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Favorite Barefoot Contessa Recipes?

Have had success with the Barefoot Contessa recipes. Wondering what were other's favorties? Looking to try some new ones in the weeks ahead.

Our favorites are:
* Frozen "Key Lime" Pie (Family Style)
* Filet with Gorgonzola Sauce (Parties)

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  1. Ina's whole roasted chicken with pan roasted veg and garlic-rosemary roasted new potatoes. Simplicity itself!


    14 Replies
    1. re: TexasToast

      i have heard her roast chicken is excellent. could you paraphrase the recipe?

      1. re: TexasToast

        Am making this tonight - sounds so delicious. Have you ever put potatoes or other veggies in with the chicken while roasting? Would like to do a one dish meal...

        1. re: akp

          On the episode I saw, she put some carrots, onions, and parsnips around the chicken to cook in the same roasting tin.

          She then cut the new potatoes in half, spread them out on a separate tray, and rubbed them with chopped garlic, olive oil, kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. These went in the oven towards the end of the chicken's cooking time as they didn't need as much cooking.

          You can par-boil the potatoes if you like, but it's not necessary with new potatoes.


          1. re: TexasToast

            Looks like the recipe was taken off... From what I recall, it looked slightly different than the one in the cookbook. It looked like the version you posted had bacon, more lemon and garlic, and white wine. I'm assuming I just drape the bacon over the chicken and use the white wine for the gravy once it comes out of the oven. Should I put the extra lemon and garlic amidst the vegetables in the roasting pan? Thank you.

            1. re: akp

              You could. And yes, that's what the bacon was for.

              See here:



              1. re: TexasToast

                The roast chicken was SO GOOD. Thank you! We made the Zuni roast chicken a few weeks ago, but we thought this was even better. The lemon, thyme, and garlic made for wonderful pan juices/gravy... Forgot to remove the bacon a half hour before we took it out, so the crispness of the skin suffered a bit, but it was still phenomenal. Next time!

                Can't wait for her new cookbook.

                1. re: akp

                  Don't thank me, thank Ina!

                  But I'm happy to take the credit :)


                  1. re: akp

                    Better than the Zuni chicken, eh? I may have to give Ina's a try; I've seen her make it on her show. I just don't like the idea of a 5-6 lb. bird, but I guess that size works better for a group/family. I find it humorous that the recipe says it's for 3-4 servings (that's alot per person). I've always wanted to try chicken w/ bacon. Have seen Jamie Oliver and Tyler Florence do the same.

                    Ina's food always looks tasty (if not a bit rich) on her show, but I haven't made many of her recipes at all. Tried the frozen key lime pie once, and I prefer the traditional style. It's clear that Jeffrey eats well!!

                    Off topic, but does she film in her actual house in the Hamptons or is that just a set or "borrowed" house? Her garden is, using one of her favorite terms, fabulous!

                    1. re: Carb Lover

                      Two things:

                      1) Ina's not a small girl so the serving sounds about right.

                      2) That's her actual house and kitchen (FYI, her husband Jeffery, was the Dean at Yale Business School, which is why he's never there all week).


                      1. re: Carb Lover

                        I know! I adore her garden... not fair! It always makes me chuckle a little bit to think of Ina and Puff Daddy living in the same town!! ;-)

                        I used to think that her and Jeffrey were a little annoying and to cutesy, but now I find them really cute, in a good way... perhaps it's the married sap in me now! I was watching the episode this weekend where she makes things for Jeffrey to eat when she's not there for one night, and at one point he says, "Ina is going to be away for the night, so she usually fills the fridge with lots of food. It's tough being Mr. Garten!" I love that!

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          I think they are soooo adorable! I love the episode where she makes him all this food to celebrate their anniversary.

            2. re: TexasToast

              mmm. simple, delicious. love the idea of the bacon! i've done bacon over meatloafs and some roasts, but never a chicken.. bacon ALWAYS makes things taste even better!

              1. re: TexasToast

                oh yeah, that recipe is amazing. i have made it several times

              2. I've just started experimenting with her recipes but a couple have turned out very well. I make her homemade granola recipe altering the dried fruit and nuts each time, about once a month. The banana sour creme pancakes converted me into a pancake lover.

                1. * Shrimp Salad all the way! (I originally got this recipe online, so I'm not sure if she has it in a cookbook or not... there's a lobster salad recipe in the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook that is the same ingredients but uses lobster instead.)
                  * Pan-fried Onion Dip (The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    The pan fried onion dip is the BEST!
                    The Turkey Meatloaf is also amazing!

                    1. re: strephking

                      yes! to both of these. My two favorites. People FLIP. OUT. over that onion dip.

                      1. re: strephking

                        Wow, I love this thread! Ina's recipes are so accessible on Food Network's website, I just downloaded the Turkey Meatloaf and Pan Fried Onion Dip.

                        I've also really enjoyed the Mustard Roasted Fish from her latest book, Back to Basics.

                        1. re: newfoodie

                          I just made the mustard roasted fish last night (but I used SALMON instead) and it was fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    2. I love her spinach gratin. It was featured on the Food Network a couple of years ago. So high in fat, but oh so good!

