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

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1 hour ago, Lava VaVoom said:

I'm dying to try truffle butter, but my supermarkets don't carry it and I refuse to order it from Amazon.

Not a fan of truffle butter over here. Tastes like dirt to me. But I have weird tastes ...

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9 hours ago, Lava VaVoom said:

I'm dying to try truffle butter, but my supermarkets don't carry it and I refuse to order it from Amazon.

I saw it at Trader Joe's recently.  I don't remember the price but it didn't seem like a lot of money.

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I had a friend over for lunch yesterday and served Ina's chicken salad (the one with walnuts and grapes).  That is so darn good!! This morning I picked out the grapes and put it on toasted sourdough for breakfast. Yum.

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One thing that always baffles me is when Ina says to use a "good" ingredient - parmesan, olive oil, etc.  When I'm looking at 5 or 8 or so brands, how do I know which of them are considered "good"?  The most expensive?

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When she's talking about vanilla, she means real vanilla, not synthetic. As far as parmesan, she probably means parmigiano reggiano or similar - from a wheel with the rind. I think you look for "good" olive oil for salad dressings. Trader Joe's extra virgin is highly rated.

Edited by chessiegal

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In her later cookbooks, she lists the products she prefers like Hellmann's mayo, Olio Santo extra virgin olive oil, Maille mustard, DeCecco pasta, Diamond Crystal kosher salt.  I use Trader Joe's California Estate e.v.o.o. but at xmastime I treat myself to Olio Santo ($29/bottle!!!).   I don't have any of the later cookbooks and just looked in my BC cookbooks. One of them has a page of photos (Olio Santo, of course and Hellmann's, but also Grey Poupon, Nielsen-Massy Vanilla extract).

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I committed to bring a pasta salad to my Fun Lunch potluck on Thursday. I decided to make Ina's roasted shrimp with orzo without the shrimp. Looking up what cookbook that recipe is in, I discovered 2 things. First, Ina has exactly that recipe in her latest "Cooking Like a Pro" cookbook, and second, this is the only Ina cookbook I don't have. Off to Barnes & Noble tomorrow with my 20% off coupon to correct this oversight!

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It's been years since I made her Italian Wedding Soup and, so I made it last night and it was delicious! Boyfriend loved it. The dill is so good in it.

The little chicken meatballs are great -- I've been thinking I should make a batch and freeze for use in other soups and pasta. As much as I like her beef/pork meatballs, the chicken ones pair better in primavera / cream sauce / broth scenarios. I sometimes buy prepared ones (like Aidell's) but they're not nearly as good. The hard part isn't making them, it's getting ground chicken and good chicken sausage. Have to plan to hit the right markets, can't just wing it at my local supermarket.

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56 minutes ago, snarktini said:

The hard part isn't making them, it's getting ground chicken and good chicken sausage. Have to plan to hit the right markets, can't just wing it at my local supermarket.

I don't know if you have Sprouts markets in your area, but they have good-quality offerings of both.  When I don't want to make a trip to the local butcher shop, that's the store where I can pick some up alongside my other shopping and know it's going to be good.

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5 hours ago, snarktini said:

It's been years since I made her Italian Wedding Soup and, so I made it last night and it was delicious! Boyfriend loved it. The dill is so good in it.

The little chicken meatballs are great -- I've been thinking I should make a batch and freeze for use in other soups and pasta. As much as I like her beef/pork meatballs, the chicken ones pair better in primavera / cream sauce / broth scenarios. I sometimes buy prepared ones (like Aidell's) but they're not nearly as good. The hard part isn't making them, it's getting ground chicken and good chicken sausage. Have to plan to hit the right markets, can't just wing it at my local supermarket.

This is my go-to Wedding Soup recipe. I always make 2 or 3 times more meatballs so I can freeze the extra. I also make my own chicken bone broth so the flavor of the soup is out of this world. Then when I make the soup, I add a few Parmesan rinds while it is simmering. Over the top awesome. 

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6 hours ago, snarktini said:

The little chicken meatballs are great -- I've been thinking I should make a batch and freeze for use in other soups and pasta.

Thats what i do and they are also great in pita sandwiches with tzatziki and arugula and pickled red onion.

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8 hours ago, snarktini said:

The little chicken meatballs are great -- I've been thinking I should make a batch and freeze for use in other soups and pasta. As much as I like her beef/pork meatballs, the chicken ones pair better in primavera / cream sauce / broth scenarios. I sometimes buy prepared ones (like Aidell's) but they're not nearly as good. The hard part isn't making them, it's getting ground chicken and good chicken sausage. Have to plan to hit the right markets, can't just wing it at my local supermarket.

