Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa

I have been on a big cooking kick, trying new recipes -- at least 3 times a week. Below are some yummy recipes I've tried lately, all from the lovely Ina Garten from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. I have found you can also get many of her delicious recipes online too (here and here).

The top two are my most favorite, yet I am still exploring her collection, and since it has been snowy and cold lately I've been testing out more of her comfort food selections.

Sczechuan Noodles
Lentil Vegetable Soup
Turkey Meatloaf + Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
Potato Leek Soup

Besides my love for her recipes and cooking show it is fun look at her beautiful apartment in Paris! (Images are from Town & Country 11/08 via stephmodo) ...

Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa

and her gorgeous new barn photographed in House Beautiful. (via Apartment Therapy : the Kitchn)

Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa

I've heard buzz about how this economic time is prompting more good 'ole home cooking, is that true for you? What is your most favorite all-time tried and true recipes? Share yours in the comments and I'll pick a lucky commenter to win Ina's new book, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics!

(enter by Tuesday, St. Patty's Day)

45 comments:

TM said...

Back in college I was able to create 7 days worth of meals for two people for less then $30. Yes, a lot of 'sacrifices' and I still am amazed I pulled that off for 2 years. But the one thing that I learned from that was turning simple basics into countless meals. I love cooking, and just recently moved into a fantastic old home with a great kitchen. So I'm returning to some of those basics.

The biggest savior is chicken stock. I can buy a whole chicken for about $5 (generally locally raised but I am flexible on this). I cut out the chicken breasts, buying two breasts in the store alone costs almost as much as a whole chicken. They will be used for one recipe.

I make stock out of the rest of the chicken using carrots, celery, onion and whole peppercorns. Sometimes I throw a parsnip in there. No salt, etc.

After the stock is made, I take the meat from the pot and make chicken pot pie or other meals that add flavor and moisture to the meat (since that went mostly to the stock). And with the stock, I have enough to make dozens of different soups (like Avgolemono, a greek lemon soup that I just die for, to basic chicken soup and rice).

Serving two people, I can usually make 3 different soups from the stock, plus the chicken pot pie and the chicken breasts make another meal. So I'm basically getting 5 meals out of one $5 chicken.

Sarah said...

We have absolutely been eating more at home. And if we do go out we are more conscious of splitting meals etc. If there's one good thing out of the economic downturn I'd say that it's more people are staying home and being together in the kitchen.

Rebecca N said...

My favorite is a Cajun bean soup... just beans, crushed tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, lots of spices, and it makes about 8 very healthy meals for 2 adults for about $6. We usually add some cornbread and it's so hearty on a cold day.

Anne @ Pink Galoshes said...

So true, now is the time to cook at home. Anything by Ina is just divine. I love her show! My favorite go to recipe would have to be simple roast chicken stuffed with lemons and shallots. Just sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and roast! So easy, so effortless.

Deb said...

I adore Ina Garten, and have definitely been using her recipes more frequently of late. Her lemon fusilli pasta is a classic dish, and a few weeks ago I tried the roasted shrimp...yum!

Pattie Cordova said...

Yup... we definitely are eating more at home and having a bebe makes it easier.

I've done Ina's phyllo wrapped asparagus and it is delicious!

Jecca said...

We have a family secret recipe for chili. Nothing is as good. My dad makes it and it cooks all day. Growing up, it was the only time I would eat beans.

Beth said...

I've just recently started following her show on the Food Network. I would love to have a copy of one of her cookbooks.

Chelsea said...

I need a little cooking inspiration! My go-to this winter is a huge batch of veggie soup that last for days and always warms the belly!

Claire said...

I love Ina Garten! Her recipes are easy to follow and she's really living the life -- The Hamptons & Paris! Oh la la la!

liz stanley said...

oh my goodness! ina is my fav and i need this new book!!!

Carly said...

I've decided to save more money by bringing my lunch to work at least 4 days a week (I've been so bad for the last year) and so I've decided to make a big pot of soup on Sunday and then eat it all week! My favorite thing is soup, so I'm excited to try new recipes, but my tried-and-true favorite is "Baked Potato Soup". Yum!

MMW said...

What's lovely about the economy & home cooking is that we have WAY more dinner parties INSTEAD of going out to eat @ restaurants. We've frequently hosted themed potlucks with small groups of friends and had magnificent results. Our fave go-to recipe is Heidi Swanson's Pancakes from her book Cook 1.0. Truly amazing with the variations she suggests (Banana Macadamia pancakes with Pineapple Butter or Crushed Honeycomb). YUM.

a said...

oh i just love ina garten. her recipes have never failed. i have found that we have been eating at home more often. a staple in our home is brown rice with veggies. so simple, but my preschooler loves it! it's pretty much our staple food. thanks!

