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*October 2010 COTM: BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK - Dinner and Vegetables

smtucker Oct 1, 2010 06:31 AM

Our cookbook for October 2010 is the BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK.

Please use this thread to discuss recipes from the chapters Dinner and Vegetables. 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.


= = = Dinner = = =

baked virginia ham pg 119

barbecued chicken pg 120

filet of beef bourguignon pg 123

indonesian ginger chicken pg 125

kitchen clambake pg 126

lemon capellini with caviar pg 129

perfect roast chicken pg 130

lobster potpie pg 132

salmon with fennel pg 134

swordfish with tomatoes and capers pg 136

turkey meatloaf pg 138

grilled tuna niçoise platter pg 140

= = = Vegetables = = =

roasted carrots pg 149

roasted brussels sprouts pg 150

caramelized butternut squash pg 151

-- roasted baby pumpkins --

roasted fennel with parmesan pg 154
*online version is 1/2 of the book version

homemade applesauce pg 155

potato-fennel gratin pg 156

parmesan smashed potatoes pg 158

fingerling potatoes pg 159
*book version uses 2 1/2 lbs potatoes and no thyme

roasted vegetable torte pg 160

-- spinach pie --

-- vegetable platter --

  1. Gio Oct 2, 2010 05:19 AM

    Caramelized Butternut Squash, Pg. 151

    This was absolutely delicious. What's not to love: brown sugar, butter, and fresh-from-the-farm butternut squash, cut into 1" cubes, seasoned with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, roasted for almost an hour at 400F till glistening with a luscious caramel sauce. The recipe is for 2 squashes about 4 -5 pounds total weight but I had one large squash which was perfect. This would be fab for Thanksgiving. I served it with Ina's Broccoli and Bow Ties from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style book.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Gio
      greeneggsnham Oct 2, 2010 01:48 PM

      that sounds delicious! I am hoping to make it to the market today to get some butternut squash to make some myself.

      1. re: Gio
        beetlebug Oct 11, 2010 05:45 AM

        Caramelized Butternut Squash, Pg. 151

        I made this as well (but forgot to report). Massachusetts must be having a bumper crop of butternut squashes. Mine was so big and heavy, the scale wouldn't compute. I did have some reservations about the recipe since I'm not a fan of adding sugar or honey to my sweet squashes (or sweet potatoes). So, I just added a little less brown sugar then called for.

        I also used one giant squash. But, I put the pieces on two cookie trays and rotated and stirred them throughout the hour cooking time. And, it was delicious. I usually roast squashes without butter and only a minimal bit of olive oil but the addition of the butter was fabulous. Next time, I may add a bit of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme or sage). I love those herbs with squash.

        Note: this makes a lot of squash, so be prepared.

        1. re: beetlebug
          Gio Oct 11, 2010 06:20 AM

          So happy you liked this BB. I know what you mean about the squashes in our corner of the knigdom. I still have 2 huge butternuts and an enormous acorn from last week's CSA. I'm definitely making this for Thanksgiving. .

          1. re: Gio
            beetlebug Oct 11, 2010 06:30 AM

            I have two more butternuts and a few acorns. And, the winter CSA hasn't started again. I foresee making this recipe again but maybe with the more manageable acorns. It's scary when the butternut is as long as your arm.

            1. re: beetlebug
              Gio Oct 11, 2010 06:56 AM

              I'm saving my acorn for Roden's meat filling from The New Book OMF. It's Tuesday's dinner...with any luck.

              I didn't have any trouble peeling the butternut. I sliced in half crosswise first and used my big chef's knife on the "neck" then cut the round part in half and used a hand peeler.. For Tday I might just get some of Tendercrop's already peeled squash though. Just to save some time.

        2. re: Gio
          blue room Oct 24, 2010 08:58 AM

          Did this squash last night. Usually I halve the squash and bake it, add any butter/salt/sweet after it's on the plate. Cubing it and roasting it this way definitely made enough difference to make it worthwhile. Also made cabbage her way http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...
          Again, enough different to be worth it.

          1. re: blue room
            Gio Oct 24, 2010 09:05 AM

            Oh good! Yes, that squash recipe is definitely a keeper here...in fact, I've already made it a second time. I think that a really good Grade B maple syrup would be a nice substitute. Doesn't have to be too sweet at all...

            I could have sworn I made the cabbage recipe but I guess I forgot to report on it.

            1. re: Gio
              blue room Oct 24, 2010 09:18 AM

              You did do the cabbage--under Barefoot Other Sources--it's from the Parties book. I read both of your reports before doing these vegetables yesterday. I lazily put both in one thread.

              1. re: blue room
                Gio Oct 24, 2010 09:28 AM

                So I'm not crazy after all. I forgot to mention that the second time I made the squash I included a bit of cayenne before roasting and it was delicious.