                      1. Her Chicken Stew w/biscuits is excellent.
                        Other fav's.
                        Roasted veggies with orzo
                        Shrimp salad
                        Chinese chicken salad
                        Indonesian Ginger Chicken
                        Turkey Meatloaf
                        Grilled Salmon w/ fennel
                        Cocanut cupcakes
                        outrageous brownies

                        BTW, nothing is really low calorie.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mcel215

                          The chicken stew with biscuits is one of the best recipes I've found, as is the roasted chicken.

                        2. Where to begin...I met her at a Barnes and Noble store by me at a book signing, and she must be the sweetest person!! She took pics with us, spoke to my mother and I for quite some time, and she still had so many more people to talk to! She was so down to earth and pleasant. The experience was quite refreshing!

                          Now..to the recipes:
                          Shrimp Salad
                          Leg of Lamb
                          Lemon Cake
                          Linguine with clam sauce
                          Pear Calfouti
                          Roast Chicken
                          Cherry Tomatoes (Roasted)
                          Beef Burgandy

                          Oh my....I know I have made so many others, but this is what comes to mind!!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Angelina

                            Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the lemon cake because I'm more of a chocolate person, but everyone else loves that lemon cake!

                            1. re: Katie Nell

                              Is that the one where you turn the cake upside down while it's still warm, prick the bottom with a toothpick, and pour lemon syrup all over it?


                              1. re: TexasToast

                                I don't remember turning it upside down (which doesn't necessarily mean anything), but essentially yes, that's the recipe.

                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                  I think that's just so the holes don't show on the finished "good" side.


                                2. re: TexasToast

                                  Yes, you do flip it over and pour the syrup. YUM

                            2. Her Tequila lime chicken, brownies, potatoe salad, lobster salad ,roasted vegies, soups-- I'm sure I've made more of her recipes, but those stand out in my mind right now. I love her approach to food and recipes and I've never made one that I didn't like.

                              1. The carmelized onion dip is always a hit

                                1. simple, but the hash browns are amazing and I make them nearly every week. Great stuff...

                                  1. Outrageous Brownies
                                    Beef Bourguignon (sp?)

                                    1. I like the turkey meat loaf and the gazpacho.

                                      1. Here is a link to her website. It has recipes from 4 of her books. Great pictures too.


                                        1. I like her turkey meatloaf and panzanella

                                          1. There are many favorites but the recipe I get constant raves about is the Pesto, Pasta and Peas.

                                            1. Outrageous Brownies.
                                              I feeding them to my co-workers today.
                                              So moist, so chocolatey...

                                              1. Can anyone recommend which cookbook of hers I should start with? (Maybe I should post this in Food Media, but since we're talking about her anyway...)

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: CeeBee

                                                  Actually, cookbooks belong on the Home Cooking board. I only have The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, but I've looked at the others... this one has a lot of her standards and some good basics too. I think it would definitely be a good one to start with. http://www.amazon.com/Barefoot-Contes...

                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                    I agree - I have all of her books, but the one I use the most is The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Lots of recipes that can be done in advance and served room temp too, so I use it a lot for potlucks and cook-outs in the summer. Some favorites are the sun-dried tomato dip, cheddar corn chowder, curried couscous, corn salad, her chutney and dijon glaze for ham, Indonesian chicken, and "perfect" roast chicken.

                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                      I just LOVE that cheddar corn chowder- it is so good! And her low-heat method for the roasted asparagus with scrambled eggs made the creamiest, most luscious eggs I've ever had!

                                                2. I really like the Lobster Roll recipe from Barefoot Contessa Parties. I always substitute the lobster with cooked shrimp, and the sandwiches have gotten rave reviews.

                                                  1. I love Ina! She is sweet at her book signings.

                                                    My favorites:
                                                    Chicken w/ 40 cloves of garlic
                                                    Indonesian Chicken
                                                    Roasted Veggies and New Potatoes(stove top version)
                                                    Gorgonzola Sauce
                                                    Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake (I'm not a baker and this turned out wonderful)

                                                    1. Her brisket recipe is easy and yummy!

                                                      1. i've only made one thing...
                                                        the curried couscous salad (last weekend in fact)


                                                        1. I've only tried the shrimp scampi, but it is delicious(lots of lemon)and accessible enough to make for my fussy family members.
                                                          I got her cookbook at Stonewall Kitchen and it was autographed. She's got a gig over there with them. They make and sell her product line, I believe. I love Ina.

                                                          1. Lemon Meringue tart - it's delicious and beautiful...

                                                            1. Banana crunch muffins
                                                              Outrageous brownies
                                                              Chocolate buttercream, which I'd swim in, if I could.

                                                              1. Panzanella... my favorite. showed up at a potluch a few weeks ago and two different people brought it... but both were all gone in the end.

                                                                1. FYI...she is appearing for book signing for her new book Nov 7 at King of Prussia Mall (PA) for anyone local. not sure of the rest of her touring schedule

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                      Willliams Sonoma- I think it said 12-2- but unfortunately no cooking, just signing
                                                                      Interesting though, for Rachael Ray - you had to prebuy the book there to get a ticket, and they told me people went at 7 in the morning to get in line for the book. but I didn't see anything about the book part & forgot to ask I was so busy buying stuff.

                                                                      1. re: pamd

                                                                        You can pass on any Racheal Ray book, they simply are not good, simple easy recipes maybe, there is no and why eat the caleries, full of fat and not is a Paula Deen good way

                                                                        I would never wait in line for anything she does!!

