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

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38 minutes ago, goodmayo said:

her spinach gratin

It's delicious; we have it most years on either Christmas Eve or Christmas. (It's so rich it's best reserved for occasional meals.)  I cut the recipe in half*, as per usual with Ina, but I don't think I make any other changes.  Oh, one change I didn't think of when I first posted, but it's minor: I season just with pepper, no salt; I never add salt to cheesy dishes.

* She says it serves eight, but cutting it in half yields about six servings.

Edited by Bastet
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Welcome @goodmayo! Most of us, too, are sick of what FN has become. You will find refuge here. I have to ask, and I hope this isn't rude, did you come up with your user name because Ina always insists on "use the good ______?" Like, use the good mayo?* If so, you're genius!

*although Ina would make her own mayo!

Edited by Spunkygal
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28 minutes ago, Spunkygal said:

Welcome @goodmayo! Most of us, too, are sick of what FN has become. You will find refuge here. I have to ask, and I hope this isn't rude, did you come up with your user name because Ina always insists on "use the good ______?" Like, use the good mayo?* If so, you're genius!

*although Ina would make her own mayo!

Indeed I did! I actually tried to make my own mayo once; it did not go well. I will stick with Duke’s going forward. Apologies to Queen Ina. 

Edited by goodmayo
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38 minutes ago, Spunkygal said:

*although Ina would make her own mayo!

Nah, even Ina just pulls out the Hellman's (Best Foods).

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It's funny how we all have our own special mayo.  I grew up eating Kraft mayonnaise (because that's what my mother liked & bought).  When I got married, my husband preferred Hellmann's so I switched and stayed with Hellmann's.  I tried making my own mayo once, wasn't all that impressed and went back to store-bought.  Love making quick & various aiolis with it.  Yes indeed, Ina has a jar of Hellmann's on the counter for many recipes (and she never tried to hide it either if I recall correctly).

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19 minutes ago, annzeepark914 said:

Yes indeed, Ina has a jar of Hellmann's on the counter for many recipes (and she never tried to hide it either if I recall correctly).

When you read her recipes on the show's section of the FN website, and one calls for "good mayonnaise," it will general say in parentheses something like "such as Hellman's."  So, nope, she's not making any secret of using store-bought mayo.  I'm a Best Foods (same brand, just a different name in the western U.S.) fan through and through, to the extent I like it better than homemade.

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On 10/12/2017 at 8:06 PM, annzeepark914 said:

When I got married, my husband preferred Hellmann's so I switched and stayed with Hellmann's. 

I grew up with Hellmann's; my husband's family ate Miracle Whip.  When we got married I had to buy both, but after a while my husband gave up on the Miracle Whip and never looked back.

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Some one posted somewhere on Ina's forum that she under cooks her chicken because when she cuts into it there is pink. I made a Trader Joes chicken in the oven tonight, and used a meat thermometer to make sure it was cooked to 165 degrees. It was, even up to 170 degrees. When I cut into it, there was a pink spot. The meat thermometer in the pink spot registered 170 degrees. So yes, you can see some pink and have properly cooked chicken. Your meat thermometer is your best friend.

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Testify.  Going by color isn't going to tell you whether chicken is done (especially if it's a bone-in piece); the color can be affected by other things as well.  With shrimp, I go by color - after several minutes, when they curl up and turn pink, they're done.  But with chicken, meat thermometer always, so I can take it off right at 160 (to allow for residual heat to bring the dark meat up to 165); I hate over-cooked meat. 

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On 10/9/2017 at 4:12 PM, ariel said:

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

Sometimes the really good grocery store near me will have langostino lobster, are you familiar with it?  It's not as good as American (Maine) lobster, but it has a more lobster flavor than shrimp, but is the size of shrimp, but it's generally a better price point (than lobster,not better priced than shrimp).  If you want to try it without spending the money on the whole bag, Red Lobster makes their Lobster mashed potatoes with it.

 

I agree on the pink chicken, and while I rely on the meat thermometer, I also use the clear juices rule if I'm not sure I temped properly (not sure why I second guess myself, I temp meat regularly, lol).  Clear juices=cooked, pink=not cooked.  

 

I grew up in a MW family, and I'll tell you what, my mom's deviled eggs are >>>>>>>>>>>> mine.  I add some sugar to my yolk mix, but it's just not the same.  And also, a bologna sandwich on white bread screams for MW and not mayo.  But other than that, I'm a mayo over MW for everything else.  I also go back and forth between Kraft and Hellmann's.  I think Hellmann's has that distinct flavor, but sometimes I don't want that.