            2. re: blue room
              Susan627 Oct 25, 2010 11:30 AM

              Another thumbs up on the squash. If that was all I had for dinner last night, I would have been happy! I did cut back on the butter a little.

            3. re: Gio
              greeneggsnham Oct 25, 2010 07:42 AM

              Finally got around to making this last night. I certainly agree with the consensus that this is a winner. I usually roast my squash with just olive oil and salt. the butter and brown sugar add some extra richness (shocker, I know). I don't know if this will be my everyday recipe, but I think it would definitely help rehab squash that is not the sweetest and tastiest. I was sad however that despite the toasty deliciousness, my 3 year old still wouldn't eat it

              1. re: greeneggsnham
                blue room Oct 25, 2010 08:49 AM

                ha--neither would my 58 year old. They don't know what they're missin'.

            4. clamscasino Oct 2, 2010 10:49 AM

              Turkey Meatloaf pg 138

              This recipe calls for sauteing chopped onion until translucent and then adding some thyme, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, stock, and a wee bit of tomato paste. That is cooled, then added to the ground turkey, along with breadcrumbs and beaten egg. One shapes it into a rectangle on a baking sheet, smothers it with ketchup, and into the oven it goes.

              Although the recipe says it serves 8 to 10, it uses FIVE pounds of turkey. I quartered the recipe, as one package is 1.25 pounds, and that is plenty for our family of three, plus the requisite meatloaf sandwiches the next day.

              I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, except that I used water instead of the 3 tbsp of chicken stock. Also, I didn't (gasp!) have any ketchup. So, for the glaze I used some of my home-made chili sauce, which, if I do say so myself, was a brilliant substitution.

              I've become rather wary of over-mixing ground turkey, as I find it easily turns all too solid upon cooking. So, I kind of tossed and cut the mixture together with a fork. That worked really well and resulted in a nice crumbly texture. The only complaint, so to speak, was the amount of Worcestershire sauce. I felt the flavor of that was just a tad too predominant. But I definitely would make this again.

              5 Replies
              1. re: clamscasino
                roxlet Oct 4, 2010 07:15 PM

                I made the turkey meatloaf tonight, and I was pleased with how flavorful it was. I, too, made a much smaller amount (maybe 1.25lbs) and I put bacon on the top instead of ketchup. We enjoyed it very much.

                1. re: clamscasino
                  beetlebug Oct 29, 2010 05:06 AM

                  Re: quartering the recipe. Was the cooking time the same as for the full loaf? I'm planning on making half the recipe for tonight and was internally debating the cooking time (less mass and volume).

                  1. re: beetlebug
                    clamscasino Oct 29, 2010 05:54 AM

                    I did not cook this for the full time specified (1.5 hours). Can't remember exactly, but I think it was done after about 40 minutes.

                    1. re: clamscasino
                      beetlebug Oct 29, 2010 05:57 AM

                      Thanks. I'll probably shoot for an hour + since my meatloaf will be bigger.

                  2. re: clamscasino
                    beetlebug Nov 10, 2010 04:21 AM

                    Turkey Meatloaf pg 138

                    I made this a couple of weeks ago. It was ok, but that's because I'm not the biggest turkey eater. I keep trying though and I did love the turkey burgers from the green Gourmet cookbook.

                    This, I found a bit bland and I did various things to bring it to my taste. I made half of the prescribed recipe (and that half would have fed about 6 people. To start, I used 1.5 lbs ground white meat and 1 lb. ground dark meat turkey. In the saute, I added a banana pepper and soem cayenne. Instead of Worcestshire sauce (which for whatever reason I didn't have), I added spicy A1 steak sauce (no clue why I have this). For the topping, I added the ketchup and I gave many healthy squirts of sriacha sauce. Then I added a few strips of bacon to the top.

                    I found it kind of bland. I also overmixed it a bit because it was tougher then I liked. I should have added more sriacha bc the little bit that I tasted was really good. So, for subsequent servings, I put some Dunlop salted chiles to mix in with the meat.

                    I'm just more of a pork/beef/veal meatloaf person.

                  3. Gio Oct 4, 2010 05:27 AM

                    Indonesian Ginger Chicken, Pg 125

                    We liked this dish. Not sure how Indonesian it is but the combination of soy sauce, honey, lots of chopped garlic and grated fresh ginger is delicious. The recipe is for 2 chickens 3-ish pounds each. but I halved the recipe and used a 4 pounder. The chicken is split into quarters removing the backs. I left the backs on, and placed skin side down on a baking sheet. Combine the soy sauce/honey/garlic/ginger in a small pot and cook till the honey has melted. Pour over the chicken, wrap it tightly in foil and marinate overnight. The direction to "marinate overnight" always baffled me. Does it mean you're supposed to cook the stuff in the morning? (I think not) Shouldn't the direction be, "marinate till you're going to cook"? Or, marinate for so many hours. Anyway, I marinated the chicken for a few hours and then pre-heated the oven to 350F. Bake the chicken wrapped in the foil for 30 minutes then take off the foil, turn the chicken skin side up and bake for another 30 minutes - or till the skin "is a rich dark brown."

