Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It’s So Easy To Love Ina

I was so happy when the wonderful Lys mentioned that Ina was appearing on the Today Show this morning, promoting her new cookbook. It has one of the Contessa's adorable expressions as the title, How Easy Is That?

Ina’s hair was beautifully shiny and her nails were also gorgeous as she showed Meredith how to make homemade ricotta. She simply heated together milk and cream, threw in a little vinegar and drained the mixture. And, voila, 20 minutes later – homemade ricotta! How easy is that? Yup, the title definitely works.

Then Ina added lots of herbs to the newly made cheese and Meredith made a salad dressing of lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil (twice the oil to lemon juice) and poured it over greens. How easy is that?

Ina rubbed garlic over grilled bread and then topped it with the ricotta mixture. She said to serve it with the salad and, join me here, how easy it that?

Ina moved on to a non-traditional risotto. She added 1½ cups of Arborio rice to a big Dutch oven with four cups of hot chicken stock. She baked it at 350°F for 45 minutes and after added lots of goodies – butter (of course), more chicken stock, white wine, LOTS of parmesan cheese, salt, pepper. Ina finished it up by stirring it over the heat for 2 minutes and then stirring in frozen peas. How easy…well, you get the idea.

Lastly, Ina (she’s a pro at getting through stuff quickly while seeming to be easy and breezy) made a variation of an icebox cake. She lined a springform pan with chocolate chip cookies, covered the first layer with Kahlua and cocoa flavored cream. (OH! There’s mascarpone in there too. What a surprise…not.)

You make about five layers, then refrigerate it overnight, slice it and serve with chocolate shavings.

It actually looked extraordinary. And the variations that came to my mind were endless – white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies layered with bourbon flavored cream; chocolate chocolate chip cookies layered with Ina’s Kahlua cream and garnished with chocolate covered espresso beans; or how about Toll House cookies made with no chips or nuts layered with cream that’s studded with chips and nuts. One more – spread a bit of raspberry jam over each cookie layer before the cream goes on OR instead of the chocolate chip cookies, use thumbprint cookies.

WOW, Ina is a genius and HOW EASY IS THAT? She finished with time to spare…

Here is the video and here are the recipes from the Today Show.


Java Joggers said...

I wish I'd been able to sit back on the couch with a cup of coffee and watch her on the Today Show. Thanks for the recap, and for posting the video. And, if you happen to want to make one of those cakes and invite me over, I wouldn't mind... I'm just sayin' :)

Emily said...

Man, I wish I woke up early enough to watch the Today Show. :)

I like the sound of this cookbook and those recipes. I've been hungry for risotto lately.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I have always said that if I were to create a "Barefoot Contessa" drinking game, you would have to drink for every rhetorical quesiton. If I bought the book, would I be drunk every time I looked at it? :-D

Anonymous said...

Between the rhetorical questions and the "good" ingredients, you might never recover!

Sue said...

Okay JJ,
I'll keep you in mind for my next coffee klatch.

Go for it! I love that she's using Arborio rice in a different way.

I forgot about your drinking game. OMG! You wouldn't make it past the first page!

But it sure would be a lot of fun!