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Making Ina's Recipes at Home: How Easy is That?

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I'm going to try Ina's chicken salad. I don't care for chicken salad, but recently bought some wraps from Whole Foods to take to a cookie bake/swap, and 1 was curry chicken salad. I loved it, and I had leftover to bring home. My husband loved it too.

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Ina's recipe for regular chicken salad and Junior's recipe are similar and both are excellent.  I haven't seen her recipe for curried chicken salad but I know it has to be good :>)  I remember when curried chicken salad was all the rage, back in the 80's.  

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I always make a curried turkey salad after Thanksgiving if we splurge on a turkey.  (My husband is happier with chicken on T'giving.)  I've made this for years and years, and it's one of the few dishes that we both like curry in.

Today, I've made Ina's truffles and her French Chocolate Bark.  For the truffles, I filled each with a hazelnut or a cherry or candied orange mini-slices, then rolled them in various coatings -- chopped pecans, shredded coconut, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and left some plain.  I made a double batch, and it took some time.  Amazing how Ina, through the magic of television, managed to make hers in about ten minutes!

Biakbiak, next time I make the curried chicken, it's going to be in a wrap of lettuce.  Great for lunch or as an hors d'oeuvre scooped into Romaine.

Edited by Lura

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19 hours ago, Lura said:

Today, I've made Ina's truffles and her French Chocolate Bark.  For the truffles, I filled each with a hazelnut or a cherry or candied orange mini-slices, then rolled them in various coatings -- chopped pecans, shredded coconut, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and left some plain.  I made a double batch, and it took some time.  Amazing how Ina, through the magic of television, managed to make hers in about ten minutes!

It's also never shown how she manages to avoid carpal tunnel when scooping out the hardened chocolate!  Ouch!  I tried a raspberry truffle recipe (not Ina's), and doubled it based on the yield the recipe gave, and I have buckets of truffles, a sore bicep, but a happy family.

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I made Ina's thumbprint cookies as I always do (raspberry, strawberry, and apricot) and I am sort of OCD when it comes to having even numbers of each because most of the  them are for cookie gift boxes and I had two remaining balls, I also had a little leftover bittersweet chocolate sauce from my homemade mallomars and so used that in place of the jam. OMG this is now going into the rotation the next time I make them. If I didnt have a gazillion cookies, date loaf and making three pies for Christmas I would make another batch using the chocolate sauce. So freaking delicious.

Edited by biakbiak

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On 12/22/2016 at 9:32 PM, biakbiak said:

I am sort of OCD when it comes to having even numbers of each because most of the  them are for cookie gift boxes 

LOL!! Me too. My standard Christmas goodies are pumpkin pie truffles. One batch makes 30, so 3 nice little packages of 10. I had a bunch out in the fridge in the garage, packaged up and ready to be delivered. A few mornings later I reached in to pull out the ones for my daughter's teacher and the ladies in the front office at her school, and I noticed the corner of one box still in the fridge was partially opened, and the Saran Wrap was peeking out. There were three missing. I'd thrown in few couple extra for the people at school, so I had to spend a few minutes redistributing everything. I was on the warpath and immediately texted my husband asking him if he'd eaten them. He said no. My daughter finally fessed up later, and we had a talk about how it's really not very nice to make a gift for someone and then eat some of it before you give it to them. My husband told me later, "If it had been me, you never would have known. I would have eaten all but one, and then filled the box up with rocks to make it weigh about the same, and then put everything back together just the way it had been before. Then whoever you'd given it too would have been thinking 'Gee. Thanks, ShellSeeker!' when they opened it." LOL.

I also love Ina's curried chicken salad. I always think I'm going to make it with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, but there's never that much left after the hordes descend on it.

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I made Ina's Easy Cheese Danish for brunch today, and I was disappointed.  The inside of the puff pastry came out almost mushy, it was so underdone.  The filling itself lacked much flavor or richness.  My oven was just calibrated four days ago, and it's been fine for everything else.  I put the rolls back in the oven for five more minutes, which barely changed them. 