                    Nice flavor and, surprisingly, not too sweet thank heaven. Served her Sautéed Cabbage and seasoned (cilantro & lime juice) brown basmati rice as side dishes.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Gio
                      LulusMom Oct 4, 2010 06:00 AM

                      I make this dish once or twice a year, and always add hot sauce to the marinade (whatever looks fullest in the fridge - could be sriracha, could be tabasco) to temper the sweetness. It is sooo easy, and pretty tasty. Also like to scatter sliced scallions over it.

                      1. re: LulusMom
                        Gio Oct 4, 2010 06:07 AM

                        That's good to know LLM. Thanks. There's no salt or pepper in that recipe and I didn't add any. We didn't seem to miss it, though. The honey we used is from our CSA farm and is very mild. They have fruit orchards and I can't discern a particular flavor so the finished dish wasn't too sweet at all. The addition of some hot sauce or red pepper flakes would be great!

                        1. re: Gio
                          LulusMom Oct 4, 2010 08:20 AM

                          I kind of think the addition of hot sauce or rpf to anything would be great.

                          1. re: LulusMom
                            BigSal Oct 5, 2010 07:14 PM

                            We made the Indonesian Chicken tonight with chicken thighs and LulusMom's recommendation of adding hot sauce. It turned out well. The hot sauce was a nice addition, but I do love it hot. It was not cloyingly sweet even with all that honey. The scallions would be a great touch too.

                            1. re: BigSal
                              LulusMom Oct 6, 2010 02:45 AM

                              Oh, I'm so glad Sal!

                          2. re: Gio
                            Breadcrumbs Oct 17, 2010 03:40 AM

                            This dish is always a hit at our house. I've made it with skin on and sklnless chicken and, bone-in and boneless chicken and our preference is bone-in, skinless. Since the skin never really crisps up, this is simply a matter of cutting out a few calories in terms of our preference. The sauce is so tasty that you don't miss the skin at all. I too marinate this for about 24hrs. I usually mix up the sauce on the weekend then toss chicken pieces in one night during the week and cook it the following night. Last week I added 1 tbsp of chilli flakes to the marinade and we loved the heat, I'd definitely do this again. We served over basmati rice and I had some broccoli that I steamed and drizzled w a sesame oil mix that I make up. Delish!

                        2. re: Gio
                          Karen_Schaffer Oct 4, 2010 09:33 AM

                          Great to hear the reviews of this one, because it's on my list. Yeah, after doing Cradle of Flavor, I thought to myself, "Indonesian?! I think not." But if it's tasty, it hardly matters what she calls it.

                          Gio, I am so with you about that 'marinate overnight' thing. I don't actually worry about it, figuring anything between 8 and 24 hours of marinating will be fine, but it does make me chuckle a bit.
                          Though Cooks Illustrated did some brining tests (not quite the same as marinating, but similar), and found dramatic differences in the first hours (no surprise), then relatively little difference beyond a certain point, so I suppose that justifies the vagueness of the timing.

                          Actually, iirc, their marinating tests had pretty dismal results, resulting in mushy rather than tender meat, and little flavor penetration beyond the surface. If I were ambitious, I'd make this recipe with half of the chicken marinated 'overnight' and the other half just plopped straight onto the cooking sheet, and see if we could tell the difference.

                          1. re: Gio
                            valerie Oct 4, 2010 01:40 PM

                            I love Indonesian Ginger Chicken and I have made it many times, for weeknight meals and even when I have company for a casual meal. I marinate the chicken for about 24 hours, from some time in the evening to when I am ready to cook it for dinner the next day. I have never found the chicken to get mushy and it is always very flavorful. I have even made it with boneless chicken breasts -- thick ones. I adjust the amount of time that is cooks if I make it this way. When I do make it with boneless breasts, I stab them a few times with a fork so that when it marinates and cooks, the sauce really gets inside.

                            I love it with this Barefoot Contessa basmati rice...but honestly, I find the sauce so tasty that plain white rice works just as well.


                            1. re: Gio
                              mcel215 Oct 11, 2010 04:35 AM

                              Thanks for the review, Gio. I have been avoiding trying this dish, thinking it would be too sweet for my tastes too.

                              Oh, and I marinate for 24 hours sometimes, I figure it can only enhance the flavor. The exception being, if there is citrus in my marinade.

                              1. re: Gio
                                Goblin Oct 18, 2010 04:04 PM

                                Hi--I just made this for the first time for a dinner party this weekend, and it was a real hit and SO easy. I used about 5 # of cut-up chicken parts, backs removed and skin left on. I figure that Ina meant about 8 hours of marinating (wouldn't that be "overnight"?) so I started this dish in the morning to serve for dinner. Served it with braised carrots and oven-baked rice pilaf--and lots of bread to help soak up the sauce--and people almost licked the plates and ate everything up, even the drumsticks! My only warning: the copious amounts of garlic (1/4 cup minced=12 cloves) and grated ginger (1/2 cup) result in an intense sauce--not sweet, but definitely packing a punch.. One of my dinner guests reported some intestinal reverberations at 4 am (OK, it was DH). No one else did, though.

