Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

by Ina Garten


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For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead?

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her secrets! Thanks to twenty years of running a specialty food store and fifteen years writing cookbooks, she has learned exactly which dishes you can prep, assemble, or cook ahead of time. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance.

In Make It Ahead, each recipe includes clear instructions for what you can do ahead of time, and how far in advance, so you can cook with confidence and eliminate last-minute surprises. Make a pitcher of Summer Rosé Sangria filled with red berries, let it chill overnight for the flavors to develop, and you have a delicious drink to offer your friends the minute they arrive. Simmer a pot of Wild Mushroom & Farro Soup, enjoy a bowl for lunch, and freeze the rest for a chilly evening. You can prep the kale, Brussels sprouts, and lemon vinaigrette for Winter Slaw ahead of time and simply toss them together before serving. Assemble French Chicken Pot Pies filled with artichokes and fresh tarragon a day in advance and then pop them in the oven half an hour before dinner. And for dessert, everyone needs the recipe for Ina’s Decadent (gluten-free!) Chocolate Cake topped with Make-Ahead Whipped Cream. Ina also includes recipes for the biggest cooking day of the year—Thanksgiving! Her Ultimate Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Gravy with Onions & Sage may just change your life.

With beautiful photographs and hundreds of invaluable make-ahead tips, this is your new go-to guide for preparing meals that are stress-free yet filled with those fabulously satisfying flavors that you have come to expect from the Barefoot Contessa.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307464880
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 67,796
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ina Garten is the host of the Emmy Award–winning Barefoot Contessa television show on Food Network and a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Jeffrey. This is her ninth book.


Garlic & Herb Roasted Shrimp

Serves 4

A few years ago, I started roasting shrimp for shrimp cocktail instead of boiling them. It was so successful—and so easy!—that I decided to use the same technique for a main-course dish. These shrimp are flavored with butter, garlic, rosemary, and lots of lemon and I bring the pan right from the oven to the table.

  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large lemons
  • 2 pounds (8- to 10-count) shrimp, peeled with the tails on
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 4 slices country bread, toasted
  • Note: I serve this with basmati rice and steamed broccoli, which are great with the garlicky butter sauce.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

    Melt the butter over low heat in a medium (10-inch) sauté pan. Add the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper and cook over low heat for one minute. Off the heat, zest one of the lemons directly into the butter mixture.

    Meanwhile, arrange the shrimp snugly in one layer in a large (12-inch) round ovenproof sauté pan (or 10 × 13-inch baking dish) with only the tails overlapping. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp. Sprinkle with the sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.

    Slice the ends off the zested lemon, cut five (¼-inch-thick) slices, and tuck them among the shrimp. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, just until the shrimp are firm, pink, and cooked through. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto the shrimp.

    Serve hot with the toasted bread for dipping into the garlic butter.

    MAKE IT AHEAD: Prep the dish and refrigerate it in the pan. Roast before serving.

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    Make It Ahead!: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    As Ina Garten points out, "there is ahead of time and there is WAY ahead of time." That's why she's included recipes that cover a wide range of "make ahead" schedules. Some of them, especially soups (one example is Zucchini Basil Soup) and gravy (Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Onions and Sage) can be completely cooked and frozen for months. Others can only be made a few hours - or perhaps a few days- ahead of time. This is a great book and cuts down on my family's dependency on eating out and  fast food.  
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I am a big fan of Ina Garten. Have all her cookbooks and watch her TV program on the Food Channel. Very disappointed in her new cook book. The recipes are not that outstanding. She starts out with a recipe for a dog biscuit. I love dogs but really Ina, a dog biscuit. Her comments are nothing unusual or informative. The cookbook is suppose to be make ahead. Putting lettuce in a bowl is "making ahead". Very disappointing. Ina, what happened.
    sallyannio109 More than 1 year ago
    I really wanted to love this.  I was picturing good make ahead party food.  Most of the recipes are not anything I would ever make.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Received this for Christmas from my considerate husband. We were looking for easy make ahead dinners but that is not what we found Only part of the recipe was done in advance. I don't consider roast chicken, roast turkey, strip steak, or rack of lamb a make ahead dinner. Granted the book is beautiful and the recipes must be wonderful but they are not make it ahead.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Just have to say that a reviewer claims the Shrimp recipe doesn't give oven temp. It clearly says "preheat oven to 400 in the recipe."
    Bettsi More than 1 year ago
    I am a huge fan of Ina, back to th old days with the store. I have most of her books and was planning to ask for it for Christmas. I want to make the shrimp recipe right now. One problem - it doesn't tell the temperature of the oven when the sauced shrimp goes in. This is clearly important, and I am sure it is in the book. Any suggestions?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Its Ina, what can I say? I own all 9 of her cookbooks to date, and this one is phenomenal as all the others. With a Greek background, I have to say her Pastitsio beats anything I have tried from a Greek kitchen or festival, anywhere - by a long shot! I have made many Vegetable Lasagnas, but this one is off the charts. Mini Italian Frittatas, Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Greek Yogurt, Breakfast Ricotta with Berries and Maple Syrup (I blended store bought ricotta in my blender - fabulous), Sour Cream Corn Bread (husband says its the best cornbread he's ever had), Salted Caramel Nuts, Fresh Apple Spice Cake, Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes, Carrot and Cauliflower Puree, Peas and Pancetta (more delicious than the sum of its parts!), Herb Roasted Fish (so easy I will make often)- all of these garner a 5 star rating! The only recipe I have made so far in this cookbook which I was not crazy about was the Slow Roasted Spiced Pork. I continue to add a recipe or two each week to my menu, and they are all phenomenal!!! Incidentally, I got to see her in person, on tour - and she is as nice "in person" as she is on her show!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love Ina. Use her recipes more than any othet celebrity chef. Recieved this book as a gift and was thrilled. We entertain a lot and these recipes make dinner parties so much easier. I especially like the soups and desserts.
    Gloria18 More than 1 year ago
    Ina Garten makes things so easy for you to follow. All the recipes are easy to make and ingredients are very accessible at the grocery store. She has some of the best ideas for cooking and baking and planning ahead.
    chugaries More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Awesome read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Gave this as a Christmas gift to my daughter who had requested it - she loves all/anything re in a garden
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Can't imagine what I did all these years before I had this cookbook. Large gatherings are so much easier and more fun.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Gave it as a gift. The recipient loves it. Used it immediately.
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Went to see her in person for the book release in Beverly Hills recently. She is the real deal what you read in her books is what she is in person. This books is another one of those must haves for my collection of Ina Treasures. The book will make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is another beautifully photographed, classy cookbook from my go-to favorite chef. I just recently received the book and have marked dishes I want to make - already made the twice-baked sweet potatoes, which were delicious. I love the way Ina has carefully noted the make-ahead preparations, so that you know just how much time to allow the "day-of." I was amazed at how many dishes, and whole meals, can be prepared ahead of time to avoid the last-minute frenzy when company is coming. Keep them coming, Ina!
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