I wonder whether the cream cheese filling was the cause of the moisture.  Next time I make them, IF I make them, I'm going to coat the center of the puff pastry with a double thickness of egg wash and see whether that protects the pastry from becoming wet.  I was so glad I wasn't feeding guests!

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17 hours ago, Lura said:

I made Ina's Easy Cheese Danish for brunch today, and I was disappointed.  The inside of the puff pastry came out almost mushy, it was so underdone.  The filling itself lacked much flavor or richness.  My oven was just calibrated four days ago, and it's been fine for everything else.  I put the rolls back in the oven for five more minutes, which barely changed them. 

I wonder whether the cream cheese filling was the cause of the moisture.  Next time I make them, IF I make them, I'm going to coat the center of the puff pastry with a double thickness of egg wash and see whether that protects the pastry from becoming wet.  I was so glad I wasn't feeding guests!

I do a blueberry cheese danish with puff pastry. I use frozen blueberries thawed and mixed with a little sugar. Spread the bottom square of pastry with softened cream cheese with a table spoon or so of lemon juice, spread the blueberries on  and top with the second square of pastry, brush on egg and sprinkle with sparkle sugar. Score with a knife for steam. Bake at whatever the box recommends. It's quick and quite tasty.

Edited by peacheslatour · Reason: accidentally a word
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4 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I do a blueberry cheese danish with puff pastry. I use frozen blueberries thawed and mixed with a little sugar. Spread the bottom square of pastry with softened cream cheese with a table spoon or so of lemon juice, spread the blueberries on  and top with the second square of pastry, brush on egg and sprinkle with sparkle sugar. Score with a knife for steam. Bake at whatever the box recommends. It's quick and quite tasty.

Peaches, the world is a better place with blueberries and lemon (according to me)!  Thanks for a great idea!

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I didn't make the Italian wedding soup back when I had planned to, as I realized I had some turkey stock I needed to use and decided to make a turkey soup instead, but I finally got around to making a half batch of it on this stormy day.  Yum!  I couldn't decide between two chicken sausages that I like - one with basil, one with spinach and feta - so I used equal amounts of each.  I left out the carrots as I hate them cooked, and I didn't have any Pecorino Romano so I used extra Parmigiano-reggiano.  I love dill, and it's a great component of this soup; next time, I think I'll add a little more of it.  (I'll also remember to pick up some Pecorino Romano if I don't have any, <sigh>, as I think having a sheep's milk cheese in there, too, would make the meatballs even better.) 

I'd never bought stars pasta before, and could not find it for the most frustrating time -- I didn't realize it was before the rest of the pasta, in a little bag on a shelf with little bags of alphabet pasta. 

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It's wonderful soup and those chicken sausage meatballs are out of this world.  I couldn't find stars pasta so have used either mini penne or rings.  I've got some chicken with cilantro sausages in the freezer and am thinking of making chicken "burgers" with it (sort of flattened version of those meatballs).

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When she said small pasta, she meant it with the stars.  I'm generally a larger pasta person, but in the context of this soup it turned out I really liked having teeny tiny pasta.  I prefer whole wheat pasta, though, which wasn't an option with the stars.

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I came upon Ina's Great Northern Bean casserole today, and it sounded so good.  (That's not the official name for it).  It sounded quick, simple to make, and flavored with her favorite Provencal seasonings.  A nice video goes along with the recipe at the FN.  I was thinking what a great side it would make in place of potatoes some night.  I'd like to put it together for tonight or maybe tomorrow.  I have some spiral cut ham in the freezer, left over from a big dinner, that I thought would go well with it.  A friend recently lost his wife to cancer, and this seemed like a tasty, portable comfort food supper for him, along with a Romaine salad and fresh fruit.  What do you think?  Has anyone tried it, and did you like it?  Suggestions?  Thanks, friends.

Edited by Lura
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I am also looking for a recommendation. I feel like cooking shrimp and I thought I remembered Ina having a shrimp recipe that drew raves here. Any leads on that, please? Thanks!