Do you have a Whole Foods near you?  Whenever they have fresh cilantro chicken sausages, I buy several and freeze them (they almost always have chicken Italian sausages).  That's my sausage part of the meatball.  Then, I buy skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut them up and toss in the food processor and make my own ground chicken.  I'm making this for supper tomorrow night so I just thawed the sausages today.  It's funny but whenever I make this soup, it never tastes right until I pour it into bowls and toss the Parmigiana-reggiano on it and voila!  It suddenly tastes fabulous.

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I want to share this with people who appreciate what an accomplishment it is: While making the Italian wedding soup yesterday, I only ate three of the meatballs while waiting for the soup to be ready to add them in.

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I was hoping to make her lemon chicken, broccoli, and bow tie pasta salad for my monthly pot luck, however, the recipe calls for chicken breasts to be marinated and grilled. There was no grilling going on in MD yesterday with our 6" of welcome spring snow. Hoping to try it sometime. If anyone's made it, would be interested in a review.

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I made her baked polenta with mushrooms and blue cheese from last weeks episode, super easy and delicious . Tomorrow I am going to make the smoked salmon pizzas from the same episode. They both have marscopne in them which is nice.

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I made Ina's Guinness brown bread for St Patrick's Day and it was much too beery tasting for my taste (go figure!), but the texture was nice.  Not a repeat for me. 

I was watching the new episode this past Sunday and nothing  really appealed,  because I'm not a drinker and don't want "tipsy" desserts,  but in the repeat after,  she made raspberry jam-filled corn muffins which looked delicious.  Has anyone tried those? 

Edited by librarianbeck

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26 minutes ago, librarianbeck said:

 

I made Ina's Guinness brown bread for St Patrick's Day and it was much too beery tasting for my taste (go figure!)

 

Interesting we didn't taste the beer and really enjoyed it. It also mafe fabulous croutons with the leftovers.

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10 hours ago, biakbiak said:

Interesting we didn't taste the beer and really enjoyed it. It also mafe fabulous croutons with the leftovers.

I've had beer bread before and didn't notice the flavor.  I figured it was because it was stout,  which is a more pronounced flavor. Oh well, they can't all be winners. 

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Oh, Ina! I'm making her Father's Day menu (filet mignon with mustard and mushrooms, parmesan roasted asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, frozen hot chocolate, and vodka limoncello), and it calls for SIX DIFFERENT LIQUORS (two just for the filets). Good grief, woman.

Update: Ok, fine, it was fantastic. The frozen hot chocolate was the only thing I probably wouldn't make again.

Edited by huahaha
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On 6/17/2018 at 8:18 AM, huahaha said:

Oh, Ina! I'm making her Father's Day menu (filet mignon with mustard and mushrooms, parmesan roasted asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, frozen hot chocolate, and vodka limoncello), and it calls for SIX DIFFERENT LIQUORS (two just for the filets). Good grief, woman.

Update: Ok, fine, it was fantastic. The frozen hot chocolate was the only thing I probably wouldn't make again.

That sounds really good, except the mashed potatoes but then I'm kind of a mashed potatoes purist. Just butter, salt and pepper for me.

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I love garlic mashed potatoes. Which reminds me for no particular reason I was invited as part of a group to have dinner at a restaurant hosted by author Patricia Cornwell. We were in a private dining room. She knew I and another woman love Chardonnay, and told the waiter to bring one of their most expensive bottles and keep it flowing. Someone asked if they had garlic mashed potatoes, and the waiter said no. Patricia turned to him and said "Can you make that happen?" Why yes, yes he could. Money talks.

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1 hour ago, chessiegal said:

I love garlic mashed potatoes. Which reminds me for no particular reason I was invited as part of a group to have dinner at a restaurant hosted by author Patricia Cornwell. We were in a private dining room. She knew I and another woman love Chardonnay, and told the waiter to bring one of their most expensive bottles and keep it flowing. Someone asked if they had garlic mashed potatoes, and the waiter said no. Patricia turned to him and said "Can you make that happen?" Why yes, yes he could. Money talks.

Very cool story!  I used to read all of her books.  Love it — yes, money talks and in this case, produced amazing Chardonnay and garlic mashed potatoes!  What a great memory for you. :)

Edited by MerBearHou
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8 minutes ago, MerBearHou said:

Very cool story!  I used to read all of her books.  Love it — yes, money talks and in this case, produced amazing Chardonnay and garlic mashed potatoes!  What a great memory for you. :)

That wasn't my only interaction with her. She had a way of worming her way into law enforcement agencies to do research for her books. I've got lots of PC stories. Enough that "her people" sent me 2 autographed books she had asked me info on.