                              2. blue room Oct 5, 2010 11:53 AM

                                Barbecue Sauce (for the Barbecue Chicken) pg 121 (made sauce only, not chicken)

                                Well this is thick and good. I've been making the same BBQ sauce for years, meant for pork, so I thought I'd try this. Equal parts honey, tomato paste, Dijon, cider vinegar, hoisin sauce (first time I've used hoisin). Also some soy sauce, Worcestershire, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes. This is stirred into cooked-'til-soft onion and garlic, then simmered for 1/2 hour.
                                I know I know this is hardly cooking, but I am so pleased with the result! It's very thick, I know it will *stay on* those little chickthighs I'm planning to slather.
                                This couldn't help but be a crowd pleaser--which I think is what Ina Garten is known for, and good at. Not so exciting as newer stuff I suppose, I see some boredom with her books here from more experienced cooks.
                                My new purchases for this included Dijon mustard -- I usually have YELLOW haha or a brand I like with seeds in it-- the Dijon is OK, it is certainly good in this. As I said, hoison is new to me-- not knowing brands I bought the "365" Whole Foods organic house brand. Also 365 organic soy sauce. Agonized over tomato paste -- used the ancient can of Hunt's in back of cupboard.
                                So, I followed the recipe exactly, but cannot vouch for quality of ingredients, or know if they would make an appreciable diff.
                                I'll definitely keep this recipe, would recommend it, would serve it to anyone. Delicious, and I read on the 'net that it freezes just fine for months. Not much to see here, but I took a picture anyway.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: blue room
                                  Rubee Oct 5, 2010 07:22 PM

                                  Thanks for the report, I have this bookmarked as well.

                                  I've also noticed a bit of snobbery with this book, as if a recipe has to be complicated or exotic to be worth making. I'm a pretty experienced cook, but my philosophy is all about the end product. I love food too much to limit myself. If it's delicious, then it's worth it. It's a bonus if it's easy. Simple enough!

                                  1. re: Rubee
                                    blue room Oct 6, 2010 06:41 AM

                                    I wouldn't say snobbery, Rubee, just an understandable lack of enthusiasm for very familiar territory?
                                    Your end-product philosophy I agree with -- Halloween trick-or-treating wouldn't be the thrill it once was, but I still love candy.

                                    1. re: blue room
                                      The Dairy Queen Oct 6, 2010 12:58 PM

                                      Ironically, I thought one of the reasons Barefoot Contessa was so appealing during the nominations and voting is that various posters indicated their families had requested a timeout from exotic cooking. And now that we're cooking from it, we're finding it too pedestrian, or, too familiar. Funny!

                                      My issues with Ina Garten (aside from lack of time in Oct thus far) are more centered around the high fat content. But, I've not been shy about cutting back the fat in prior COTMs, so, I imagine I won't be shy this month, either. I hope the results are still great, though!

                                      I personally can always use a refresher on the basics and since the holidays are around the corner, I would be happy to find a couple of solid, non-exotic dishes to serve to my less adventurous family and friends, so, this is going to work out fine for me, I think. Once I finally get in the kitchen.(This weekend, I hope.)


                                2. BigSal Oct 5, 2010 07:22 PM

                                  Roasted Brussels Sprouts p. 150

                                  So simple one doesn't really need a recipe. Brussel Sprouts are tossed with olive oil (I used a less than suggested), seasoned with salt and pepper, then roasted at 400 for about 35 minutes. We've made this before and it is the only way my brussels sprouts averse hubby enjoys them. They are great as a simple side dish or even just a snack.

                                  17 Replies
                                  1. re: BigSal
                                    LulusMom Oct 6, 2010 02:46 AM

                                    Only way my husband likes them too. And last night I dared to roast broccoli and guess what? He said "If this is how broccoli can taste, bring it on!"

                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                      BigSal Oct 6, 2010 04:18 AM

                                      I love the enthusiasm of your husband! I'll have to try roasted broccoli next.

                                      1. re: BigSal
                                        LulusMom Oct 6, 2010 05:28 AM

                                        I think the wine might have had something to do with the enthusiasm, but it *was* darned good broccoli. Def. give it a try. We let it get sort of on the crispy side.

                                      2. re: LulusMom
                                        beetlebug Oct 6, 2010 05:49 AM

                                        I love roasted broccoli. My problem is that I tend to nibble (a lot) on it as I finish the rest of dinner prep. Then C looks over and wonders why the broccoli head was so small.

                                        This above is also how I roast my brussel sprouts as well. Another easy thing to nibble on. Sometimes I dribble a bit of balsamic for the last five minutes of roasting.