                                                                    2. re: pamd

                                                                      She will be at Williams Sonoma at the Short Hills Mall (NJ) Monday, Oct 30th from 12-2. They said the lines will be outrageous.

                                                                    3. I have made 30-40 batches over the last couple of years and have modified from her recipe to have a better texture and a little more zip with the hot sauce. The Sacremento Brand is the key.

                                                                      Gazpacho recipe as modified in both ingredients and preparation by Jfood

                                                                      2 cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded
                                                                      3 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
                                                                      8 plum tomatoes
                                                                      2 red onions or one Vidalia onion
                                                                      6 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                      1 46-ounce can Sacramento tomato juice (6 cups)
                                                                      1/2 cup white wine vinegar
                                                                      1/2 cup good olive oil
                                                                      1 tablespoon kosher salt
                                                                      1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
                                                                      Three shots Frank’s hot sauce

                                                                      1. Cut each of the vegetables into 1⁄4“ cubes
                                                                      2. Place each vegetable, after it is chopped, into a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and Hot Sauce.
                                                                      3. Mix well and chill before serving.

                                                                      1. I recently made her coconut cupcakes (recipe found here!) and I added coconut custard in the middle. They were fantastic!!!

                                                                        1. Outrageous brownies
                                                                          Pecan Squares
                                                                          Maple Oat Scones (Fabulous!)
                                                                          Apple Crostata
                                                                          Sugar snap peas w/sesame (I know it's not a "recipe", but it's gorgeous and delicious!)

                                                                          1. I've made her Outrageous Brownies a number of times, and everyone loves them. Just made the roast chicken w/ veggies, but found the veggies from the bottom of the pan pretty greasy. Her chicken potpie is fabulous.

                                                                            1. I haven't made them all yet (I want to!), but my favorites thus far are:

                                                                              Indonesian Ginger Chicken
                                                                              Outrageous Brownies
                                                                              Raspberry Cheesecake
                                                                              Maple Oatmeal Scones
                                                                              French Potato Salad
                                                                              Brussels Sprouts Lardons
                                                                              Cauliflower Gratin
                                                                              Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
                                                                              Zucchini with Parmesan
                                                                              Spinach Pie
                                                                              Roasted Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs
                                                                              Smoked Salmon Frittata

                                                                              You can see that I really like her cookbooks for side dishes. Boy, it is really hard to narrow down favorites because there are so many good recipes.

                                                                              1. Her gazpacho is so good and EASY!! Also, we recently made her mac n cheese, which is just about the most perfect mac n cheese I have ever tasted.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: yummyinmytummy

                                                                                  Forgot about her mac & cheese, I do a riff on hers that is fantastic.

                                                                                2. Two words: Coconut Cupcakes

                                                                                  They are fabulous! Be careful though-one could easily take down more than his/her share.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rosielucchesini

                                                                                    Ha-ha you are absoulutely right Rosie! I made them and rarely, ever eat two of anything but I couldn't help myself and had to throw out 1/2 of the cupcake because I felt sooo guilty!!! They are great!!

                                                                                    1. re: 4chowpups

                                                                                      I agree, the coconut cupcakes are amazing. I'm usually more of a chocolate person but these were just too good. Not quite low in fat/calories but completely worth it. I think her use of almond extract really adds a lot of flavor.

                                                                                  2. - roasted chicken (though i like zuni chicken better)
                                                                                    - gazpacho
                                                                                    - grilled leg of lamb (marinated in lemon, yogurt and rosemary...yum!). the tabbouleh that goes with this recipe is very good also
                                                                                    - potato and fennel gratin
                                                                                    - roasted brussel sprouts
                                                                                    - sesame sugar snap peas
                                                                                    - cheddar corn chowder (sooo good and very very easy to make)
                                                                                    - parmesan smashed potatoes

                                                                                    1. Has anyone ever made her cured salmon? I watched a bunch of Tivo-ed episodes this weekend and this one intrigued me...

                                                                                      1. We've adopted her BBQ sauce recipe.

                                                                                        1. Two huge, HUGE winners this weekend, Chicken Pot Pie: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... and Roasted Shrimp with Thousand Island Dressing: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... This is the be all, end all pot pie recipe for me now and it froze beautifully. I will never, well most likely never, boil shrimp again! I used all gherkins for the pickles because I don't like sweet pickles and I added a tad bit of garlic. My husband was eating this dip with everything, or at least trying to- he said the sausage was not so good with the dip!! ;-)

                                                                                          1. Has anyone made the Eli's Asian Grilled Salmon? I got a gorgeous one pound filet of salmon and I am on my way to get the Rice vinegar and Panko.

                                                                                            Katie Nell, do you mean her Gravlax with Mustard Sauce?

                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Fleur

                                                                                              Yes, that's what I meant.

                                                                                              I thought the Asian Grilled Salmon looked good too, but I haven't made that.

                                                                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                With my gorgeous center cut salmon filet in the fridge, I was set to treck down to get Oyster sauce, Panko etc. It seemed to me that the sodium content in the recipe was very high, that she used way too much soy and salt, a problem with many of her recipes. Hmmmmmmm, I thought, maybe I should read the reviews.

                                                                                                Wow! They were awful! Words like "inedible" "so salty I had to throw it out" "Yuk" . Stopped dead in my tracks and started searching.

