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Oct 1, 2010 06:29 AM

*October 2010 COTM: BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK - Appetizers, Soups and Salads

Our cookbook for October 2010 is the BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK.

Please use this thread to discuss recipes from the chapters Appetizers, Soups and Salads. A list of each recipe contained in these chapters, along with a link to an online version if one exists, follows.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.


= = = Appetizers = = =

roasted eggplant spread pg 41

lamb sausage in puff pastry pg 42

lobster salad in endive pg 43

crab cakes pg 44

hummus pg 46

grilled lemon chicken pg 48

guacamole pg 50

pan-fried onion dip pg 53

sun-dried tomato dip pg 54

smoked salmon tea sandwiches pg 56

-- turkey tea sandwiches pg 58 --

vegetable sushi pg 61

= = = Soups = = =

parker's split pea soup pg 73

cheddar corn chowder pg 74

french onion soup pg 76

roasted-potato fennel soup pg 77

gazpacho pg 79
*the online version is a half recipe

lentil vegetable soup pg 80

rosemary white bean soup pg 83

roasted-tomato basil soup pg 84

-- parmesan croutons pg 87 --

= = = Salads = = =

beets with orange vinaigrette pg 93

curried couscous pg 94

french potato salad pg 96

provençal potato salad pg 98

grilled lemon chicken salad pg 99

-- broccoli with garlic pg 100 --

fresh corn salad pg 101

grilled salmon salad pg 102
*online version starts with cooked salmon. book version starts with raw salmon which is then grilled 5-7 minutes till rare.

sugar snap peas with sesame pg 105
*online recipe adds salt which is not in the book ingredient list

vegetable coleslaw pg 107

szechuan noodles pg 108

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  1. Curried couscous p.94

    I got the book from the library a couple of days ago so have been waiting to start posting - lots of stickies in the book already. Tonight I made this couscous salad to go with grilled Icelandic lamb chops, which I marinated in olive oil, garlic and chopped rosemary. I love that short season of Icelandic lamb - it is so sweet. All those people who think they don't like lamb should try it.

    Anyway, back to the couscous. Good recipe, Lots of good flavors and hopefully the leftovers should also be good tomorrow. For a recipe which required quite a bit of prep I found her comment odd "This dish may have a lot of ingredients, but it doesn't feel like cooking, so I love to make it.." What on earth does that mean - it wasn't heated up so it's not cooking? I love to make food that doesn't feel like cooking? Odd, but a good recipe nevertheless.

    1. Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Pg. 84

      Well this recipe may just be perfect for those, who like me have access to a whole lot of plum tomatoes. This soup calls for splitting and roasting (after being tossed in olive oil, salt and papper) 3 pounds of ripe plum tomatoes. I dutifully weighed them out in half pound ingrements and the total count came to 24. I subbed peeled fresh plums for the 28 oz. "canned plum tomaoes, with their juice." That was another 18 tomatoes. And a lot of extra work, but heck, I had 4 colanders full of the things staring me down...

      Anyway, chopped onion and garlic are sauteed until starting to brown. Then the canned tomatoes, stock, thyme, and 4 cups of packed basil leaves are added, although I only used 3 cups. In go the roasted tomatoes and all is brought to the boil and then simmered for 40 minutes. The final step is to run the soup through a food mill outfitted with the coarsest sieve-like thingy.

      42 tomatoes later, this. Was. Exquisite. I served the soup with not-your-everyday grilled cheese sandwiches made with an "artisanal" bread with roasted garlic. Everyone loved it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: clamscasino

        Great! My roasted tomato basil soup is on the stove for the final simmer, I'll post how it turned out after lunch! :)

        1. re: sarahcooks

          It turned out good, but a bit too spicy. I didn't measure the red pepper flakes or the pepper, but I didn't think I put in more than it called for. I should have held back because now it's too spicy for my baby, and the heat doesn't do much for the flavor. The basil did not want to go through my foodmill so I scraped as much out of it as I could and threw it back in the soup. I didn't have plum tomatoes, just regular ones, and even though I roasted them a bit longer to compensate for the extra water, I'm still not sure they were as good. If I'm honest, it wasn't my favorite tomato soup ever, I think I would have preferred it smoother. I'll definitely use the roasting tomato technique again though.

