Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


Leave a comment

Old Fashioned Potato Salad

IMG_9625There is something about the recipes of Ina Garten – when I make them it always is very good.  This Old Fashioned Potato Salad recipe is no exception to that rule. The dressing consists of mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, fresh dill, and other ingredients that work together in harmony with the red potatoes.  My husband thought the potatoes should be cut smaller, but it has very good flavor!  I will make this potato salad again and again.  This recipe is from her Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook.  I made a smaller amount since it was just for my family, using 2 lbs of potatoes instead of 3.  I also reduced the amount of dressing because of that.

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

adapted from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa at Home (p 86)

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs small red potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1.5 oz buttermilk
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup small diced celery
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion

Instructions:

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water and cover with cool water.  Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water and bring it to a boil.  When it comes to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium low , cover, and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes in a large colander.  Off heat, place the colander over your empty pot and cover the potatoes with a clean kitchen towel and steam the potatoes for 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing.  Stir together the mayonnaise and buttermilk, Dijon and whole grain mustard, dill, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

Chop the celery and onion.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into halves and quarters (or smaller if you desire).  Place them in a large bowl.  Add the celery and onion to the potatoes and pour the dressing over the potatoes. Stir to combine the potato salad.  Taste and adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper).  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

NOTE:

Next time I will make additional dressing to add to the potato salad, because it does absorb into the potatoes as they sit.

Printable Recipe

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Garlic Sautéed Spinach

IMG_7203 - Version 2I am one of those people who happens to like spinach.  Especially fresh spinach.  This is another recipe by Ina Garten from her Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook (p 124).  I find that all her recipes I have made so far have excellent results.  I used 2 pounds of spinach instead of 1 1/2 because I had two bunches to use.  The ingredient list is short and preparation to table is minutes.  It was tasty enough that my husband and I had seconds.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach

adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa Family Style p 124)

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 (1 lb) bundles spinach, washed and spun dry in a salad spinner, stems removed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • juice of half a lemon
  • additional salt if desired

Instructions:

Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat and add olive oil.  Sauté the minced garlic in the olive oil, stirring frequently until fragrant, but not browned.  Add the washed and dried spinach to the stock pot and use tongs to coat the spinach with the garlic and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove the lid.

It will have wilted down substantially.

Add butter and the juice of half a lemon.  Toss the spinach with tongs to make sure all the flavors are coating the spinach.  Remove the spinach to a serving bowl.  Season with additional lemon juice and more salt if desired.  Serve hot.

Printable Recipe

 


1 Comment

Wild Mushroom Soup

IMG_3767Here is another wonderful recipe that I have made that Ina Garten has in one of her cookbooks as well as on Food Network.  I am a sucker for mushrooms and so far all of Ina’s recipes that I have tried have been winners.  Mushrooms are matter of taste however, not everyone in my family loves them, but if you do, make this Cream of mushroom soup!  It is quite good!

Wild Mushroom Soup

adapted from Ina Garten

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cream-of-wild-mushroom-soup-recipe/index.html

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh Portabella mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp fresh thyme, divided use
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 leeks, chopped, dark leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

Clean the mushrooms and trim the stems and remove any parts that have gone bad.  Separate the stems from the caps.  Coarsely chop the stems.  Place the chopped stems in a stock pot.  Slice the mushroom caps and reserve for later usage.

To make the soup base: heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter in a large pot with the stems.  Add the onions, carrot, sprig of thyme and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.  Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and summer for 30 minutes.  Strain the broth, reserving the soup base.  Discard the vegetables.  If you do not have 4 1/2 cups of soup base, add some water.

In the meantime, heat a large cast iron skillet and melt the remaining butter. Cook the leeks over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the leeks begin to brown.  Add the mushroom slices and cook them until they are golden brown for another 10 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute whisking constantly.  Add the white wine, stirring continuously to loosen any remains from the bottom of your skillet.  Add the soup base, minced thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the half and half and cream, parsley, season with salt and pepper and heat the soup through over low, but do not boil  Serve with crusty French bread.

Printable Recipe


Leave a comment

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

IMG_5108When I hear the words “Turkey Meatballs”, I think “Diet!”  These are NOT diet!  These are yummy yummy and yummy!  They contain ground turkey, Italian sausage, and prosciutto ham! Red pepper flakes along with Asiago Cheese, gives it a kick of spice.  The recipe is from one of my favorite cooks: Ina Garten,  also known as the Barefoot Contessa.  You can find the original recipe on food network.  She recommends Rao’s Spaghetti sauce.. I did find it, but I have to say it is pricey.  More pricey than I like to spend on a sauce (10/bottle), so I used a nice Barilla Tomato Sauce with Basil.  This makes a lot.  I froze about half the meatballs to use again on a day when I don’t feel like cooking (yes that does happen!) I will be making them again!

Turkey Meatballs

adapted from Ina Garten (foodtv.com)

Serves 10

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cubed quality rustic bread, crusts removed
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 4 oz deli sliced prosciutto ham, finely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Other ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 jars Spaghetti sauce like Barilla Tomato Basil Sauce, for serving
  • 2 lbs dried spaghetti, cooked according to package directions, for serving
  • grated Asiago (or Parmesan cheese), for serving

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Process the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.  Add them back into your measuring bowl and add the milk and allow the crumbs to absorb the milk for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the turkey, Italian sausage, prosciutto, grated Asiago cheese (I processed it in the food processor after the bread), parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Add the breadcrumbs to the mixture and toss gently with a fork to keep the meat light, without pressing  down on the meat mixture.  Add the olive oil and eggs and toss gently to combine.

Using your hands, form 2 inch balls and place them on the parchment paper lined sheet pans.  Brush the meatballs with additional olive oil. Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes or until they are completely cooked through.