                                        1. re: beetlebug
                                          Gio Oct 6, 2010 06:13 AM

                                          Yes... along with broccoli and Brussell sprouts, roasted cauliflower is delicious. In fact, that very same method can be used for zucchini and cubed eggplant also.

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            LulusMom Oct 6, 2010 07:13 AM

                                            I do the zucchini fairly often, and love cauliflower that way (I like to add a bit of cumin). Baby bok choy is pretty good roasted too. And of course asparagus. And chopped up sweet potatoes (to that I like adding onions and herbes de provence).

                                            1. re: Gio
                                              JoanN Oct 6, 2010 01:18 PM

                                              Yes, yes, yes. All of the above. And I'm with LulusMom. I roast my vegetables until they're crispy at the edges. Some would call that overdone. That's okay by me. And it doesn't hurt, by the way, to grate a little Parmesan over them and let that get melty and a bit crispy, too.

                                            2. re: beetlebug
                                              ctbrit Oct 7, 2010 04:06 AM

                                              Beetlebug - I have the same problem with roasted Cauliflower - I have to do a whole large head for the two of us 'cos a lot of it doesn't make it to the table!

                                          2. re: BigSal
                                            greedygirl Oct 11, 2010 03:42 AM

                                            I roasted brussel sprouts for the first time yesterday as part of a traditional roast dinner. What a revelation! I like brussels anyway, but these were great. Mr GG said he prefers them lightly boiled/steamed though, the weirdo.

                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                              BigSal Oct 11, 2010 04:22 AM

                                              So glad you liked them! Unlike Mr. GG, my Mr. will not eat brussels steamed.

                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                Gio Oct 11, 2010 05:11 AM

                                                Hah... then we're weirdos too cuz we like them steamed with no seasoning, just letting the earthy flavor shine through. Alternatively we do roast Brussell sprouts as well.

                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                  Berheenia Oct 11, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                  I made these too and agree with Mr. G. Too crunchy

                                                  1. re: Berheenia
                                                    greedygirl Oct 11, 2010 08:26 AM

                                                    He said they were too soft!

                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                      LulusMom Oct 12, 2010 06:40 AM

                                                      He be crazeeee. I like them cooked until they're really crunchy on the outside bits. LulusDad wouldn't touch a steamed b. sprout.

                                                2. re: BigSal
                                                  The Dairy Queen Oct 13, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                  roasted brussels sprouts pg 150 We tried these, too. And they are delicious. Still not delicious enough for my husband to like them, though. We had teeny tiny sprouts and had to shorten the cooking time, so, it's possible I didn't cook them for the appropriate length of time. Still, I enjoyed them.

                                                  Also, I liked that she gives measurements for the oil, S&P. So many cookbook authors do not, esp for S&P, so, I appreciate that she did.

                                                  Also, I have been making good use of this index of all of Ina's cookbooks. It's easy to scan the recipes, choose one that suits you, then go google it or look it up in the appropriate book. http://www.barefootcontessa.com/index... I'm sure she has even more recipes on Food Network than are listed here, but I've been having good luck with the index as it's a bit less hit and miss for me.


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    dkennedy Oct 24, 2010 06:06 PM

                                                    I love these brussels sprouts, and yes, the longer you cook them the better they taste.

                                                  2. re: BigSal
                                                    Gio Nov 25, 2012 06:50 AM

                                                    Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pg. 150

                                                    Just to have yet another "green" side dish at Thanksgiving I made these Brussels sprouts but added cooked chopped chestnuts into the mix a few minutes before the sprouts were finished cooking. The chestnuts gave a nicely mild sweet flavor to the savory sprouts.

                                                  3. Rubee Oct 6, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                    Baked Virginia Ham, p.119

                                                    I've been making this glaze for years to use on spiral-cut hams for the holidays or entertaining. I think in one of my first posts back in 2000, I recommended this recipe on my local board (wow! can't believe I'm a 10-year veteran of Chowhound!?). I'm sure I'll be making it in the next couple of months so I'll add a pic in then. It also freezes well. I make the whole batch and use half for one spiral ham half, and freeze the rest. Super easy too - in a food processor blend garlic, mango chutney, Dijon, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice. As most of her recipes, the balance of flavors is perfect and I don't change a thing. I've tried other glazes, but this is the one I go back too. People always ask for the recipe.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Rubee
                                                      Rubee Jan 22, 2011 10:06 PM

                                                      Baked Virginia Ham, p.119

                                                      Made it this week. Easy dinner - all I had to do was thaw a half portion of the recipe, poured it over a smoked ham half, and baked at 350 for half an hour.

                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                        blue room Jan 23, 2011 04:40 AM

                                                        Rubee, do you use store bought chutney? (The only brand I know is Major Grey.)