          Roasted tomatoes:

          Brought to a simmer:

          All done:

        2. re: clamscasino

          Having picked up a food mill (finally) at a yard sale and living in New England where buckets of plum tomatoes are for sale and basil is cheap in the fall this recipe was for me! It was a piece of cake until I got to the food mill part. I was surprised at how much veggie matter remained and the final volume of soup.. but it delicious and I had a good time making it

          1. re: clamscasino

            I made this today, but did one substitution. For me, this is the end of the summer... the day I picked the final ripe tomatoes from my garden and harvested the remaining basil. So I started with roasted JetStar tomatoes instead of plums. I also made this as a half recipe.

            I like this soup, but, next time I will use fewer onions since I thought their flavor took over a bit too much. I used Farmer's Market onions though so perhaps they have a stronger flavor than onions that have been stored for several months? Since I used late season tomatoes, the acid level was a touch too high. But since the goal with this soup was to use the end of my garden foods, I can live with this!

            Next time I make this, I think I might try throwing a parmesian rind in at the same time as the stock and tomatoes to give the flavor just a little more depth. [Always looking for ways to use the large stash of rinds in the freezer.]

            A very nice soup and I expect it will make it into the rotation.

          2. pan-fried onion dip pg 53

            I haven't made this dip for this month's COTM yet, but it is amazing. I up the amount of cayenne to really make the flavors pop. It's a carmelized onion dip and when I make it, C and I can polish it off fairly quickly. We have delusions that we'll eat this with fresh vegetables, but the reality is that we eat it with wavy potato chips.

            I love this and I've made it with lowfat cream cheese and sour cream with the same excellent results. This is a once a year treat for us and I can feel the dip calling my name.

            9 Replies
            1. re: beetlebug

              "We have delusions that we'll eat this with fresh vegetables, but the reality is that we eat it with wavy potato chips." Hahahaha! I might have to try this recipe, you know, to dip our CSA veggies in. :).


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                That's what happens with the Sun-Dried Tomato Dip (p 54, a favorite for entertaining) - everybody leaves the vegetables and eats it with the chips or crackers.

              2. re: beetlebug

                I agree, this dip is amazing. I did not make it for COTM but I made it for the first time for my July 4th party. My guests raved. I didn't know onion dip could be so good! Indulgent, yes, but oh so delicious.

                I love Ina and her recipes, but she is definitely not known for her recipes being low calorie or low fat!

                1. re: valerie

                  No, it is definitely one foot in the grave cooking!

                2. re: beetlebug

                  I made this one today for football snacks and it was quite delicious. I didn't have cayenne, so subbed RPF but kept it on the light side as I had delusions that the kids might eat some. I agree with beetlebug that upping the heat would be good. I also threw in a little paprika. One substitution -- no one in my house likes mayo and I didn't feel like having the remains of the jar around, so subbed some greek yogurt instead (and my cream cheese was low-fat). Will definitely make again -- but it's way too indulgent to be a regular on the Sunday football snack rotation!

                  1. re: beetlebug

                    I made this for COTM and oddly enough, it wasn't as good as I remembered. I do know that part of that was my error and it was a big enough error that it made a difference.

                    The recipe says to slice 2 large onions and later on, it says that it should be about 3 cups. C was so excited that we were going to have this dip that he went out and bought all the ingredients plus the wavy chips. So, I just sliced the onions, without a thought in my head, and proceeded to carmelize them. Well, I had more than 3 cups so when I added the onions to the rest of the dip (cream cheese, sour cream and mayo), my onion to dip ratio was way off. It was more onion and not that much dip.

                    So, even though it wasn't as good as usual, it didn't stop us from polishing off the dip. C also bought enough sour cream, cc and mayo that we have enough for a second batch. Decadence, here we come.