Lura I have not tried that recipe but your comfort food salad sounds good to me, for what it's worth.

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If you're talking about her method for roasting shrimp (with garlic, olive oil, pepper and salt), I've found it to be foolproof. I use it for stir fries - roast the shrimp first and add it to the stir fry last. I peel the shrimp, toss it with minced garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and roast it at 450 degrees for 3-5 minutes. I do it in a countertop oven so I can watch the color. As soon as it turns pink, I take it out. Perfectly cooked every time. Never over cooked and rubbery.

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3 hours ago, stewedsquash said:

Would you mind sharing the date loaf recipe? I love dates, in pretty much anything but have not had a date loaf. My son's sweetie made some date balls at Christmas and they were a big hit. A lot of the ones eating them had no clue what they were but said once you tried one, you kept going back for just one more. 

It's more a date roll but it is easy. It's an old family recipe but because it's all sweet things I have loved it since I was a child.

  • 24 graham crackers crushed
  • 24 marshmallows cut into pieces, don't use mini marshmallows because you need the stickiness they get when their cut up
  • 1 lb dates cut up, they sell them already cut nowadays
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped 
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together except the graham crackers together. I put the vanilla in the heavy cream when I am whipping it. Form into a log/loaf/roll, roll in the graham crackers completely covering it. Wrap in wax paper or saran wrap and chill at least over night.

Cut into slices and serve with more whipped cream.

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21 hours ago, stewedsquash said:

@biakbiak  Hmmm. I am probably going to get double triple the amount of ingredients because I can completely see me messing this up a few times before getting the hang of it.

My grandmother always made it and the first time I did I was following her recipe which neglected to mention the whipped cream needed to be whipped so I ended up with a soupy mess! 

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I made her baked cheesy cauliflower shells from last week's episode, I really enjoyed the flavors but it was too dry for my taste so next time I make it I will make a Mornay sauce. 

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Last night we cooked beef tenderloin following Ina's method of putting it in a 500-degree oven and cooking it for 22 minutes (seemingly random time, I know, but at that heat it goes from rare to medium rare with just three more minutes cooking time), then covering it tightly with foil and letting it set for 20 minutes.  It was the second time we'd used this cooking method, and it came out divine both times. 

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1 hour ago, Bastet said:

Last night we cooked beef tenderloin following Ina's method of putting it in a 500-degree oven and cooking it for 22 minutes (seemingly random time, I know, but at that heat it goes from rare to medium rare with just three more minutes cooking time), then covering it tightly with foil and letting it set for 20 minutes.  It was the second time we'd used this cooking method, and it came out divine both times. 

It is delicious and there is zero waste. I serve with horseradish sauce. If you don't make your own, I highly recommend Boar's Head horseradish sauce in the deli section. 

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We do it with (homemade) horseradish sauce, too.  Ina served it with gorgonzola sauce, but neither my mom nor I like gorgonzola, so that's out.  (I've only ever eaten this at my parents' house; I don't eat much beef to begin with, and I'm certainly not cooking myself a whole tenderloin, so it's something I eat when my mom makes it and I go over for dinner.  It's usually a holiday meal, but the butcher had the tenderloin on special, so she couldn't resist -- lucky me!)

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I hauled in about 1/3 of the apples from my apple tree-it finally started producing full sized fruit this year!  I made a bunch of apple recipes to use them up and to freeze, and let me tell you, has anyone ever made Ina's apple crisp?  That recipe made 17 individual servings of apple crisp and let me tell you, I think they were exceptionally generous serving sizes.  Cut the amount of apples to 3 pounds at least.  Sheesh, Ina!!

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Ina's recipes tend to feed millions of people & use every pot & pan in your kitchen  ;).   Was the recipe good?

Edited by ariel
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I've made her Pear, Apple & Cranberry Crisp and it was wonderful.  It serves 8.   I haven't seen her recipe for apple crisp but wow!  17 servings?  She must've been cooking for a big crowd.