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21 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

That wasn't my only interaction with her. She had a way of worming her way into law enforcement agencies to do research for her books. I've got lots of PC stories. Enough that "her people" sent me 2 autographed books she had asked me info on.

How fascinating!!!  PC’s books were always massively detailed and obviously well researched — great reads.

Saw Ina today with Jennifer Garner on the old show where they were celebrating Jennifer’s birthday.  So enjoyed it.  What a dream to have Ina come and cook with you for your birthday.  I want to try those kale chips and I’m not a fan of kale at all.

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On 7/22/2018 at 7:31 PM, MerBearHou said:

How fascinating!!!  PC’s books were always massively detailed and obviously well researched — great reads.

Saw Ina today with Jennifer Garner on the old show where they were celebrating Jennifer’s birthday.  So enjoyed it.  What a dream to have Ina come and cook with you for your birthday.  I want to try those kale chips and I’m not a fan of kale at all.

I've made them. The main thing is really making sure they're completely saturated with olive oil.

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I'm thinking of doing Ina's seafood pot pie as all the components - including fennel: fennel & leeks au gratin is delicious - are particular favourites of mine.  But when it was shown the sauce beneath the pastry looked awfully thin/"brothy".  I've read the recipe and am contemplating doing the unthinkable and substituting the "brothy-ness" for bechamel with a splash of Pernod - which will probably morph into white wine, because I'm not about to buy a bottle of Pernod for one recipe!  In effect, taking the base ingredients and doing a massive change so it's not the recipe as written!! 

I wonder if anyone has made it as per Ina's recipe?  I love the idea of the seafood, aniseedy fennel, pearl onions*, etc but was put off by the sight of the thin sauce however yummy it might be.

(Don't much like pastry either: this is almost a non-starter of a Great Idea!)

* I think I've seen frozen pearl onions at one of the big supermarkets in the UK

Edited by Mandolia

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On 9/24/2018 at 5:16 AM, Mandolia said:

(Don't much like pastry either: this is almost a non-starter of a Great Idea!)

 

Hmmm...if you don't like pastry, I wouldn't bother with this recipe but try to find something else that uses all those good ingredients you have.  Have you ever made her seafood stew?  I watched her make it (but have never tried making it myself). Maybe it's like cioppino (now THAT would be delicious...with some slices of a baguette grilled, and a glass of chardonnay...starting to drool here!)

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I remember the Two Fat Ladies making a fish pie, which looked more enticing to me than most of their other recipes.  I never got around to trying it, but Mandolia may have done so?

For those who want to make Ina Garten's recipe but hesitate to buy a bottle of Pernod just for that:   Bev Mo & other big liquor stores offer little bottles of liquors that hold approx. 4-6 Tbsp.  Even at $4 per bottle, that's probably cheaper than buying a full bottle of something that you're not likely to use except for one recipe.

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13 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

Hmmm...if you don't like pastry, I wouldn't bother with this recipe but try to find something else that uses all those good ingredients you have.  Have you ever made her seafood stew?  I watched her make it (but have never tried making it myself). Maybe it's like cioppino (now THAT would be delicious...with some slices of a baguette grilled, and a glass of chardonnay...starting to drool here!)

My question was pretty stupid, really!  Akin to leaving a review for a recipe on a website (giving it 5 stars) for something with a list of the reviewer's substitutions (inc swapping beef for chicken) ending up "otherwise it was excellent".  I get the NY Times e-mailed cooking newsletter (I love reading recipes) and the reviews are almost better than the recipes for sheer entertainment value. 

Cioppino - I had to google it!  Sounds similar to Spanish (particularly Menorca, one of the Balaeric islands/the Med) caldereta de langosta and/or bouillabaisse in France???   (and there are many variations to fishy/seafood elements).  Great hunks of local bread to soak up the sauce and, as you say, a glass of wine (or 2)...heaven on a plate.

My idea now is to make a "sort of" coquilles st Jacques with scallops and shrimp, plus the fennel and pearl onions, in a white wine sauce with mashed potato on top - or, if I have patience, spoon some of the mixture into individual scallop shells and VERY CAREFULLY pipe pretty blobs (!) of mashed potatoes round the outside.

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5 hours ago, fairffaxx said:

I remember the Two Fat Ladies making a fish pie, which looked more enticing to me than most of their other recipes.  I never got around to trying it, but Mandolia may have done so?

For those who want to make Ina Garten's recipe but hesitate to buy a bottle of Pernod just for that:   Bev Mo & other big liquor stores offer little bottles of liquors that hold approx. 4-6 Tbsp.  Even at $4 per bottle, that's probably cheaper than buying a full bottle of something that you're not likely to use except for one recipe.

I use my late mother's fish pie recipe which, when you read them side by side, is almost identical to the TFL recipe, down to the last full stop  And it's awfully good. 