                                                                                                I settled on Emeril Lagasse's Roasted Ginger Salmon with Ginger Soy Butter Sauce. It was real easy to make, and the results were excellent. The salmon was perfectly cooked, moist and tender on the inside, with a nice crunchy crust. The sauce is a keeper.

                                                                                                1. re: Fleur

                                                                                                  The one recipe from her cookbook I've tried that I absolutely hated was another one of Parker's recipes, as is that salmon. Parker's Beef Stew- it was so bad, neither one of us felt good the next day from it, and we threw probably 75% of it away! I'm not a huge fan of the texture of panko, but otherwise the ingredients in the salmon sounded good to me, but maybe a little too much soy sauce. That Emeril recipe does sound good!

                                                                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                    Katie, what is it that you don't like about using Panko bread crumbs? I went to 3 places and couldn't find them, so I used regular unseasoned.

                                                                                                    1. re: Fleur

                                                                                                      I'm just not crazy about the texture of them and I find them lacking in flavor- I mean, I know they're just crumbs, but I'd much rather have some yummy french bread or sourdough crumbs or something. They're so popular too, but I just can't bring myself to like them. I find the texture to be too cracker-y, for lack of a better word!

                                                                                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                        Wow, I really disagree -- I love panko and its super-crispy crunch. I don't find it to be at all like cracker crumbs. Are we using different brands?

                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                          We enjoy panko/seasoned bread crumbs in equal parts to coat chicken. Have you tried 50/50 crumb mixture?

                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                            I don't remember the brand I used (it came in a blue box) but I've had it in restaurants too and I know it's popular, I just don't care for them.

                                                                                                    2. re: Fleur

                                                                                                      I made Parker's Beef Stew over the weekend and it was FABULOUS! So rich and flavorful. My boyfriend raved over it. I can't wait to make it again. I highly recommend it.
                                                                                                      I made the orange cranberry scones from that same episode. Another hit.
                                                                                                      The lemon cake mentioned earlier was also fantastic. Made that for dessert during the football playoffs.

                                                                                                2. Her chicken chili is good, too. I made a version of it this weekend: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                  1. Croissant Bread Pudding!!!!

                                                                                                    1. I made her veggie pot pie a few nights ago. It was delicious but it was so rich and since there was no protein in it, my husband started scavenging for leftovers. It would be great with some type of protein-- even as a side to roasted chiken or something. It uses different veggies than the chicken pot pie.

                                                                                                        1. Everything I've made of her has been fabulous. Here are the first things that come to mind:

                                                                                                          Outrageous Brownies
                                                                                                          Chicken w/40 Cloves of Garlic
                                                                                                          Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
                                                                                                          Spinach Gratin
                                                                                                          Beets in Orange Vinaigrette
                                                                                                          Tzatziki sauce/dip

                                                                                                          1. Just made her lemon roast chicken and croutons from Barefoot in Paris - the juices from the chicken poured over croutons - heaven!

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: wyf4lyf

                                                                                                                I love love love this crouton idea. It's just wonderful.

                                                                                                            1. Her recipe for homemade marshmellows was a huge hit at Halloween. I've tried 1/3 of the recipes in her first cookbook and never disappointed. Her basics are right up my alley timewise.

                                                                                                              1. I adore her turkey meatloaf, tequila lime chicken, braised short ribs, and beef bourgignon. Her blueberry coffee cake muffins from the BC Family cookbook are the best blueberry muffins I have ever had. It must be all of that butter!

                                                                                                                1. I have made her cheesecake with berry topping twice and without a doubt it's the best cheesecake recipe I've ever made. Not too sweet, with a hint of lemon, it's a NY-style cheesecake--that is, dense rather than fluffy. Everybody loved it. If you make it, I think it's important to follow the baking timing and method precisely.

                                                                                                                  Another great recipe from Ina is the Spinach Gratin. Very delicious and heartier than the usual creamed spinach.

                                                                                                                  My husband and I loved the Salmon with Lentils dish, too. My daughter's favorite is Ina's Mac and Cheese.

                                                                                                                  1. She is by far my favorite to watch on food network. The simplicity in her recipes is outstanding.

                                                                                                                    My favorite: Palmiers (delightful with Cardomom) and Coconut Cupcakes.

                                                                                                                    1. I went to her site...v. disappointed that you can't just select a recipe...it's my friends birthday on Saturday and i'd love to make this lemon cake you all are promoting as wonderful...anyone have the recipe close by? I don't have it in either of my Ina cookbooks. Thank you in advance...

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                          merci beaucoup.
                                                                                                                          i so didn't even look there....ahhhh it's early.
                                                                                                                          thanks katie for doing the work i am too tired to think of. i appreciate it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                            No problem, she used to have her recipes up on the Food Network's website for only a short time and then they would expire, I think due to copyright issues or something, but it seems that most of her recipes stay up for good now, for whatever reason. If you love lemon, you will love that cake- it's too tart for me, but I'm a chocolate girl! Happy baking!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                              Well my good friend Karen loathes coconut, so the first choice is out...never have tried the lemon... maybe it's too tart for a birthday cake...ah the search continues.