Katie said...

I make a lot of "fancier" things all the time, but my 1 go-to cheap, delicious recipe is my mom's meatloaf. Divine

Either that or these carnitas tacos from Bon Appetit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Slow-Cooked-Carnitas-Tacos-241855



I'd LOVE to win that book!

Kristen said...

I love the Barefoot Contessa! It is my go-to gift for birthdays and Christmas. We have always been an "eat at home" family, but with the economy, I have gotten into the fun of making the most out of the least. It is nice to see that being conscious of our spending is en vogue now. :)

My favorite easy and cheap recipe is a spinach, tomato pasta. I use Trader Joe's dry peso tortellini, one large can of stewed tomatoes, one bag of fresh spinach, fresh mozzerella, one chopped onion, chopped garlic, salt (to taste), pepper (to taste) and turkey sausage (out of casings and pulled apart). Put all ingredients (except mozz and pasta) in a pan to simmer for about 45 minutes. The longer the better. Then, cook the tortellini according to the directions. Put cooked pasta, veggie/sausage sauce into a large casserole dish. Break mozzerella into pieces and sprinkle throughout. Cover and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. This makes an ENORMOUS amount. Seriously. You can eat it for days. :)

aubrey said...

we've definately been cooking at home more. although we still go out for sushi becuase we've yet to attempt that.
the boy has been making a lovely seared tuna steak. and we've been putting a pesto/mayo on almost everything. equal parts pesto and mayo...so easy.

Catherine said...

I love to cook, and it's hard to narrow to one menu only, but this kebab recipe is a perennial favorite that reminds me of Ina Garten's inimitable style: http://www.epicurious.com/
recipes/food/views/Grilled-Chicken-Red-Onion-and-Mint-Kebabs-with-Greek-Salad-105308

I serve with my own couscous dish on the side. Perfect for spring.

Lucinda said...

We used to eat out every night. My husband and I both work long hours and neither of us felt like cooking. We eat at home 75% of the time now and it really has changed my perspective on dining out. Cooking together can be fun and it's really good bonding time. Ina's recipes are all flavorful and yummy.

Matty said...

My tried and true roasted veggie's is a good side dish for any meal. I roast red peppers and grill zuchinni and squash. I then place them in a dish, sprinkle goat cheese on top and bake - Yum.

pamo said...

ina's pecan bars are THE BEST. i don't even have a general love for pecan desserts, but her bars are perfect.

katycavell said...

Love the pictures of Ina's house. She is wonderful!

My favorite tried and true recipe is enchiladas. It must be the Texan in me!

wyowoman said...

I am cooking more, not necessarily economics-driven, but restaurant shortage where we live!
Lately I can't get enough of this chicken recipe- (it's the orange marmalade and peanut combo I think that I love) http://www.crisco.com/Recipes/Details.aspx?recipeID=3828 and steak sandwiches: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/02/steak-sandwiches/

Mary Elizabeth Liberty said...

My favorite recipe for the past few years is NIgella Lawson's brownie recipe from her domestic goddess cookbook. So fudgy!

Kristen said...

I haven't eaten out in about two weeks! and that includes brown bagging it.

My favorite tried and true recipe is homemade refried black beans. Lots of jalapeno and fresh garlic make em super yummy, and then we crush in some more garlic powder for an added boost. The boyfriend calls them "double garlic refried black beans" ;)

rebecca s. said...

i've always loved cooking and baking but since we've been on an extra tight budget for much longer than a year (since my fiance lost his mortgage job) i think i have cooked at home nearly every single day. cooking delicious, inexpensive meals is not too difficult. my favorite thing to do is cook a large batch of pinto beans. we make roasted salsa, and purchase homemade corn tortillas from the mexican market. they are only about $1.50 for 3 dozen! those beans make a variety of meals!

bean soup the first day with salsa, cheese and warm tortillas. guac & sour cream if we have it.

refried bean taquitos with salad.

bean & cheese burritos.

refried bean tostadas with salad on top, salsa, cheese, etc.

you can eat them aside your roasted chicken with tortillas.

so many ways! i will be happy to share my recipes if anyone is interested. :)

Tania said...

A lot of recipes come and go in our house, but some of the ones that keep popping up are Zuni Cafe's roast chicken, a one-pot pork chili recipe, a caramelized tofu recipe from 101cookbooks.com, and a quick tomato sauce recipe from chezpim.com. We usually have pesto in the freezer for another quick dinner. Homemade pizza at least once a week (with two eggs cracked in the middle). And for a no-frills, I'm feeling very very lazy dinner: egg in a hole.

Jen said...

Ohhh I am getting hungry.I second the homemade black beans- great dish. we also love bean and ham soup when it is cold outside with cornbread and either some sugar or vinegar(or both!)