                                                        1. re: blue room
                                                          mcel215 Jan 23, 2011 04:41 PM

                                                          Trader Joe's has a Mango-Ginger chutney and it's excellent.

                                                    2. Berheenia Oct 6, 2010 11:12 AM

                                                      I made the "perfect roast chicken" from the cookbook and not to nit pick but the recipe posted here has some additional veg- carrot and fennel. Anyway we were unhappy with the high cooking temp and rather than smoke up the entire kitchen took out the bird after an hour. Ours was a Bell and Evans weighing 4 lbs so it was cooked enough but the garlic was still firm and didn't really bloom. I prefer the Silver Palate Bobbie's Chicken which is similar but has a lower cooking temp and produces a juicier bird. The benefit is that I am sitting in a warm kitchen as I need to use the self clean feature if I want to use my oven again without having all the windows open, very cozy on a cold rainy day in Boston!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Berheenia
                                                        The Dairy Queen Oct 6, 2010 01:01 PM

                                                        Nit pick away, Berheenia, these kinds of details are important to us COTM hounds! Hmmmm...I was kind of eyeing that perfect roast chicken recipe (we roast a chicken about once a week at my house) but I am not loving the idea of a smokey kitchen. (It causes my cat to howl, for one, and the people don't like it either.) Thanks for taking one for the team!


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          greedygirl Oct 7, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                          I now have a mental picture of your house, complete with howling cat!

                                                      2. j
                                                        JaneEYB Oct 8, 2010 07:23 PM

                                                        Turkey meat loaf p.138

                                                        I can see we will have a lot of duplication of recipes this month since there are so few recipes in the book. This has 86 recipes, whereas last month we had a choice of 741 and the month before there were 814. Still one advantage is that when we come to cook the recipe there is lots of helpful advice. So I reduced the amount of Worcestershire sauce following clamscasino's note and topped it with bacon rather than ketchup (from roxlet's post) and I think it was better for both adjustments, and was definitely enjoyed more by the kids. So thank you for those tips. I made a half quantity and it fed 4 plus at least as much again in the fridge. How on earth does the full quantity serve 8-10?

                                                        Anyway, this was a success and will join my every-night dinner rotation. I particularly like that it goes into the oven 90 minutes before dinner so only the veg needs to be done at the end.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: JaneEYB
                                                          beetlebug Oct 29, 2010 05:08 AM

                                                          Just saw the answer to my above question on cooking time.

                                                          re: duplication of recipes. To me, that's one of the main benefits of COTM. The adjustments we make and group comparison. I'm going to have to go get some bacon now.

                                                        2. blue room Oct 8, 2010 09:32 PM

                                                          Potato-Fennel Gratin pg. 156

                                                          Two cups of cream and even more cheese, oh yeah. And russets (at least the potatoes were cheap) and onion, and fennel. The fennel loses its "licorice" when cooked with the onion--I shouldn't have worried :) Very very rich, it seemed like way too much Gruyere and cream for just 2 lbs. of potatoes, but after baking (see golden pic!) it was exactly right. It tastes beautiful. I made it after dinner, just for COTM, so I'll decide tomorrow what to have with it. (Bare lettuce and ice water!) It would be a hit to bring to a potluck.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: blue room
                                                            Gio Oct 9, 2010 06:36 AM

                                                            That looks Gorgeous, blue room! That's on my To Make list. Did you use 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream? Love the plate too...

                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                              blue room Oct 9, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                              Thank you, Gio. I did use cream, but this is so lush I know half & half would be just fine. (Stuck to the book for COTM)

                                                              Plate-- http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/c...

                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                Rubee Oct 9, 2010 03:49 PM

                                                                That looks so good! We're having a bunch of family staying in a couple of weeks so I figured I'd do a couple of meals from the book since her recipes are such crowd pleasers. One will be the Roast Chicken with Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli with Garlic, and now the other is Baked Ham with Spinach Pie and that gratin - it sounds delicious!

                                                            2. re: blue room
                                                              mcel215 Oct 11, 2010 04:41 AM

                                                              I have made this dish before and loved it, but it's so darn expensive. Well except for the potatoes, lol!

                                                            3. BigSal Oct 9, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                              Lentil Vegetable Soup p 80

                                                              This was just ok for me. Based on @clamscasino’s post on Lentil Sausage Soup from Barefoot in Paris, the ingredients appear to be similar minus the sausage.
                                                              Cover lentils in boiling water for 15 minutes (this was new to me, I typically do not soak lentils). Meanwhile, sauté chopped onions, leeks and garlic in olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Add chopped diced carrots and celery and sauté 10 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomato paste and lentils. Simmer 1 hour to cook through. The timing worked out perfect for me. The lentils were cooked through, but not mushy. Check seasonings and add red wine vinegar. I did not drizzle with olive oil and parmesan. I was underwhelmed by this one, but in Ina’s defense perhaps a homemade stock would have added the extra oomph to the dish. The carrots added nice texture, but the celery ended up being too soggy for me. This was my lunch over the last few days and although the taste did improve slightly over time, probably not a dish I will repeat soon.