                                                                                                                      1. Turkey meatloaf (though was pricey)
                                                                                                                        Indonesian Chicken - family fav

                                                                                                                        Does anyone roast a chicken any more. I don't remember the last time I did. It's just so much easier to buy a rotisserie one.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: chezlamere

                                                                                                                          I do! You just can't beat a roasted chicken, and it's so easy. It does take time, but that's something I'm willing to wait for. :)

                                                                                                                        2. wheatberry salad is really good too. Your right her recipes are posted all the time now. What a surprise, It's about time.
                                                                                                                          It used to drive me crazy if I wanted to make something and had to spend so much time looking on-line for her recipe.

                                                                                                                          1. Her recipes are so simple and good! Virtually every time I cook -- whether chicken, fish, lamb, steak, vegetables, pasta, etc. -- it's either her recipe I use or a variation thereof. I really took to heart her suggestion that you should nail down a recipe, then vary it.

                                                                                                                            My faves and family raves are the Chinese Chicken Salad, lobster salad (or shrimp), roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, chicken with basil and goat cheese, chicken stew with biscuits, cheese and dill scones, Indonesian chicken, lamb with persillade and butternut squash and apple soup. That Gorgonzola sauce was like discovering gold!

                                                                                                                            1. I was just on foodtv site of her recipes and noticed
                                                                                                                              Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
                                                                                                                              But I don't like egg plant. Anyone have suggestion for a substitute for that. I've got some tri-colored orzo I'd like to use.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: chezlamere

                                                                                                                                We are a family of eggplant haters, so I understand your dilemma. You can use sliced green and/or yellow zucchini in lace of the eggplant, or just use more of everything else and leave out the eggplant.

                                                                                                                                1. Everyone in my family has a complete set of her cookbooks and we love most of her recipes.

                                                                                                                                  The Parmesan Chicken with the salad on top is a staple in our house, I get raves on the brownies and the marshmallows, and my mother brings the orzo salad to every luncheon she attends.

                                                                                                                                  A few of the recipes make me gag though from an overload of butter/fat/cheese. In particular, the burgers with butter inside (how un-kosher!!) and the potato salad with blue cheese. Ick.

                                                                                                                                  1. Can't contribute a specific recipe that I love, but instead have a related question about all of Garten's recipes...I've seen the show on numerous occasions, and tend to enjoy it. And, despite being a vegeterian and a picky eater to boot, many recipes have been featured that I definitely have an interest in making. But, the one thing that has held me back from buying any Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, looking up any of her recipes online, etc. has been the amount of fat that she tends to use in her cooking. Fat is flavor, and I love fat, but I can't afford to eat almost anything that Garten makes on any kind of regular basis due to the caloric/fat intake that would accompany it. So, my question is: for those of you who have cooked from her book and love it, have you had any success decreasing the amount of fat in her cooking, or are you truly in love with her recipes as they are? I know that so much of the food you get at restaurants tastes so good and rich, and just plain better than the version you'd make at home because the chefs are finishing your meal off with chunks of butter, dribbles of cream, etc. that you wouldn't typically use at home. Garten's recipes seem to include that "finishing" step that I would just assume leave out. What are your thoughts?

                                                                                                                                    Just thought I'd ask since your positive feedback has made me very inclined to give Garten's recipes another go. Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Laura D.

                                                                                                                                      Hi Laura, I too am a vegetarian, here's how I get by with her recipes - for one, just limit the amount of fats to begin with. I usually start out with less and see where that takes me (this goes for cooking vegetables - like the potatoes or asparagus) for baking, i believe you need to be more careful with conversions, (not a big baker) i hear there are substitutions such as applesauce for oil and the like. i hope this is some help. if you have a certain recipe in mind, that might help people to help you lessen the cals/fat...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                        You can lower the fat content of almost any recipe by reducing the amount. Baking is a whole other story. Baking is chemistry. and fiddling with recipes never comes out. There are many low fat recipes out there, specifically created, and they do work.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                          Thanks Lollya...no particular recipe in mind. And, I think I can handle the process of reducing the fat in her recipes (cooking not baking...I like to leave recipes for baked goods alone as to me they are worth all of the fat and calories they pack). I was more just questioning whether others had found the heavy doses of fat in her cooking essential to keeping it tasty, and it sounds like you've confirmed that all of that butter, etc. isn't essential at all. Thanks for your input!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Laura D.

                                                                                                                                            My suggestion to you is to only use her recipes for special occassions. I only use them for the holidays for instance. Once in a while splurge on something full of fat and flavor, just don't do it regularly.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Laura D.

                                                                                                                                          I also love watching the recipes that Ina turns out, but I call her 'the butter and cream lady'. Of course they'll be delicious. The challenge, for me, is to make things tasty, but not so fat-filled. I'd love to make them the way they are written (and do so, too frequently), but try to restrict the family's fat intake somewhat.
                                                                                                                                          Someone posted the two lemon cake recipes (regular and reduced fat). There is no butter at all in the yogurt-based one. Has anyone tried it? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                                                            If you think Ina is "the butter and cream lady," check out Paula Deen; she makes Ina look like an ad for Weight Watchers!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                              Ha! That's funny. You're right. And Emeril isn't far behind.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                no joke - i saw her eat butter straight once. i guess i don't find ina's recipes incredibly fattening, but i think i limit naturally anyways...