Add the meatballs to a large sauce pan and cover with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Serve over cooked spaghetti and top each serving with additional grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

Printable Recipe


1 Comment

Lemon Chicken Breasts

IMG_4719_2I am back from a trip to Maui with my family and it has been hard to reenter real life again.  It had to be done though, and now we have sweet memories to look back on.

I was looking for an easy recipe to make that did not mean going to the store for stray ingredients… this one fit the ticket and it is another winning recipe from the brain of Ina Garten.  This recipe is from Ina’s cookbook “How Easy was That?” (link) on page 120  I adapted it to serve my family of five.

Lemon Chicken Breasts

adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa How Easy Was That? Page 120)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh minced thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt, to season
  • freshly ground pepper, to season
  • 4 (6 oz) boneless chicken breasts with skin on
  • 1 lemon sliced into  8 wedges lengthwise

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Warm a small sauce pan with the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, but don’t let it brown.  Turn the heat off and add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano and thyme.  Pour these into a large Pyrex baking dish.

Dry the chicken breasts with paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper and drizzle each lightly with olive oil.  Place them into the baking dish.  Tuck the lemon wedges between the chicken breasts.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done.   If the chicken skin is not browned place it under the broiler for a few minutes.  Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with a fresh vegetable and rice or risotto.

Printable Recipe

 


Leave a comment

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

I don’t think I have ever made a recipe by Ina Garten aka “Barefoot Contessa” that I have not liked!  Here is another winner from her.  Thank you Ina!

I love the combination of sun-dried tomatoes with the cheese and Kalamata olives.  It is certainly a grown up taste.  My kids are not fans of olives that come in cans and in vinegar – so this salad is more for me and my hubby.  I used tri color spiral pasta instead of white ones – I think it looked prettier.  I will be adding this salad to a semi regular rotation though.

PASTA WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook p 58)

For the Pasta Salad:

  • 1 lb tri color spiral pasta, cooked and drained
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 3 ripe roma tomatoes, medium dice
  • 1/2 cup black olives (Kalamata), pitted and diced
  • 1/8 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed in 1/4 inch dice
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the Dressing (use a food processor) to process the following ingredients:

  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp quality olive oil, (the green stuff)
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp capers, drained
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

Last minute ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned (thin ribbon like strips)

Directions:

Cook the spiral pasta in boiling salted water and a splash of olive oil according to package directions.  Drain well and allow to cool.  In a large bowl, place the pasta, chopped tomatoes, chopped olives, diced mozzarella, and sun-dried tomato pieces.  Toss to combine the ingredients.

Process the ingredients listed for the dressing in a small food processor.  Pour the ingredients over the pasta salad and toss to coat the salad with the dressing.  Sprinkle the salad with the grated Parmesan cheese and basil.  Chill and serve.

Warning: this salad is highly addictive!  If you are like me, you will not be able to stop eating it until it is gone, and then you will make some more the next day!

Printable Recipe


Leave a comment

Chocolate Cake

I do not bake often.  I much rather cook!  With baking you have to be exact and I like to improvise in my cooking. I add a little of this a little of that.  Well, I had a friend request I make her a cake for her husband’s Birthday.  I said I would.  Then I went on the hunt for that perfect chocolate cake recipe.  The chocolate cake that got a lot of high ratings on the internet was that published by Ina Garten.  Only the cake called for 8 inch cake rounds and all I had was 9 inch.  I proceeded to follow the recipe.  Only instead of using 1 cup of hot brewed coffee I used the room temp coffee that I had brewed earlier in the day.  I used the 9 inch cake rounds that I had and baked them… but they fell. That is right the center of the cake collapsed during baking.  It rose around the outside perimeter, but there was a definite valley in the center of my cakes.  But we tasted the cake and it was delicious!  The hint of coffee was good.  I was about to abandon ship on this recipe.  But it was good… so I went in search of the 8 inch cake tins.  I hit up 6 stores before I finally found disposable foil ones in the right size at Walmart.  Armed with this, and the information that the HOT liquid makes all the difference I tried again.. and my second attempt was much better! But it also was full of issues.  I do not bake.. I do not bake.. I do not bake…

About 15 minutes into baking time my blower on the oven stops blowing, which only means one thing: the oven has come to a cool enough temperature that the blower is not blowing!!! WHAT!!!?? I had the oven all preheated and now my second attempt is in the oven? and the blower stops blowing?  Sure enough.  My oven is most decidedly OFF!  This is not good!  I removed the cakes, got the oven back up to baking temperature and baked them again.  Keeping my fingers crossed!  They came out beautifully, but it was the stress I could have lived without.

A few reviews of the frosting were negative, but I had a Vanilla Frosting that I have used before that came out with good success, so I decided to use that.  My friend was thrilled! For the frosting recipe I used please go to my Choir Cake.

You can find the original recipe at this link.  Thank you Ina for a winning recipe of Chocolate Cake.  I may make it again.. once I get over the shock of this past baking experience.  And my dear readers can learn from my mistakes – do use HOT coffee!!! or your cake will look like this:

As a side note:  I have not been as active on my blog in recent months.  I have taken on home schooling my high school student and have found less time to cook creatively.  I have been still cooking, but many recipes I have already posted here.  Next year I am home schooling two of my three kids, so I imagine I will have even less time to blog.  Home schooling is going pretty well overall, other than it is even harder to get the kids up in the morning.  I never saw myself to be a home school mom, but I have found a great support group and do not feel alone in this endeavor.  My son has also started to play baseball. While he is brand new to the sport, it is quite fun to see him learn a sport I have no knowledge about.  My husband and I joke that we don’t have the sports gene.  We don’t watch it on TV.  I used to ride horses, and occasionally play volleyball, but I was not into sports by any means!