Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 1, 2010 06:31 AM

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

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

          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
          Again, enough different to be worth it.

          1. re: blue room

            Oh good! Yes, that squash recipe is definitely a keeper 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

              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

                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

              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

              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

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

            4. 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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                  2. re: clamscasino

                    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. 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

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            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.

                          2. re: Gio

                            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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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. 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

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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. 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

                                    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

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

                                      1. re: BigSal

                                        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

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

                                              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

                                            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

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

                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                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

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

                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                      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

                                                  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. 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

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

                                                  2. re: BigSal

                                                    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.