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                                                                Someone posted the two lemon cake recipes (regular and reduced fat). There is no butter at all in the yogurt-based one. Has anyone tried it? Thanks.
                                                                                                                                                It's fantastic! Tart and moist and so delicious. It was super easy to make too.
                                                                                                                                                I'm not a chocolate fan so this is my idea of a terrific dessert.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: caspad

                                                                                                                                                  I like the lemon cake recipes -- both ways -- too. :)

                                                                                                                                            2. I am going to try it this weekend - will report back.

                                                                                                                                              1. Ok - tried the yogurt-based lemon cake from her new cookbook and it is quite good (if not altogether light) for a cake with no butter. It still requires a 1/2 c of oil and a cup of full-fat yogurt, but the result was nice and spongey and had good lemon flavor.

                                                                                                                                                I also tried the "Mexican Chicken Soup" which I was dubious about, but it turned out delicious as well. She has you cook it with corn tortillas cut up in it, and I thought "Won't they just dissolve?" But, duh, yes -- and they are supposed to. It gives the base some nice body.

                                                                                                                                                I will be trying the Ribollata later in the week. . .

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: gridder

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks so much, gridder. I did see the oil, but I wondered about the flavour. Someone in our house is on weightwatchers and we have to be careful. I may use lowfat yogurt, too. Cheers.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                                                                    You know, I bet nonfat would work. It has so much oil in it -- it is already more spongey than cakey, so I doubt the yogurt contributes a lot of texture. You could also use Splenda for the sugar, I am guessing. (I do WW too on occasion. . .)

                                                                                                                                                2. I have made the following recipes from Ina Garten's cookbooks with much success.
                                                                                                                                                  Loin of Pork with Green Peppercorns recipe many times with great success!! Wonderful presentation and tastes divine!!
                                                                                                                                                  Roasted Eggplant Spread - excellant appetizer
                                                                                                                                                  Perfect Roast Chicken..great results
                                                                                                                                                  Scott's Short Ribs - wonderful flavour
                                                                                                                                                  Broccoli & Bow Ties - great salad recipe easy with few ingredients
                                                                                                                                                  Filet of Beef - great timing here. I don't use any other method anymore..works everytime with no surprises!! A real winner as far as I'm concerned..
                                                                                                                                                  Stewed Lentils & Tomatoes from her new book..wonderful side dish
                                                                                                                                                  Peach & Raspberry Crisp
                                                                                                                                                  I have found these particular recipes to work as described in the various books...with no surprises...

                                                                                                                                                  1. Barefoot Contessa books are PERFECT for entertaining. A lot can be served at room temperature which means no last minute cooking. A couple of ones that weren't mentioned:

                                                                                                                                                    Her coffee cake from Barefoot Contessa parties is foolproof. Tastes great with regular flour and tastes ethereal with cake flour
                                                                                                                                                    Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk cookies
                                                                                                                                                    Cheese straws (easy and elegant appetizer)
                                                                                                                                                    Smoke salmon frittata

                                                                                                                                                    1. Her roasted tomato soup is incredible. Makes a great tomato sauce too (I just add some wine and reduce).

                                                                                                                                                      I love her stuff, but does anyone else find that her book(s?) seem to plug a lot of specific brands, friends who own food shops and restos, and even her previous books etc.? I just find it a little annoying. I own her most recent book: has a recipe for pesto, pea and spinach salad. It essentially instructs to assemble the ingredients (with some parmesan) and refers to her PREVIOUS book for the pesto recipe! That was kind of useless, but great for inspiration I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I love her recipe for Mac and Cheese, it's to die for!

                                                                                                                                                        1. I just made her shrimp scampi with linguine she made recently on TV. It has a ton of butter and olive oil, but is actually really light in taste - I think b/c of the amount lemon juice. It's a very simple recipe. I did all of the prep work earlier in the day. When the company was here, all i ahd to do was "cook" it which takes less than 10 minutes. My friend couldn't believe the amount of fat, and i found myself sounding like Ina saying..."I know it looks like a lot, but it the sauce for the whole dish and serving 6!" I had to laugh to myself when the words came out of my mouth :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. Szechuan Noodles
                                                                                                                                                            Coconut cupcakes
                                                                                                                                                            long island iced tea

                                                                                                                                                            1. I love Ina's recipes. Very straightforward. They come together easily and usually taste like I worked harder than I did. Often look like it too. Favorites are from The Barefoot Contessa, The Barefoot Contessa Parties, or the food network site.

                                                                                                                                                              Indonesian Chicken (seems like lots of folks love this one)
                                                                                                                                                              Provencale Potato Salad
                                                                                                                                                              Vegetable Pot Pie
                                                                                                                                                              Roasted Vegetable Torte (stunning presentation of simple roasted vegetables)
                                                                                                                                                              Chicken Satay
                                                                                                                                                              Curried Couscous
                                                                                                                                                              Potatoes steamed in butter (No liquid yields great texture...It's on the site in the same menu with Roast Pork Loin with Green Peppercorns)
                                                                                                                                                              Apple Cake Tatin (Same menu as above)
                                                                                                                                                              Strawberry Country Cake

                                                                                                                                                              1. Hi all,
                                                                                                                                                                May be a bit late on this conversation, but just made a recipe last night that I saw on Ina's show on Food Network while at the gym. It's Sausage Lentil soup and it was fantastic, very hearty, flavorful and healthy. I made it a bit healthier by subbing the kielbasa with smoked chicken and turkey sausage from Trader Joe's and adding a few handfuls of greens (and a dash of cinnamon), but hubby said it was one of the best soups I've ever made.
                                                                                                                                                                I don't own any of her cookbooks, but I love her show when I can catch it (don't get that channel). Perhaps I should invest in a book, especially based on all the reviews here...