Edited by larapu2000
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The only pink I want to see is in a steak or roast beef & it can be lightly reddish pink.  I like it medium & juicy.  Cannot handle seeing pink in chicken~~shudder~~

My MIL used Miracle Whip when she made potato salad & I had to force myself to try it.  Was quite surprised that her potato salad was really good. I don't know what she did but when I used her exact recipe at home, it was awful. Why is MW so OTT sweet?  

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On 8/28/2017 at 0:56 PM, ariel said:

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

No joke. I made her Sour cream Coffee Cake over the weekend. Never again.

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Peaches, you need the Drummond kids to do your dishes.

If California will end its Indian Summer, I can't wait to make Ina's Butternut Squash and Apple Soup.  I think it's one of the heartiest and most flavorful vegetable soups I've ever tasted.  My mother almost never made squash, so it really was Ina who got me interested in giving it a taste.  Now, I love it!

Edited by Lura
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On 10/25/2017 at 5:59 PM, Lura said:

Peaches, you need the Drummond kids to do your dishes.

If California will end its Indian Summer, I can't wait to make Ina's Butternut Squash and Apple Soup.  I think it's one of the heartiest and most flavorful vegetable soups I've ever tasted.  My mother almost never made squash, so it really was Ina who got me interested in giving it a taste.  Now, I love it!

I just made it last weekend! One of my favorites, along with Ina's Wedding Soup. Staples in my home!

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I made Ina's Mile High Apple Pie last week.  It was good tasting, but I really didn't care for that many apples in it.  I like to taste the pie crust, too, and the ratio of apples to crust seemed strange to me.  This week I tried it again using 1 1/2 less apples, and I liked it much better.

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Goodmayo, welcome to the board!  I, too, found Ina's Key Lime Pie not nearly as flavorful as I like it to be.  My favorite recipe for Key Lime Pie is posted on the FN.  It's the recipe for the famous Key Lime Pie served at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami.  Actually, there are two from Joe's Stone Crab, one credited to Giada and one credited to JSC restaurant.  The recipes may be identical (I didn't check), but the one I make is the one that comes from the restaurant.  Just thought you might like to give it a try sometime.  It's super easy to make and full of flavor.  (I don't use key limes, just supermarket limes).

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I made 6 batches of Ina's Pumpkin Spice cupcakes over the TG week.  Used as giveaways for neighbors, friends and work potluck. This recipe is fabulous. So easy, extremely moist and very tasty cakes with yummy frosting. Highly recommend!!!

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I made Ina's scalloped tomatoes for Thanksgiving.  I was looking for something different and thought we would all like it.  And we all did!!  It turned out really good, and it kind of tasted like pizza without the crust.  So good! 

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I think it's time to make Ina's Italian Wedding Soup but I'm waiting for Whole Foods to have chicken sausage with cilantro in it (instead of Italian chicken sausage...don't like them!)   I just read at another cooking website (I think it's called Once Upon a Chef) that the name, in Italian, means a marriage-type soup, that the ingredients marry each other to make a great taste.  Those chicken meatballs are soooo darn good!

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3 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

I think it's time to make Ina's Italian Wedding Soup but I'm waiting for Whole Foods to have chicken sausage with cilantro in it (instead of Italian chicken sausage...don't like them!)

Do you have Sprouts in your area?  They always have a couple of varieties of chicken sausage in addition to Italian -- I can't remember all the ingredients, but one has basil and another has feta.  They're both good, and I've used them - an equal amount of each - to make that recipe.

Edited by Bastet

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Last year when I did her thumbprints, which I typically use three different kinds of preserves to give out I was left with two extra balls and some leftover dark chocolate genache and it was a taste sensation so this year I will be making a separate chocolate batch of thumbprints.

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I'm allergic to wheat and eggs so it's hard to find recipes that turn out well, especially with egg substitutes. Ina's gingerbread cupcakes with orange icing don't have eggs in them, and the flour was easily subbed out with gf flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1. It's the best I've found). They're delicious! I made them again recently and switched the orange to lemon and made lemon buttercream frosting. I think I'll try a glaze next time. They freeze really well, too. 

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An old episode of Ina's that I'd love to see again at this holiday time is the one on which she went out in the snow, cut a branch and made a holiday tree for the kitchen with dried orange slices hanging from the branches.  There was something special about that show that I don't remember and wish that I could see again.

Biakbiak, thanks for sharing your inspiration.  Maybe I'll make some of my thumbprints with milk chocolate.

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I'm oddly sad I hate mustard* (and don't like capers, either), given how excited so many of you are by the recipe.

