Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients: A Cookbook

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients: A Cookbook

by Ina Garten

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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
is the essential Ina Garten cookbook, focusing on the techniques behind her elegant food and easy entertaining style, and offering nearly a hundred brand-new recipes that will become trusted favorites.

Ina Garten’ s bestselling cookbooks have con-sistently provided accessible, subtly sophisticated recipes ranging from French classics made easy to delicious, simple home cooking. In Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina truly breaks down her ideas on flavor, examining the ingredients and techniques that are the foundation of her easy, refined style.

Here Ina covers the essentials, from ten ways to boost the flavors of your ingredients to ten things not to serve at a party, as well as professional tips that make successful baking, cooking, and entertaining a breeze. The recipes—crowd-pleasers like Lobster Corn Chowder, Tuscan Lemon Chicken, and Easy Sticky Buns—demonstrate Ina’s talent for transforming fresh, easy-to-find ingredients into elegant meals you can make without stress.

For longtime fans, Ina delivers new insights into her simple techniques; for newcomers she provides a thorough master class on the basics of Barefoot Contessa cooking plus a Q&A section with answers to the questions people ask her all the time. With full-color photographs and invaluable cooking tips, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is an essential addition to the cherished library of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307885494
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 406,775
File size: 45 MB
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About the Author

Ina Garten is one of the country’s most beloved culinary icons and the author of five previous cookbooks. She can be seen on Food Network, where her shows, Barefoot Contessa and Back to Basics, are among the network’s most watched. Ina also writes a column on entertaining for House Beautiful magazine. Visit Ina at

Read an Excerpt

French Apple Tart
Serves 6
This just might be my all-time favorite dessert. It's the simple essence of sweet apples and crisp pastry with no distractions. We've all collected several similar recipes over the years, but this is the best one I've ever made. If I need to make it even faster, I use defrosted frozen puff pastry instead of making the crust (see note), but you'll want to eat it an hour or two after it comes out of the oven.

For the Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced 
1/2 cup ice water

For the Apples:

4 Granny Smith apples 
1/2  cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small-diced 
1/2  cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam (see note)
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water

For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10x14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in ¼ - inch-thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full ½ cup sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes: For a really fast apple tart, you can use one sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted. Roll out to 10x10 inches and then proceed with the apples.