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ScarletB

                                                                                                                                                                  Ina's Shortbread Hearts are awesome. And her Turkay Sausage lasanga will leave you speechless. In a minefield of celeb chefs, Ina's the real deal.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Reviving an old thread here because I am new to CH and love Ina's show. We made her "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic" and it was delicious. We made some alterations--used a split breast instead of whole bird (just two of us) and served with rice instead of couscous. The cognac, white wine and thyme (and the 20 or so cloves we used) made a hearty, comforting sauce. It tasted like French soul food. Definitely adding to our rep. By the way, this recipe is from Barefoot in Paris and has been airing recently (saw it twice in the last week). The episode is "Dinner and a Movie."

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cafecreme

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes! I love the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic too. The first time I made it, however, I didn't use a nonstick pan, so it made a mess. However, I have made it several times since then in my Le Creuset dutch oven, and it really does make a difference in how the dish turns out. If you don't have a dutch oven, then definitely use a nonstick surface pot!!! This is a great recipe.....I'm getting hungry thinking about it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: domestic diva

                                                                                                                                                                      I should have mentioned that we used our Le Creuset Dutch oven, which made a difference. I'm always looking for dishes to cook in it, since it was so damn expensive ; ) But, yes, the way the tasty bits crust over on the bottom with the sauce is heaven! And my husband made his special leeks gratin on the side and it complemented it perfectly. I want to make this again this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cafecreme

                                                                                                                                                                        OK Cafecreme and domestic diva, you've got my mouth watering. I found my copy of the book, and it looks fairly straightforward. My mother is coming to town ... do I dare make the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic for the first time knowing I'll be serving it to her?? It just sounds so heavenly, and I love the idea of serving it over the couscous. Is it as easy as it looks??

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                          I did end up making the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, and it was fantastic (I overdid it just a bit on the salt, but that was my fault, and it was still great), and straightforward to make. I served it over the moroccan couscous in the same book (BC in Paris) which was a perfect match. Aside from cutting the butternut squash (ugh) it was easy, and had tons of flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Ina's recipes are foolproof. I have so much faith in her recipes that I often try new recipes w/o experimenting beforehand when I'm entertaining or having dinner parties b/c I know it will turn out great....

                                                                                                                                                                    I've lost count of how many times I've made the asian grilled salmon (from the "parties" book), I have had numerous requests for that recipe. It is so easy too!!! I like to garnish it with lemon and chopped scallions.

                                                                                                                                                                    The other recipe that my friends still talk about (even 2 yrs later!) is the beef bourguignon. One of my friends ordered that dish at a french restaurant and was disappointed b/c it wasn't as good as what she remembered when I made it for her.

                                                                                                                                                                    In her newest cookbook, one of the recipes that stands out in my mind was the "omelette for two". easy and incredibly good. The mexican chicken soup is fabulous and healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                    I have noticed that a lot of her recipes that ask for heavy cream can easily be substituted with half and half or even milk for the nondessert recipes, and I often use half the salt that her recipes call for. You won't miss the salt or the fat when it comes to flavor or your health conscience.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Curried Chicken Salad, Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Salad with Mustard Vinagrette.....IMO, you just really cannot go wrong with any of her recipes...She is not only an excellent cook, but a class act....

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                        The curried chicken salad is in rotation at my home as well as her homemade granola which is so quick, satisfying, and easily modified depending upon which ingredients you have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I love Ina's BBQ sauce, even though it has 12,000 ingredients. I made her flag cake on the 4th of July and it was terrific. I let the kids decorate it with the berries. But be warned, the icing recipe makes enough to frost at least 3 cakes. And her hot chocolate is unbelievable.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Her onion dip is a sure fire hit. I also like the orzo with roasted vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Her guacamole recipe (from Barefoot Contessa Cookbook). It's consistantly good and really easy. I make it for parties, and people always say I should sell the stuff. I tell them someone already does. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. I was invited to have Easter dinner with my BF's family yesterday and made Ina's spinach gratin. It was as absolute hit!! Although I gritted my teeth while using heavy cream and whole milk, it was a special occasion....and turned out absolutely delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hypertomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                I've had the spinach gratin recipe on file for a while, but haven't had the opportunity to make it yet (since I agree needing a special occasion to indulge with in the heavy cream and whole milk!).

                                                                                                                                                                                But talk about indulgence, I recently I made the Parmesan Smashed Potatoes for the first time. Oh my god, these are SO delicious. Half & Half, sour cream and butter...sinful! I made them again this past weekend, and I still can't get over how good they are. And very easy to make too. (I started my diet today...again.)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Today I made (again) Magnolia vanilla cupcakes (from Foodtv.com) with Ina's cream cheese/coconut frosting - I don't like her cake recipe as much. This is the second time I've made this and I always have A LOT of frosting left that I don't know what to do with. I think if I halve the recipe, it won't be quite enough. Calls for 1 lb cream cheese, 3 sticks of butter. I put 1 cup less of conf. sugar that her recipe calls for. The only place I can find sweetened shredded coconut is at Safeway, their brand. Other stores only have flaked. The Magnolia bakery batter is really perfect, plops nicely into the muffin pan. A friend requested them and I managed to give them all away w/out even having a single one. I'm terribly proud of myself for that!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Coeur a la Creme w/Raspberry sauce - Heavenly !

