Archive for the ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Category

cheddar corn chowderNothing warms you up like a good bowl of soup… or in this case chowder.  Even though the weather is being a bit wacky here on Long Island, (meaning it was freezing 2 days a go and now its going up to 70) this chowder was a perfect fit. Seasoned perfectly, creamy without being too heavy, and yummy sweet corn and chunks of potato… and of course bacon because bacon (like cheese) makes everything better!  Was it completely carbohydrate laden? Yes… but it was worth every spoonful!  FYI: It makes a TON of soup… so if your aren’t planning on eating it all or freezing it maybe half the recipe.

Also, let me know what you think after you make it, but wouldn’t this be good with chunks of shrimp or lobster???

Many thanks to Jill of My Next Life for choosing this as one of October’s recipes.  Check us out at Barefoot Bloggers… see what we’re cooking!

Cheddar Corn Chowder

Source: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Serves: 10-12


  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onion (4 large onion)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups medium diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
  • 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds) * I used frozen Birds Eye sweet corn
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

How to pull it all together:

  • In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, @ 5 minutes.
  • Remove bacon with slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook 10 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  • If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step).
  • Add the corn to the soup, then add the half and half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.


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Beatty's Chocolate CakeCoffee or no Coffee?…. That is the question. 

Let me say that this cake was awesome. Moist, chocolatey, firm enough to hold the icing, and just really, really, yummy!

The only thing I would probably change about it was the icing.  It wasn’t sweet enough for me… it’s not that I’m opposed to the coffee flavoring in the chocolate icing, it just needed more sugar to please my palate. However, if you’re not into super sweet icing than you should have no complaints about this.

Try it… it’s worth the extra bit of effort rather than opening the box of Betty Crocker…. (although that Betty makes some pretty good cakes too! ) Enjoy!

 Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

From Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten

Serves 8


  Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows  

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.  (I used the disposable ones, as I don’t have them for some reason! They worked out great… and I got to throw them out and not wash them!)
    • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
    •  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
    •  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
    • With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
    •  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
    • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
    •  1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    •  1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    • Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    • Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.
    • Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
    • Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.  ( I didn’t have coffee powder, so I used 2 tsp of hot coffee instead. Maybe that is why it was to coffee flavored for me? I don’t know…)

    Many thanks to Mary of Passionate Perseverance for choosing this recipe! Please check us out at Barefoot Bloggers to see what we’re cooking!

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    daquiri 2Note to self:  Never let darling hubby go to the store by himself to buy mango… Good, got that down now.  Too bad it was too late for my poor daiquiris!!

    I had decided to make these as a little drinky poo for when we had some company over last weekend.  When we went grocery shopping the store didn’t have any mango!  What is that about?!?! So the next day, (a few hours before guests are expected) hubby runs to another store to get mango and a few other bits.  The mango was hard as a rock… completely unripe!  That didn’t stop me though!  I had an assignment to complete!  So, since the mango was not very juicy the drink came out very banana flavored as the banana was super ripe… and the lime… slurp! Tart and yummy!  All in all they were good and I have 2 more mangoes ripening to try again this weekend!  Also, a very special thank you to Veronica of Supermarket Serenade for choosing this recipe for the August selection.  If you haven’t checked out Barefoot Bloggers please do!

    Here is the recipe:

    Mango Banana Daiquiris

    Source: Back to Basics by Ina Garten

    Serves 4 (although mine made @ 6 as I used these glasses above)

    • 2 cups chopped ripe mango (1 to 2 mango, peeled and seeded)
    • 1 ripe banana, chopped
    • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
    • 1/4 cup sugar syrup*
    • 1 1/4 cups dark rum, such as Mount Gay (I didn’t have dark rum so I used Bacardi Puerto Rican Rum)
    • Mango slices, for serving
    • Place the mango, banana,  lime juice, sugar syrup, and rum in a blender and process until smooth.  Add 2 cups of ice and process again until smooth and thick.  Serve ice-cold in highball glasses with the mango slices. ( I embellished glass with papaya…. because it was ripe!)

    *To make simple syrup, heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Chill.

    daquiri 1


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    close up bruschetaKACHOW!!  That is what can be said about this…. take a look at the big tray I made… between 6 people it was gone… very quickly!

