I rarely buy cookbooks that do not contain the words cookies, cakes or dessert in the title but, while holiday shopping in Marshalls, I was lucky to find two Ina Garten cookbooks, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. Knowing full well my history of buying cookbooks that remain unopened and collect dust, I vowed it would be different with Ina. After all, I love her Rugelach recipe!
So, on New Year’s Day, my “Jeffrey” and I decided to celebrate at home by cooking a special dinner together, and I was thrilled to reach for one of my new books. Back to Basics…Spring Green Risotto….yeah, we can do that, but we absolutely needed to grocery shop because it quickly became apparent that my stock of basic ingredients was no match for Ina’s. Onions: yes. Leeks: no. Cream cheese: yes. Mascarpone cheese: no. Celery: yes. Fennel: no…
Shopping done; let’s get started –
Ina refers to this as a “great last-minute dinner if you have most of the ingredients on hand”. It took us every bit of three hours to chop, cook and serve. If we hadn’t munched along on cheese and crackers, we might have starved. Nothing “last minute” about this risotto.
Taste? Totally delicious, creamy and bursting with flavor! And great leftover.
“Jeffrey” wants to try another recipe. Apparently, he didn’t mind cleaning the aftermath of our kitchen tornado. I’ve assured him that, although this will not be a Julie / Julia thing, it’s worth the adventure. He’s thinking “Bay Scallops Gratin”. It may not be easy to convince him that “Coconut Cupcakes” are the only way to go.