*Well, at least mustard with vinegar (I hate vinegar); I like Chinese-style spicy mustard, that's just ground mustard seed and water, and make that for some sauces, but I think that would be overwhelming with the fish.

Edited by Bastet

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Arg. That fish recipe sounds divine but I can't have !actose. Would it be good without the cremefraiche?

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On December 5, 2017 at 10:53 PM, rhys said:

Arg. That fish recipe sounds divine but I can't have !actose. Would it be good without the cremefraiche?

It was divine! I used salmon but can see how it would work with any fish.  I am sorry but the creme fraiche is such a key component and I don't know of a substitute for you. 

And I'm sorry to further torture you with recipes that are not lactose intolerant friendly but I made Ina's vanilla panna cotta with balsamic strawberry sauce. Oh yum! Of course how can you go wrong with cream, yogurt, sugar, vanilla? You can't! I did not have a vanilla bean so I upped the pure vanilla extract to between 2 and 2-1/2 tsps. In lieu of that, I could have also used the vanilla whole milk yogurt instead of plain. I may play with the recipe and try a baileys Irish cream version! 

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1 hour ago, Spunkygal said:

I may play with the recipe and try a baileys Irish cream version! 

O.M.G! I’m inviting myself to your house. ?

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9 minutes ago, AntAnn said:

O.M.G! I’m inviting myself to your house. ?

Come on over! This panna cotta is SO easy and for me and my family, it makes too much. But, sigh, I guess we'll have to eat more tomorrow! 

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Cook Like a Pro - Eggs.

The amount of Roquefort cheese she threw on that salad was ridiculous, not just in terms of cost, but flavor too.  We get it Ina, you're fabulous, but what's happened to your palate?

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I made Ina's Shrimp & Swordfish Curry for dinner tonight.  Blech.  Has anyone else made it?  I had to keep adding seasonings to get it to taste just decent enough to eat.  Now, the one thing I did not do is add a tablespoon of salt (but I added celery salt, Seasonal and some other seasonings but was tasting it all along).  

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On 12/29/2017 at 12:46 PM, Brookside said:

Cook Like a Pro - Eggs.

The amount of Roquefort cheese she threw on that salad was ridiculous, not just in terms of cost, but flavor too.  We get it Ina, you're fabulous, but what's happened to your palate?

My DH got me Ina's  Cooking For Jeffrey for Christmas. I can afford to make maybe 3 things in it. Lots of different liquors. There's no way I can afford expensive liquor for one recipe. Oh, well.

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3 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

My DH got me Ina's  Cooking For Jeffrey for Christmas. I can afford to make maybe 3 things in it. Lots of different liquors. There's no way I can afford expensive liquor for one recipe. Oh, well.

I don't know where you live but most liquors are available for purchase in 50 ml (1/4 cup) ie airplane bottles for 3 or 4 dollars.

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1 hour ago, biakbiak said:

I don't know where you live but most liquors are available for purchase in 50 ml (1/4 cup) ie airplane bottles for 3 or 4 dollars.

That's what I do.  I make a raspberry poundcake every summer & use 2 Tbsp of Chambord (raspberry liqueur) each time, so I buy a little bottle at Bev Mo every other year for $4.  (The empty miniature bottles make great bud vases.)

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We had brunch with friends today, and they were telling us about the most amazing dinner friends of theirs made them last night - beef tenderloin roast and Yorkshire pudding. I commented that sounded like something Ina Garten would make, and the wife's eyes got big, and she said "It was! She had her cookbook open on the kitchen counter!' The husband was surprised beef from Costco could taste that good.

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I'd say the majority of Ina's recipes I've made have been winners but there have been a few disappointments here and there.  Her Eggplant Gratin is very popular in our home, along with her Fattoush, Shrimp Salad, and Chicken Salad. And...Bangers & Mash (the best mashed potatoes IMO!)

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On 1/27/2018 at 4:54 PM, biakbiak said:

I don't know where you live but most liquors are available for purchase in 50 ml (1/4 cup) ie airplane bottles for 3 or 4 dollars.

You used to be able to get those at the State liquor stores around here but since the voters of Washington decided that supermarkets and large drug stores can sell it all the State stores went away and I don't see those little bottles any more.

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33 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

You used to be able to get those at the State liquor stores around here but since the voters of Washington decided that supermarkets and large drug stores can sell it all the State stores went away and I don't see those little bottles any more.

Don't now where you are in WA, but there are a few BevMos. My family lives in several places in Westrn Washington, when I visit I am always responsible for cooking and I have found them at a variety of places. 

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