    So easy to make….and not a bank account killer either… really very reasonable! Which is good because this recipe was chosen as the first Barefoot on a Budget Challenge.  I made a ton of it and although I didn’t save the receipts (I’m bad I know!) it fed a lot of people for not a lot of $$.  This was the appetizer we did for our Memorial Day BBQ. It was so good… try it!

    pepper bruscheta


    Bruschetta with Sauteed Sweet Peppers and Creamy Gorgonzola

    Source: Ina Garten

    Serves: Makes 18 rounds


    • Good olive oil
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
    • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Baguette
    • 3 ounces creamy Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, at room temperature

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook until soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Stir in the capers and basil, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside. (I added some additional Italian Seasoning as I had a bit left that I wanted to get rid of)
    • Slice the baguette crosswise into 18 thin round slices. Brush the bread rounds lightly with olive oil on 1 side. Arrange them in rows, oil side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    • Top each toast round with a teaspoonful of the pepper mixture. Place 2 small pieces of Gorgonzola on top.
    • Return the toast to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes and warm through. Serve immediately.

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    100_1921Sigh…. BIG SIGH….. wow… I am so sad to say that this one was a big bummer! No one liked it at all really. Not sure why… I followed directions to the “T”…. maybe we’re just not fans of sun-dried tomato? I don’t know… it wasn’t so bad you would spit it out… but I certainly wouldn’t go back for seconds…. I’ll have to check and see what the other Barefooters said about this one….


    Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

    Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

    Serves: 6-8


    • 1/2 lb fusilli pasta
    • kosher salt
    • olive oil
    • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced
    • 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
    • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium diced
    • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

    For the dressing:

    • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, diced
    • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
    • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

    How to pull it all together:

    • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water with a splash of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
    • Boil for 12 minutes, or according to directions on the package
    • Drain well and allow to cool
    • Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun dried tomatoes.
    • For the dressing, combine sun dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
    • Pour the dressing over the pasta , sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil and toss well

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    100_1187I confess…. I’ve made these before.  I also confess… they are “outrageous”.  I also confess… they disappeared within a day.

    So I am very far behind in my blog posts.  I do apologize.  I am not managing my time wisely!  I made these brownies for a BBQ we had Memorial Day weekend.  I won’t go into big specifics on how delish these were…. more like fudge then a brownie… but this picture should say it all.  Sorry Kristen, but this is a funny picture! Also, notice the hand reaching in from the other side of the table….100_1183

    Here is the recipe:

    Outrageous Brownies 

    Source: Barefoot Contessa-Ina Garten

    Serves: Makes @ 20 large brownies


    • 1 pound unsalted butter
    • 1 pound plus 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
    • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    • 6 extra-large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder ( I only used a smidge, or I sometime leave it out. Gets us too wired!)
    • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 ¼ cups flour, divided
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 cups diced walnut pieces  ( I left these out)

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
    • Melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
    • Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
    • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

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    goats-cheese-tartHave you ever done something and been really, truely impressed with yourself?  That is how these tarts will make you feel!  They are so unbelievably easy to make, yet look like they were so involved that Julia Child would have struggled!
    Anyway, this was a March selection for Barefoot Bloggers, chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry

    This is part of the line up I made for our last weekend in the U.K.  We had our friends down for the weekend from London and this was our starter.  Good thing they arrived early as we had  a rich, heavy menu and it was important to spread the food out so as not to pop by dinnertime!  Although the finished product looks so impressive and difficult to make, it couldn’t have been easier.  Give a woop woop for frozen puff pastry! WOOP WOOP!  Yup… that is the secret.  Frozen puff pastry… roll it out… put a bowl on it to make the circle…. run a butter knife lightly to make the border… prick it with a fork.. fill it with stuff… bake it… voila! Done!  Pat yourself on the back!

    Here is the recipe:

    Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts

    Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

    Serves: 4 individual tarts


    • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
    • Good olive oil
    • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
    • 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
    • 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet) ( I used fresh goat cheese from the Broadstone Farmer’s Market and seasoned myself)
    • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices ( I used a few grape tomatoes on each as the big tomatoes were nasty looking in the store)
    • 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

    How to pull it all together:

    • Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
    • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    • Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
    • Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
    • Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
    • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.raw-pastryuncooked-tartonion-filling




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