                                                              11 Replies
                                                              1. re: BigSal
                                                                LulusMom Oct 12, 2010 06:41 AM

                                                                Good to know - I had this on my list.

                                                                1. re: BigSal
                                                                  clamscasino Oct 12, 2010 07:29 AM

                                                                  I compared the two recipes and agree that they are almost exactly the same. In addition to the sausage in the Barefoot in Paris recipe, Ina calls for adding cumin.

                                                                  Perhaps it is just the nature of lentil soup to seem pedestrian? It needs a little "umami" to my way of thinking. My favorite lentil soup recipe is the one from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. She adds some tamari to hers, which would greatly improve Ina's recipe. I kind of sensed that, but it being COTM, I went with the recipe as written.

                                                                  1. re: clamscasino
                                                                    LulusMom Oct 12, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                    I actually really love lentil soup most of the time - very homey. But I do see your point about the lack of umami.

                                                                    1. re: clamscasino
                                                                      BigSal Oct 13, 2010 04:28 AM

                                                                      Like LulusMom, I do enjoy lentil soup, and like you, I have a recipe that I prefer much more. I'll have to look into Katzen's recipe. I have the book, but have never cooked from it. Interesting thought about the umami. The recipe does have tomato paste (adding more might help), but I did not add the parmesan as suggested to top the soup. It could have been the difference between ok and good.

                                                                      LulusMom- if you make it, please let us know what you think.

                                                                      1. re: BigSal
                                                                        LulusMom Oct 13, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                        I probably won't, based on your review. I have a lentil soup recipe that uses dried apricots (you'd never guess) and red lentils, and it is really wonderful. I'm always looking for something as good, but haven't found it yet.

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                                          BigSal Oct 13, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                                          I'd love the recipe if you are able to share it.

                                                                          @jenkalb - thanks for mentioning Marcella's lentil soup. Will have to try it.

                                                                          1. re: BigSal
                                                                            LulusMom Oct 14, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                                            Sure Sal! I got it from Best American Recipes 200, but apparently it originally comes from allrecipes.com. Here goes:

                                                                            Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and saute a large chopped onion, 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots, and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Do not let brown. Add 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils (rinsed and picked over) and 5 cups chicken or veg. broth, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 plum tomatoes (peeled seeded or chopped - I usually just use a can of diced toms with juices), 1/2 tsp. cumin (I often add a bit more, but I really love cumin) and 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, S&P to taste and simmer for 10 more minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and let stand off heat for a few minutes. Blend (this is where a stick blender comes in really handy). Reheat, check seasonings, serve! Ta-da!

                                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                                              BigSal Oct 14, 2010 05:14 PM

                                                                              Thanks for sharing!

                                                                              1. re: BigSal
                                                                                LulusMom Oct 15, 2010 04:02 AM

                                                                                Happy to do so. I hope you enjoy it.

                                                                        2. re: BigSal
                                                                          jen kalb Oct 13, 2010 05:50 AM

                                                                          the lentil soup in Marcella Hazan's classic italian cooking is wonderful, starting with the base of sauteed onion, carrots pancetta, etc, adding some tomatoes and broth. I think it has parmesan at the end. It is hardly pedestrian.

                                                                          1. re: jen kalb
                                                                            beetlebug Oct 21, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                                            I made this, loved it, and reported it on the Marcella COTM thread. thanks for the heads up.

                                                                    2. k
                                                                      Karen_Schaffer Oct 14, 2010 10:12 PM

                                                                      Satay Dip (from Grilled Lemon Chicken recipe), p. 49

                                                                      Surprisingly tasty, although rather sweet. Onion, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper are cooked in a small amount of olive oil and dark sesame oil. Then a mixture of vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, sherry, and lime juice is whisked in. That's it.

                                                                      I used an Arbol chile instead of 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, and even so, DH added more hot sauce to his portion. Without the extra hot sauce, it just had a mild spice to it. I used palm vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and Shaoxiang wine instead of sherry (because they're still sitting on my shelf!). I used lemon instead on lime juice, because that's what I had. I'd use less sugar next time, maybe even leave it out at first and just add it tablespoon by tablespoon.

                                                                      I served it with grilled and steamed vegetables for a sort of gado-gado style meal, nice for a warm evening. I've put the extra into the freezer for future use, so I'll see how it survives the freezing process.

                                                                      1. Breadcrumbs Oct 17, 2010 03:49 AM

                                                                        Swordfish with Tomatoes and Capers - p. 136

                                                                        I made the sauce for this dish last weekend then just had to re-heat it and grill the swordfish for a super-quick weeknight meal. I did the fish in my panini press so the cooking time was halved. "How great is that?" as Ina would say!!