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At first I thought, "Seventeen?!  Even for Ina, that's nuts."  But I just looked up the recipe, and it says it serves 10, so the fact it actually turns out 17 generous portions sounds like typical Ina -- a yield almost double what is stated.  I automatically cut all her recipes in half.

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I love Ina & she tends to make a "gracious plenty" for all.  I first heard this quote from Nathalie Dupree for Nathalie's recipes.

Edited by ariel
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8 hours ago, ariel said:

use every pot & pan in your kitchen  ;).  

Interesting I have never found that to be the case.

This weekend I made her Italian Wedding Soup and it turned out well, I had to quarts leftover but it freezes well. I also made a double batch of the meatballs and froze them separately. I use them in pita sandwiches all the time. 

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16 hours ago, ariel said:

Ina's recipes tend to feed millions of people & use every pot & pan in your kitchen  ;).   Was the recipe good?

Yes, it was really tasty!

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41 minutes ago, MargeGunderson said:

I made Ina's meatballs from Cooking for Jeffrey. They are baked in the oven, so no messy cleanup! They were very good and light.

My darling mother made such yummy meatballs and she baked them. I have all her recipes and cannot find that recipe to save my soul, so will try Ina's. Thanks for the review!!

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I made Ina's Potato Pancetta Frittata tonight for a late supper.  It was delicious.  I cut the recipe in half, and it still made too much, but we'll enjoy the leftovers for lunch, etc.  Ina made the recipe when she had Eli and his wife over for brunch, and four people barely made a dent in this huge dish, especially with all the other things Ina served.  I have to echo the complaint of others that Ina's recipes make too much food!

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14 hours ago, Spunkygal said:

My darling mother made such yummy meatballs and she baked them. I have all her recipes and cannot find that recipe to save my soul, so will try Ina's. Thanks for the review!!

I think you could use Ina's technique for just about any meatball recipe. So if you don't like Ina's (which has pork and veal in addition to sirloin) you could use whatever you like and just watch the cooking time. 

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12 minutes ago, MargeGunderson said:

I think you could use Ina's technique for just about any meatball recipe. So if you don't like Ina's (which has pork and veal in addition to sirloin) you could use whatever you like and just watch the cooking time. 

Absolutely.  I don't use her recipe, but I bake my meatballs.  I also bake my chili.  The best part about baking the meatballs is that it's very easy to skim the grease, even when it's hot, as opposed to stovetop, when you're just reincorporating the fat every time you stir it.

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What makes the meatballs "light"?  My husband had the best ever spaghetti & meatballs on a recent cruise (tried to get the recipe but the waiter forgot) and I wondered if it was the meat used (e.g. veal...which I won't use). If using ground pork and ground sirloin (ground by the butcher as opposed to me grinding it in my food processor) will make the meatballs light, I'm all for trying out this recipe.  

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9 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

What makes the meatballs "light"?  My husband had the best ever spaghetti & meatballs on a recent cruise (tried to get the recipe but the waiter forgot) and I wondered if it was the meat used (e.g. veal...which I won't use). If using ground pork and ground sirloin (ground by the butcher as opposed to me grinding it in my food processor) will make the meatballs light, I'm all for trying out this recipe.  

For lack of a more elegant way to put it, they weren't heavy balls of meat that sat in my stomach for an hour after eating them! It was also the texture - not dense or too crumbly or too dry. I think the real difference was the amount of dry bread crumbs and the wine and water added to keep them moist. The recipe should work with double the pork and no veal (or 1/2 lb more of sirloin, but I prefer extra pork!)

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My understanding of what makes meatballs "light", and I learned this from ATK, is the use of a panade - a mixture of diced bread and milk that is mixed with the meat.

