Garten's previous cookbooks have sold more than six million copies, and her new Food Network show, Back to Basics, premieres in the fall, so her latest title is sure to be in demand.


—Judith Sutton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400054350
Publisher:
Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
Publication date:
10/28/2008
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
42,685
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

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. Visit Ina at BarefootContessa.com.

Read an Excerpt

French Apple Tart
Serves 6
This just might be my all-time favorite dessert. It's the simple essence of sweet apples and crisp pastry with no distractions. We've all collected several similar recipes over the years, but this is the best one I've ever made. If I need to make it even faster, I use defrosted frozen puff pastry instead of making the crust (see note), but you'll want to eat it an hour or two after it comes out of the oven.

For the Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced 
1/2 cup ice water

For the Apples:

4 Granny Smith apples 
1/2  cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small-diced 
1/2  cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam (see note)
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water

For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10x14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in ¼ - inch-thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full ½ cup sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes: For a really fast apple tart, you can use one sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted. Roll out to 10x10 inches and then proceed with the apples.

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