                                                                        The sauce was really delicious. I used the food processor to chop the veggies to speed up the process, especially since fennel is so hard...much easier in the fp. I really liked the impact that the inclusion of one tbsp of butter made to the sauce. I tasted it just prior to the addition and though it was a small amount, the butter really seemed to round out the flavours and kill any acidity from the tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes, next time I make this dish, I'm going to use fire-roasted canned tomatoes as I think that would go really well w the grilled fish also.

                                                                        As for the fish, the only change I made was that I used a basil flavoured olive oil to baste prior to grilling.

                                                                        This was quick, tasty and definitely a keeper.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                          beetlebug Oct 21, 2010 02:00 PM

                                                                          Swordfish with Tomatoes and Capers - p. 136

                                                                          Loved this. Not much to add other than I added a red jalepeno to the sauce. I didn't taste it so I could have added another one easily.

                                                                          And for cooking the swordfish, I used Rick Moonen's, Fish Without a Doubt, method. Preheat the pan in the broiler and then add the fish (dotted with a bit of butter) and broil for 5.5 minutes.

                                                                          Perfectly delicious.

                                                                        2. Breadcrumbs Oct 17, 2010 03:58 AM

                                                                          Roasted Carrots - p. 149

                                                                          Last weekend our farm stand had some amazing mixed-colour carrots that just screamed out "roast me, I'll look beautiful on your plate"!!

                                                                          Though I've roasted carrots in the past, I've never added dill to them. Seeing this in Ina's recipe, I thought these carrots would be the perfect partner for my roasted salmon (we eat roasted or grilled salmon at least once a week for health benefits so I'm always looking for ways to make the dish a little more interesting).

                                                                          I basted the salmon pieces w lemon oil before adding them to the tray of carrots for their final 10 minutes of roasting. I then sprinkled the fresh dill over the lot and what a delicious meal it was.

                                                                          I"m going to pick up more carrots today as this is a nice, simple and tasty veggie side dish for during the week.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                            beetlebug Oct 21, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                            Roasted Carrots - p. 149

                                                                            I've made this twice and it's good. It's not anything that I don't do out of the ordinary though, but maybe roasting carrots was groundbreaking when the book came out?

                                                                            Anyway, the one thing I did like was her recommendation of slicing the carrots on a thick diagonal. I like that shape. Usually I do rounds or sticks.

                                                                            Lastly, I usually roast the carrots with sage and/or thyme. This recipe has you adding parsley or dill post roast. Just as good as roasting it with the other herbs.

                                                                          2. amyzan Oct 21, 2010 11:00 PM

                                                                            I made the caramelized butternut and the roasted brussels sprouts earlier this month. We liked them both, predictably, though I will say i like brussels sprouts better with brown butter and hazelnuts. We used less sugar on the butternut, 'cause ours was nice and orange, didn't need as much as the recipe states.

                                                                            1. Rubee Oct 29, 2010 01:25 AM

                                                                              Perfect Roast Chicken, p. 130

                                                                              This really was a perfect roast chicken and the gravy had great flavor with the roasted onions. I made a 5-1/2 lb chicken stuffed with a whole head of garlic, fresh thyme, and a lemon, and then brushed with butter. It roasts with sliced onions (I added some chicken stock to the pan so they wouldn't burn) at 425. E and his sister, who is visiting from Texas, commented more than once how juicy it was, and the high heat made for crispy skin. I had no problem with smoking from roasting at 425.

                                                                              Recipe link (the one on Food Network is different than the book):

                                                                              1. Rubee Nov 5, 2010 12:08 AM

                                                                                Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, p. 158

                                                                                I should have added the liquid a little at a time to the correct consistency. Instead, I added it all at once and it was too soupy. The flavor was very good though. They're made with red potatoes, half and half, butter, sour cream, and parmesan cheese. I served it as a side dish to a roast chicken dinner.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                                  The Dairy Queen Nov 5, 2010 05:19 AM

                                                                                  Funny, I tried this, too, but I don't think I ever posted about it, which I completely forgot about until I read your post. I used low-fat sour cream. It was still nice.


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                    valerie Nov 5, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                                    I love these mashed potatoes. And I use low fat sour cream too, which always makes me laugh...I mean, half & half, parmesan, butter and sour cream, so will the low-fat sour cream really save me any calories???

                                                                                    But, like many of Ina's recipes, they are good and not for the weight watcher!

                                                                                    1. re: valerie
                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Nov 5, 2010 10:38 AM

                                                                                      Now that you mention it, I think I only used half the butter.


                                                                                2. b
                                                                                  bamagirl30 Nov 25, 2012 07:05 AM

                                                                                  The turkey meatloaf is my absolute go to. I typically 3rd the recipe as it is just for the 2 of us (leftovers are great) and I use more onion and a little extra worces in the cooking step. Also, I prepare my own topping before baking (always have it's a mix of yellow mustard, ketchup and brown sugar so it's really tangy). I love that the meat stays really moist and tender, plus it is fairly healthy.

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