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I made my first clunker last night-her recipes are always so reliably good, but the scallops provencal (in Barefoot in Paris) cook WAY too long and come out tough. I was suspicious about the long cooking time, especially given that she wants you to halve the scallops, but I trusted her anyway. If anyone else makes these, I'd suggest searing the scallops for a minute or two per side (how you would normally do scallops) and make the sauce separately, so it can cook the amount of time it needs without ruining the scallops. Oh, well, she still has a very good track record in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I just came home from lunch with my friend who made a delightfulcold grilled lemon chicken salad that was to-die-for.... fresh slices of lemon, light lemon dressing/vinaigarette with sliced red and yellow peppers, and snap peas. I'm spoiled forever! What a great summer dish for tailgating, concerts in the park, et al....

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: savvychef

                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you know the link to that recipe for grilled lemon chicken salad, Savvychef?
                                                                                                                                                                                        I love her Indonesian Ginger Chicken, Turkey Meatloaf, Perfect Roasted Chicken, Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, and of course, Outrageous Brownies, just to name a few.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I made her Potato Fennel Gratin for Easter and it was heavenly. This is a must make dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I use alot of her recipes but the ones that stand out are:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Indonesian ginger chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                          The cold shrimp dish with mayo, dill, red onion-forgot what it is called
                                                                                                                                                                                          All her gratin recipes-cauliflower, spinach, zucchini

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. i love all of her cookbooks and at this point cook almost everything from them b/c it always tastes so great and turns out so well (except for tequila lime chicken - not sure what i did wrong there). things i make very often and are well loved that i haven't seen mentioned as much:

                                                                                                                                                                                            turkey lasagna - my husband's favorite
                                                                                                                                                                                            coconut macaroons - converts many people who swear they hate coconuts and could not be easier
                                                                                                                                                                                            potato fennel gratin - i usually make without the fennel just to save time but they are the best au gratin potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                            her scones - the first recipe i made of hers when i became a convert, texture is perfect (due to all the butter i'm sure)
                                                                                                                                                                                            the scampi is great too and so easy
                                                                                                                                                                                            oh and the roast cod - the one with shrimp and mussels, so easy, so great looking for guests, and so flavorful

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Missyme

                                                                                                                                                                                                An amazing dish! Hearty enough for a main course with a nice salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                There isnt much that I have not liked from her cookbooks - had trouble with the penne and five cheese being way too greasy...as you can imagine, too much butter and five cheese is not a girls best friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Havent found another book(s) that I use so frequently with such great success

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mngal

                                                                                                                                                                                                  cheese and butter are my best friends, but not the penne. YMMV. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Beef Bourginon, after last night. Also this winter we made the chocolate ganache cake( the recipe uses a can of Hershey's chocolate syrup), and her lentil soup with kielbasa. I just got a copy of back to basics from the library and can't wait to try some of the roasted veg recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. LOVE her brownie tart, parmesan chicken, mexican chicken soup, spanikopita, roasted vegetable soup...just about everything (except espresso chocolate cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Another vote for the coconut cupcakes (I've successfully made layer cake with the recipe, too).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lemon bars. The best, ever. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Sour cream coffee cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Blueberry crumb cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lemon yogurt cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Seafood stock
                                                                                                                                                                                                      yumm....great recipes

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Ina REALLY knows how to make a drink. I spent all of last summer guzzling her Mai Tais and plan to do it again this summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Absolutely adore all of her shows. She is the only FN chef I would stay home to watch. My favorite recipe though is her whole lifestyle - where does one acquire a home in the Hamptons, a cutie like Jeffrey and tons of adorable gay men to help with design?Sign me up NOW!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I cant believe no one liked her Grown-up Macaroni and Cheese recipe. I made it the other day and it was fantastic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            She is my go-to recipe cook when I wanna make something delicious and simple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. her chicken pot pie is wonderful. but in now way does it serve 4. more like 14!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Her seafood gratin, hands down! Takes some time, but it's amazing. Others I used regularly are her beef bourguignon (sp?) and the scallops provencal, though I agree with the person who said the scallops using her instructions are overdone, so I remove them after searing and add them back in toward the end to avoid overcooking. I plan to make her eggplant gratin tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I recently made lunch for my father-in-law's 90th birthday, so I went all out and FINALLY tried Ina's Lobster Pot Pie, which I've been drooling over for years. I made individual ramekins (12 oz each) and doubled the recipe to serve 8 (it actually served 9). I used 2 lbs lobster instead of 1.5, based on comments on foodtv.com. I didn't have time for a homemade crust (have to try it another time - looks amazing), but used high quality puff pastry instead and only did a top crust. Soooo rich and decadent, soooo good!! Everyone drooled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As if that wasn't rich enough, we started with Ina's Mache with Warm Brie and Apple. The only changes I made were to use champagne vinegar instead of balsamic, and half the amount of honey drizzled on the brie. The dish exceeded my expectations and everyone loved it. It seems so simple, but the whole dish was definitely more than just the sum of its parts.