                    1. re: beetlebug

                      *Realizing this is old thread, but..*

                      I made this about 5 times and I realized my onions are too stringy/long. So, I chop them. It seems basic, but chopping them up is better for chip/dip experience.
                      yes, you can definitly "cut fat" with using Low Fat Subs and it's still great.
                      Although, it is work to make, and a few ppl at the party thought it was the "out of the packet" variety, I love it dearly. Also great as a sandwich spread. LOL!

                      1. re: stellamystar

                        Nothing wrong with continuing a COTM thread! We count on it. This isn't a dip I have made but chopping does make sense. Thanks for sharing.

                        1. re: stellamystar

                          I had the same problem when I made it, I thought the onions were too long for effective dipping. I haven't made this in years but I'm inspired to now, will have to try chopping them this time.

                      2. Rosemary White Bean Soup - p83
                        This was really simple but the timing was way off for me.
                        The recipe is linked above so I won't describe all of the steps.
                        I used Navy Beans not Cannellini (shopping list said white beans, forgot to note what type). Soaked them overnight and then made the soup the next morning.
                        The recipe calls for cooking the beans for 30-40 mins but mine took more like 2 hours to get completely soft. Would my choice have beans really made that much difference?
                        I pureed half of it but left some whole for some texture
                        It was very creamy and had a subtle rosemary flavor - not stellar - would have been better with homemade stock (I used free range organic though).
                        It makes more than 6 servings unless you are going to eat a lot - I think I have about 8.
                        I find it interesting that she adds the salt at the end as it's supposed to make the skins tough yet cooks the beans in stock which is generally pretty salty. I'm pretty sure cooks illustrated didn't find any correlation between salt and tough skins (I think they even brine them - although they seem to brine everything).
                        Easy recipe (assuming you're at home it just sits there cooking) and with some added flavorings - maybe some hot sauce it will probably make a reappearance.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ctbrit

                          The amount of time it took to cook the beans might have more to do with the relative age of the beans rather than the type.

                        2. Szechuan Noodles pg 108

                          A fresh cup or so of this should always be in my refrigerator -- it seems to go with everything / on anything. You just get your food processor (steel blade) and start adding ingredients. It's a peanut sauce, basically, but this one came out right for me the 1st time, thank you Ina Garten.
                          In past recipes I needed to up the salt, up the sugar, too much peanut, not enough rice vinegar, too much...etc.
                          So this was great--and quick as a wink.
                          You need both sherry (dry) and sherry vinegar, both tahini and peanut butter, ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce. Thirteen ingredients in all for the sauce. I was unable to find "dark sesame oil"--used "sesame oil". Then just puree and use atop spaghetti with scallions and bell pepper. I sliced some celery and grated a little carrot too. I'd say room temperature or warm or even chilled for summer meals would be fine.
                          My SO loves it and I am delighted too.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: blue room

                            So timely to hear your report - I just made a batch of it for lunches this week, but the sauce tastes so good, I might make the noodles for dinner tonight.

                            1. re: blue room

                              Szechuan Noodles, p. 108

                              I ended up having this as a late lunch today. Agree with all the positives! I made two substitutions: Shaoxing rice wine for sherry, and rice vinegar for the sherry vinegar. A perfect balance of flavors for me as it was; the only ingredients I increased were the cayenne and chili oil since I like it spicier. A great room temperature dish (I think in one of her shows she brought it to the beach). I also tried a bite cold tonight and even though the texture had changed, it was still delicious. I made the full batch of sauce, and I'm glad I did since she says it keeps a week. This weekend I'll add coconut milk to the leftovers to make a dipping sauce for chicken satay.

                              Recipe link:

                              1. re: Rubee

                                This sounds really good and I like your substitutions.
                                It sounds like picky kids might like this too, I'll try it out on one this weekend.
                                So far it's Alton's wings and this noodle dish in my future. And it's only Wednesday...

                                1. re: Rubee

                                  The noodles are great with rotisserie chicken added, too. I really like that recipe.

                                  1. re: Rubee

                                    Glad to read your review Rubee, and Blue Room's too. This recipe is on my "to make" list so your additions are duly noted.