By Ina Garten
A Barefoot Contessa
ISBN 9780804187060 |256 pages
Clarkson Potter| Penguin Random House| $35 Hardcover
This book is “The Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten’s twelfth cookbook! This book is her first written during a Pandemic. Let’s face it, travel and restaurant restrictions are turning many citizens into home cooks these days.
The Contessa has come a long way since she ran her specialty store in East Hampton, Long Island. She has evolved into an award-winning Food Network celebrity TV host with a relaxed approach to creating flavorful dishes that will impress your dinner party guests or satisfy your hunger at home.
Modern Comfort Food is formatted in the same style as her previous books, filled with mouthwatering food photographs and easy to follow instructions. Recipes are divided into Cocktails, Lunch, Dinner, Vegetables & Sides, Desserts, and Breakfast. On pages 20-21, the author shares her must-have “good ingredients”, a virtual must-have selection of items that should be in every home cook’s pantry; Kosher Salt, Maldon Sea Salt, Hellmann’s or Best Foods Mayonnaise, Grey Poupon or Maille Dijon Mustard, San Marzano Canned Tomatoes (imported from Italy), Fresh Herbs, Italian Parmesan Cheese, to name a few.
The cocktails section has recipes for three classic cocktails like the “ultimate bloody Mary’s” and includes recipes for cocktail friendly, hit out of the park appetizers like fig and cheese toasts, fresh crab nachos, and Cacio e Pepe cheese puffs. Her lunch menu items will never bore you. They include Maine Lobster Stew, Ultimate Tuna Melts, Lobster Belts, and Cheddar & Chutney Grilled Cheese.
We especially love the authors’ tips that are weaved throughout the book. They will inspire you to take your cooking game up several notches while increasing your fun in the kitchen.