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  • Barefoot Contessa Parties!
  • Written by Ina Garten
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780609606445
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Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun

Written by Ina GartenAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Ina Garten

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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

After more than twenty years of running Barefoot Contessa, the acclaimed specialty food store, Ina Garten published her first collection of recipes. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was an overnight sensation, but it's the kind of success that can only be grounded in years of experience. In it, Ina shared her ideas for familiar food but with outstanding flavor and -- most important of all -- recipes that really work.

Now, with Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ina shares secrets she has gleaned from her years not only as a caterer but as a dedicated party giver. The keyword here is fun. Ina's parties are easy to prepare and fun for everyone, including the host. Forget those boring Saturday-night dinners that just won't end. With Ina's advice, you're certain to have all your friends saying, "Wasn't that fun!"

Ina has packed Barefoot Contessa Parties! with plans for pulling off parties like a pro, stories about her own parties, and tips on assembling food (rather than cooking everything) and organizing like a caterer. In the spring you can invite your friends to a party where they all make their own pizzas. Come summer, it's into the garden for a lunch with grilled lamb and pita sandwiches that guests assemble themselves. In the autumn, when it's not Thanksgiving, Ina roasts a fresh turkey, which her friends enjoy with popovers and a creamy spinach gratin. And on a snowy winter's day, everyone is invited for a lunch buffet with seafood chowder and butternut squash and apple soup.

Ever since Ina published her first book, people write, e-mail, and stop her on the street to say how much they love the food. She's reached new heights here with recipes like sour cream coffee cake--the ultimate breakfast treat. Salads? The red lettuce, balsamic onions, and blue cheese; Chinese chicken salad; and panzanella may be the best you've ever tasted. Filet of beef is easy to make for a fancy dinner with oh-so-good gorgonzola sauce, or sliced into sandwiches and served with lobster rolls for a Superbowl party. And fans of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook will be delighted to find the recipe for the Lemon Cake they drooled over but only saw pictured, right here in this book.

With so many great ideas and recipes in these pages for you to use, your friends will start to wonder why your parties are always so much fun.

Excerpt

Recipes from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Chicken Chili
Serves 12

We had been making traditional chili at Barefoot Contessa for almost 20 years. I decided to update it with chicken to make it lighter, and it's even more popular than our regular chili.

8 cups chopped yellow onions (6 onions)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
4 28-ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper

For Serving
Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream

Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 36 to 40 cookies

This is my favorite variation of the old Barefoot Contessa chocolate chunk cookie recipe. It has the combination of flavors in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Yum!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup good smooth peanut butter
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound good semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, and mix. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the batter, mixing only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using either a 1-3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands, flatten the dough lightly, then press the tines of a wet fork in both directions. Bake for exactly 17 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Hot Mulled Cider
Serves 12

Nothing tastes as good on a cold winter day as hot spiced cider. It's easy to make and really warms your insides after an afternoon of winter sports. And nothing makes a house smell as wonderful. For a party, I leave it on the stove over very low heat and everyone helps themselves.

16 cups apple cider or pure apple juice
4 2-inch cinnamon sticks
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
8 whole cloves
8 star anise

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and serve.

*Commercially prepared mulling spices, which combine many of these ingredients, can be added to the apple cider to make preparation even easier.
Ina Garten

About Ina Garten

Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Photo © Quentin Bacon

In 1978, Ina Garten left her job as a budget analyst in the White House to pursue her dream of operating a specialty food store in the Hamptons. She is a frequent contributor to major national magazines and writes a recurring column in O Magazine. Her new television series on entertaining can be seen on Food Network. Ina lives in East Hampton, New York, and Southport, Connecticut, with her husband, Jeffrey.
Ina Garten

Ina Garten Events>

Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Photo © Quentin Bacon

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