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A festive feast for friends and family

Cookbook author and Food Network TV host Ina Garten shares some recipes from her “Barefoot Contessa” cookbooks.

If you’re planning on entertaining sometime soon, Ina Garten author of three cookbooks and host of Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” has some easy ideas and recipes to help you create a festive feast for your friends and family. The recipes are from her collection of “Barefoot Contessa” cookbooks, while her latest book is titled, “Barefoot Contessa Family Style.” Check out the recipes she discusses on “Today," here:


(From “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”)

Serves 8

4 ripe Haas avocados

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)

8 dashes Tabasco sauce

1/2 cup small-diced red onions

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium tomato, seed and small-diced

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop them out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.


(From “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”)

Serves 35 for dinner

50 for cocktails

1 (14 to 16 pound) fully cooked, spiral cut smoked ham

6 garlic cloves garlic

8 1/2 ounces mango chutney

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

Zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the ham on a heavy roasting pan. Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or room temperature.


(From “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”)

Serves 10 to 12

8 ounces bacon, chopped

1/4 cup good olive oil

6 cups chopped yellow onions, (4 large onions)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

12 cups chicken stock

6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled

10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)

2 cups half-and-half

1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the bacon fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and Cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.


(From “Barefoot Contessa Family Style”)

Serves 6 to 8

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature (see note)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup good olive oil

Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten and serve immediately.

Note: If you’re worried about raw egg, substitute 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.


(From “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”)

Serves 10

5 pounds Macintosh or Macoun apples

Grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar. packed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 14 x 2-inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.

Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for one hour, until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

All recipes are from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa” collection of cookbooks. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Ina Garten and Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.