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 This has nothing to do with Ina except that the elegance of these pears reminded me of something that Ina (or another of the Hamptons matrons) might present on her Christmas or Thanksgiving table.  When I saw the picture and read the recipe, I was hooked.  I want to make these for my own family or dinner party friends for a holiday meal. 

http://www.just-between-friends.com/2013/11/caramel-dipped-pears.html

NEXT DAY:

BTW, I would tend to agree with Chessie on the panade based on a trial I did on meatballs about five years ago.  I used my standard recipe with breadcrumbs in it, and it was good.  But then, next time, I made a different recipe (I forget whose) with cut-up bread squares and milk (soaked until soggy), and the meatballs were noticeably lighter.

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Lura
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We are going camping in the Rockies this weekend and it's going to be quite chilly (and maybe some snow), so I'm bringing up ingredients to make Ina's hot chocolate.  The recipe looks quite decadent, and hopefully much better than a powder that you add hot water to.  I'm anxious to try it!

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2 minutes ago, roughing it said:

We are going camping in the Rockies this weekend and it's going to be quite chilly (and maybe some snow), so I'm bringing up ingredients to make Ina's hot chocolate.  The recipe looks quite decadent, and hopefully much better than a powder that you add hot water to.  I'm anxious to try it!

Do you have room for one more? The heat index today is at least 100 and I am SO sick of summer. No, I'm not jealous of your trip at all!! Have fun and enjoy every moment!

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6 hours ago, Lura said:

 This has nothing to do with Ina except that the elegance of these pears reminded me of something that Ina (or another of the Hamptons matrons) might present on her Christmas or Thanksgiving table.  When I saw the picture and read the recipe, I was hooked.  I want to make these for my own family or dinner party friends for a holiday meal. 

http://www.just-between-friends.com/2013/11/caramel-dipped-pears.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have some pears that I need to use soon.  I'm going to give that recipe a try.  It looks good.

Edited by ariel
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Good luck, ariel.  Let me know what you think when you make them, will you?  I'm going to do a test run after I get some pears, and I'll compare notes with you.  :)  They really do sound easy and delicious, and so does the caramel sauce.

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Lura - I'll probably give the recipe a try this weekend. I have some pears & my local market has them on sale for  .99 a pound.

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Hello all! I’ve been registered here for ages but have been dormant. An old episode of BC on YouTube inspired me and here I am. I’ve enjoyed reading all of your recipes and tips!

I haven’t made a ton of Ina’s recipes, but I intend to rectify that ASAP. Her garlic roast chicken and roasted pork loin are regular dinners at my house. I also enjoy her baked mustard chicken and her crispy kale, though I inevitably over-crowd my kale and have inconsistent crispiness. I’ve also made her chocolate bark and hazelnut truffles-DIVINE in my opinion. Her key lime pie was slightly disappointing, as I didn’t find it to be very limey. 

I am looking forward to trying more of her desserts and soups, and I look forward to more input from you lovelies. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Welcome, goodmayo (or, welcome back)!  I was just in the supermarket and saw a box of small shells.  It reminded me that I need to make Ina's Lobster & Shells (except I use shrimp instead because it's less expensive).  It's soooo delicious.  One other thing I'm thinking of making this week is her Bangers & Mustard Mash recipe.  I love that.

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28 minutes ago, annzeepark914 said:

 It reminded me that I need to make Ina's Lobster & Shells (except I use shrimp instead because it's less expensive).  It's soooo delicious.  

Using shrimp instead of lobster is a great idea.  I'm going to try that.

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I’ve been looking for some new some new Thanksgiving recipes and found two that I can’t wait to try: her spinach gratin and her pumpkin banana mousse tart. Both seem traditional enough but a nice upgrade over my family’s typical (err boring) fare. Has anyone made either of these or had any luck preparing turkey like Ina?

I am so happy to be here. I hate what Food Network has become; I was telling my husband I feel like FN is how I learned to cook, thanks to Ina, Mario, Sarah Moulton, and Giada in the early days. I also remember watching and loving Two Fat Ladies with my grandma.  I know she wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but even Rachael Ray taught me a lot of basics. Now everything is canned and creamed or a competition. Ho hum. 

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