No one will ever mistake me for a real cook.
I do use the kitchen, and sometimes some delicious dinners show up on our table, like my chili or spaghetti sauce, and a few choice dessert items.
And although cooking is not usually on the top of my FUN list, going to parties always is, and I heard Lynn at Happier Than a Pig in Mud was having one which I did not want to miss!
So I pulled out my Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook to see what temptations Ina had for me.
The subtitle of this collection is
“Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients”
but I’m not sure how accurate that is.
This is what I used to make three recipes in the book to be served at a fireside cocktail hour with friends.
Fabulous flavor, yes, but simple ingredients? Maybe, but that depends on your definition of “simple.” I think of fresh veggies and pantry basics. These recipes required puff pastry, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, pomegranate juice, montrachet cheese–delicious, wholesome, but a bit pricey!
Recipes for all the dishes I prepared are on Ina’s page on TheFoodNetwork website. Click on the title of each to take you there. Sometimes there is a video to help out with the more difficult parts.
Super easy–the hardest part is peeling and deveining the shrimp, but if you aren’t a typical frugal Connecticut Yankee like me you can save yourself the time and trouble and buy it ready to go!
Toss the shrimp, olive oil, salt and pepper together right on the baking sheet, cook 8 min. @ 400 (don’t know where the little degree thingy is on the computer keyboard so just pretend…)
then remove, cool, and eat!!
HOW EASY WAS THAT?
The shrimp was tender and perfectly cooked. Next time, though, NO SALT!! It would also be good with cayenne powder, garlic or red pepper flakes.
The sauce was a little different than my usual, with the addition of chili sauce to the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, worcestershire and tabasco. Good, too!
There is nothing difficult or mysterious about working with prepared puff pastry. I do it all the time! These DELICIOUS tidbits used puff pastry, pesto, montrachet cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. (That’s what caught my attention. I fall for them every time.)
Toast the pine nuts.
Roll out the dough to size and top with the pesto, montrachet, tomatoes and
Roll up the dough and refrigerate until very cold–longer than the 45 minutes suggested.
When the dough is very cold, slice into 1/2″ pieces, put onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and cook for about 15 minutes at 400.
I am not a big fan of montrachet and considered using feta instead, but I am so glad I used the goat cheese. It was perfect for a slight tang contrasted with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the pine nuts.
These were DELICIOUS and super easy. I made them at 10 pm while yakking on the phone to an old friend (that’s why there’s no photo of the slices on the sheet before baking–oops).
You should definitely make these!!!!
The salty/hot shrimp and tangy palmiers need something with a cool sweetness to wash them down, so I tried these cosmopolitans. Vodka, cointreau, and cranberry, pomegranate and lime juices–super easy, yes, but with the alcohol/juice ratio at 3/2, they were too strong, even extreme. I would definitely make them again, using half the recommended vodka and cointreau.
They are very pretty!
The recipes were so easy that I had plenty of time to set the coffee table for serving.
Ina has been known to go Barefoot in Paris,
so I used these eiffel tower glasses for serving the cosmopolitans.
How fun is that?
Large martini glasses hold the shrimp and palmiers.
Have a seat by the fire.
Yes, there are snow flurries again today!!
But we’ll be warm. If the fire doesn’t do it, the cosmopolitans will!
Thank you, Lynn, for this party!
I really did have FUN preparing for it!
I’m also joining, for the first time,
at Home Sweet Farm