I don't think tiny/airplane sized bottles of things such as Pernod are available in the UK, although one can get airplane sized bottles of wine which is useful when a recipe calls for a "splash" of wine. 

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6 hours ago, Mandolia said:

My question was pretty stupid, really!  Akin to leaving a review for a recipe on a website (giving it 5 stars) for something with a list of the reviewer's substitutions (inc swapping beef for chicken) ending up "otherwise it was excellent".  I get the NY Times e-mailed cooking newsletter (I love reading recipes) and the reviews are almost better than the recipes for sheer entertainment value. 

Cioppino - I had to google it!  Sounds similar to Spanish (particularly Menorca, one of the Balaeric islands/the Med) caldereta de langosta and/or bouillabaisse in France???   (and there are many variations to fishy/seafood elements).  Great hunks of local bread to soak up the sauce and, as you say, a glass of wine (or 2)...heaven on a plate.

My idea now is to make a "sort of" coquilles st Jacques with scallops and shrimp, plus the fennel and pearl onions, in a white wine sauce with mashed potato on top - or, if I have patience, spoon some of the mixture into individual scallop shells and VERY CAREFULLY pipe pretty blobs (!) of mashed potatoes round the outside.

Nah...your question was ok . Bouillabaise--that's the word I was trying to think of but only came up with cioppino which is a San Francisco version of bouillabaise.  I do that too...find a recipe but not like a key part of it and then hunt around for another way to make it.  You are so right about those NYT's recipe reviews.  They're so much fun to read!  

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1 hour ago, MargeGunderson said:

I finally made the Italian Wedding Soup - yum! I now have 2 quavers in my freezer for cooler days.

That is the ONLY wedding soup I make! The best!

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2 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

It's those chicken sausage meatballs that won me over. 

Same here; I change some things about the rest of the recipe (I leave out the carrots and pasta [I used to include the pasta, but after I used up the bag of stars, I skipped it going forward] and I add more spinach), but I love those meatballs and they - plus the dill - make the soup.  Like everyone else, I have to limit how many I taste test (quality control, you know) while waiting to add them to the soup.  I use two different kinds of chicken sausage in making them, one with basil and one with spinach and feta, so there's a lot of good flavor that mixes well with the other meatball ingredients and the soup as a whole.

I don't make a lot of soups, but two of my handful of staples are Ina recipes -- this one and her cream of wild mushroom soup.

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30 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Same here; I change some things about the rest of the recipe (I leave out the carrots and pasta [I used to include the pasta, but after I used up the bag of stars, I skipped it going forward] and I add more spinach), but I love those meatballs and they - plus the dill - make the soup.  Like everyone else, I have to limit how many I taste test (quality control, you know) while waiting to add them to the soup.  I use two different kinds of chicken sausage in making them, one with basil and one with spinach and feta, so there's a lot of good flavor that mixes well with the other meatball ingredients and the soup as a whole.

I don't make a lot of soups, but two of my handful of staples are Ina recipes -- this one and her cream of wild mushroom soup.

I also make her Tomato Soup, too, which is to die for.

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It should be repeated that the meatballs for the IWS are also awesome made a little bigger and as sandwiches/wraps/pasta and red sauce. I make a ton when I make the soup and freeze the bigger ones.

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3 hours ago, Westiepeach said:

I also make her Tomato Soup, too, which is to die for.

Is that the roasted tomato soup? It's the only way to fly when we're at the height of tomato season.

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22 hours ago, biakbiak said:

It should be repeated that the meatballs for the IWS are also awesome made a little bigger and as sandwiches/wraps/pasta and red sauce. I make a ton when I make the soup and freeze the bigger ones.

That's a good idea...if I have any left over cause I can really get into them as soon as they come out of the oven (have to really watch my greedy hungry self at this point).  I know those Ramen soups are not so healthy but I keep some packages in the pantry for those nights when I just don't feel like cooking.  I could pop 2 or 3 of the left over chicken sausage meatballs in the Ramen chicken soup. I like to get the cilantro chicken sausages at Whole Foods and freeze some extras cause they don't always have them in the case.  Thank God the weather changed over night here cause it's now really Soup Time!!!

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On 11/30/2017 at 1:07 PM, Bastet said:

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.

Alas and alack...no Sprouts in Virginia. I'll just have to keep checking in on Whole Paycheck (geez--it's gotten even more expensive since amazon bought it--where are all the deals we were told to expect?) I really like their cilantro chicken sausage.  Was just informed that there are 3 of these sausages in the back of the freezer (who knew?) So I'm defrosting them and will make Ina's Italian wedding soup on Sunday (which is a good day to make soup, right?)  Happy weekend, everyone.

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