Helen said...

I love baking homemade cakes! They are so much cheaper than buying ready made stuff, plus you have the fun of baking them. You know what goes into them too. Of course...you do have to do all the washing up which I hate haha.

I love making soups, just use any veggies, my favourite is butternut squash and sweetcorn. I add a tin of chickpeas to it too just to make it a bit more substantial.

sb said...

i live for the comforts of a home cooked meal, and the barefoot contessa has some of my favorite classics - herb roasted chicken and her split pea soup are just a few.
cheers!

STYLE NOMAD: said...

I've learned from my European mother-in-law how to really use what you have left in the refrigerator to make delicious side dishes. For example, with 3 simple ingredients: slice potatoes, bell peppers, onions..and if you have zucchini and tomatoes left that are verging on too ripe to eat fresh...thinly slice those and add all sliced veggies..the potatoes, onions, bell pepperes, zucchini and tomatoes into a casserole dish or pan. Lightly coat in olive oil, salt and pepper...if you want add other herbs like Italian or Provence...or paprika, etc. Put a bit of water..just a little to coat bottom of the pan. Put it in the oven and cook for roughly 20-30 minutes while you do other things and Voila! Delicious, warm, tasty veggies. Simple is always best. :) I used to eat out a lot but have been cooking at home more and more and find it is not only healthier for me but for my wallet also! I'm an American expat living abroad so love Barefoot Contessa whenever I can see her when I am back home!

jax said...

My recent favorite meal is a super-simple chickpea salad from Orangette consisting of: a drained can of chickpeas, lemon juice, kosher salt, olive oil, + parmigiano-reggiano. It is a delicious lunch or picnic treat that becomes more than the sum of its parts!
Recipe here: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/01/brown-bag-it.html

tvmom said...

Oh fun...this book looks yummy!

I've been making lots of banana stuff ...I can get really ripe bananas for cheap at the store and then they are perfect for baking with.

And an old favorite of mine, that comes from my mom, are her jiffy rolls: http://www.amillionthingsilove.com/2008/11/30-jiffy-rolls.html

Bridget said...

I know this is going to be a Midwest version of a heart attack, but it's one of my favorite special occasion recipes:


Confirmation Potatoes


Originally from the Lutheran cookbook in Glenwood Minnesota, courtesy of Chris Gugisberg


Ingredients

1 1/2 bags frozen hash browns
16 oz. container sour cream
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups crushed cornflakes
¼ cup melted butter


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Spray a 9x13 pan with pam or oil it first (clean up is a pain)
2. Mix hashbrowns, sour cream, cheddar cheese, salt, cream of chicken soup, and melted butter, and put into pan.
3. Mix together crushed corn flakes and melted butter; sprinkle over the top.
4. Bake 1 1/2 - 2 hours.



For a normal day, my favorite meal is pasta with squash, frozen peas, and a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese...soooooo good!

Connie said...

I love Ina Garten! I record her show all the time. Her recipes are simple yet elegant. They are so easy to make! Recently I tried her recipe for Italian Wedding Soup, it was delicious.

Ann Tilley said...

Barefoot Contessa is great! My favorite recipe right now is rice pilaf. It's basically rice cooked in chicken broth and any add-ins you have around. I love chicken, frozen peas, onion, and roasted red peppers.

Carlita said...

we can't get enough of good 'ol homemade tacos or fajitas. easy, mostly healthy, and fun.

staying in is almost always better.

barbie desoto said...

My grandmother's chicken soup with spanish rice is a great wintertime dish. It's very simple and yet brings back incredible memories of my childhood. That's probably the best part...

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

I love the photos of her house! Beautiful! My tried and true recipe is anything with pasta. Pasta is always in our home and easy to cook on the fly.

Susan said...

I love Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes are fabulous and I find that if you use good quality ingredients...your meal is going to be delicious!

Diana said...

My old standby is stuffed peppers with mashed potatoes. Talk about comfort food!

josephine said...

love this post! i totally cook by the word of ina. i've made her turkey lasagna several times, but my favorites from her were the seafood gratin, the provecal scallops, and the roast chicken with lemon croutons. miam!

Bree said...

From "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" you HAVE to make the Peach Raspberry Crisp. I made it last summer for 4th of July using fresh ingredients from the farmers market and it was pretty much the best thing EVER. I made it using frozen fruit once too... still yummy but not nearly as to die for.

alland said...

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for posting. I'm a fan of Ina Garten. That's why I was inspired to continue blogging about my cooking hobby (http://www.mygoodeatsrecipes.com)

Mar Tenas i Bastida said...

I think I am Ina's most devoted fun! I absolutely love her style and yummy food. I want to be her when older..."How easy is that?"
Mar

Post a Comment

I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas, thanks for reading!