Customer Reviews

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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 308 reviews.
Sexy-Nerd More than 1 year ago
I waited eagerly for this new book by Ina Garten. I can say that I really love this book. Back to Basics takes ordinary ingredidents and transforms them into something special. This new book is broken down into sections. You have sections on drinks,breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also vegetables, desserts and soup. You can learn new ideas if you cook already. If you are new to cooking thats fine too. Some recpipes do require some time but its not over the top. With practice you can master these dishes. She offers different ideas on classic dishes such has potato leek soup, pot roast and oven roasted vegetables. The book is full of lovely photographs and cooking tips from Ms. Garten.
HKIM More than 1 year ago
This is such a wonderful book as a gift for a friend, for a family member, or even for yourself. I purchased this book for my mother as a Christmas present and she simply loved it. I have prepared dishes from several of Ina's recipes and each came out to be just as Ina said it would be -- delicious! I am not a skilled cook at all, but I followed the recipe to the dot and each of the dishes turned out as shown in the photographs in the book. The recipes are as simplified as they can be, and each dishes present the basic, true flavors of the ingredients, and all of the ingredients seem to be complimenting each other. This truly is an excellent cookbook to have in your permanent library collection.
iowashort More than 1 year ago
This is the third one of her cookbooks I own and I must say it is the best. Every recipe I have tried has worked out just as stated. Times for cooking and baking are right on and this cookbook has really lived up to its title. Do try it, I don't think you will be disappointed.
BPow More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful cookbook! I received this as a gift on my birthday, and I could not have been happier. I am an avid fan of her show on the Food Network, and I love her style of cooking: so sophisticated yet with (mostly) accessible ingredients. The pictures are phenomenal, and I love her commentary throughout with helpful suggestions, tips, and alternatives to her recipes. Also, she has pages dedicated to how important her concept of 'cooking with the basics' is to her, which really makes it a more personal experience. I love the tip pages also where she gives you tips on how to do things "like a pro", like table settings and flower cutting. It is a nice diversion from the beautiful recipes, but all fits in if you want to throw a party. AND, she even has sample menus in the back of her recipes that go well together, therefore taking the worry away from the reader of having to plan a full menu! What a treat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Love this cookbook!!  It is my first cook book from Ina Garten,and I want to buy her other books.  The Recipes are easy to make and taste very good.  we have made at least 10 in the book so far!  I am also giving this book as a  Christmas gift!  A Must Have!
sarah668 More than 1 year ago
I bought this cookbook purely for inspiration. I don't plan on cooking with all the butter, mayo, white flour, and sugar she suggests. I wanted to be inspired to cook and this book does that. I don't eat much meat, but I find the cookbook useful for all the tips and techniques she suggests and the gorgeous photos. I have so many other cookbooks that have a good structured recipes with healthy ingredients, so this is my guilty pleasures book. Thanks Ina for the inspiration :)
quiltinggrammy More than 1 year ago
I have always thought that I would never be able to cook like Ina or find the ingredients she uses, but this book proves otherwise. This is a fantastic, easy to use book for making simple recipes that are delicious. I am using these recipes on a regular basis and I will surely be giving this book as gifts to family and friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ina Garten can do NO wrong in my world. I would buy any of her cookbooks, but the two favorites are this and Barefoot Contessa n Paris. Whenever I use these cookbooks, people always love the food and ask for the recipes...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since I watch the Barefoot Contessa on The Food Network Channel, I was able to print all of these recipes from my computer; however, the book goes into a little more detail about the item. I have found it useful to watch the show and/or DVDs and then attempt the recipe. For the most part, the recipes turned out great except for the Parmesan and Thyme Crackers. Even though I have atempted this recipe 3 times the crackers still have me stumped. Overall, it is a well planned cookbook with great pictures and nice introductions.
CBJ More than 1 year ago
Another good basic cookbook from the "Contessa." I will always trust anybook she publishes.
cmfmo More than 1 year ago
I consider myself an accomplished cook, but just love Ina and her simple ways and beautiful presentations. I read cookbooks for fun and inspiration, not recipes, and this one delivered for me.
ZeusCC More than 1 year ago
I have all of Ina's cookbooks and very frequently give them as gifts. Her instructions and tips help the even the novice cook do a good job. I love the Roasted Shrimp Cocktail recipe. The Roasted Turkey Roulade was a huge hit. The flavor boost page was excellent and the easy sticky buns are fun to make with kids. I keep ingredents for several of the 10 no-cook desserts. Ina always has a theme and does a great job...Looking for many more books from INA..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Ina Garten. She makes entertaining fun. The recipes are easy, quick and healthy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Ina, you'll love back to the basics. If you're not, it's a good place to start and learn from. Easy to follow recipes and beautiful photos.
dee5 More than 1 year ago
I love this book, Ms. Garten is right when she says it is back to the basics, with a twist. The book is very well written, and laid-out, I love the illustrations, and of course the recipes. I feel that anyone can use this book and prepare delicious meals without a hassle. I love all of Ina's cookbooks, and can't wait for her next one to come out. This book is as classy as she is.
Josie123 More than 1 year ago
This book deals with cooking basics. Basics are sometimes hard to find in other cookbooks; the writers always seem to assume you know all the basics. Ina Garten makes cooking basics easy and tasty. She shares tips that she has learned over her years of cooking and catering.

I have close to 300 cookbooks and Ina's are the ones I keep going back to. The recipies are true. They are easy enough for a beginner and interesting enough for a seasoned cook.
greytone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ina Garten's recipes are fail-proof and all her previous cookbooks and the recipes I've tried have been excellent. Her newest cookbook does not disappoint and actually exceeds all my expectations, which for Ina, are pretty high. I can proudly add this new cookbook to the front of my collection of cookbooks. Once you hold this newest book in your hands you immediately understand why each cookbook she writes takes two years. The paper is high quality, the photographs are beautifully shot, the typeface chosen makes the recipes easy to read, each providing clear, complete instructions enabling you to easily duplicate her latest gastrinomical treat. You can be certain she has tested, re-tested, and taste-tested each recipe to make the cooking experience flawless and effortless. All the research and experience has resulted in making the recipes cooked from this book memorable, enjoyable, and delicious--something the best cooks never attain. Ina Garten does it every time she pulls out her pans and lifts her pen. I'll be patiently waiting two more years for the next one!
memasmb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cookbook was exceptional. Every page cover recipes I would want to serve to my family. Loved the idea of seasonal foods, simple preparation and secrets for finishing dishes. Another winner by Ina Garten.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The recipes in this cookbook are sure proof. Author uses easy to find ingredients and the recipes are simple to follow. If you plan on owning only one Barefoot Contessa cookbook, this is the one to get. You will not be sorry.
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