Week 4: Barefoot Contessa Foolproof – Chris’s picks

As promised, part two of our encounters with Foolproof, one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks.

Chris had never cooked from an Ina Garten recipe before, although he’d eaten plenty of stuff that I’ve made from her recipes, most notably her Pastitsio (Food Network recipe, a free link), a personal favorite, as it fairly accurately replicates the dish from the amazing Greek restaurants that I used to live near in Astoria, NY (Astoria is part of Queens in New York City, and for a long time was the epicenter of the Greek world in this area).

So Chris followed my insanity, and chose three recipes from Foolproof as well: Mustard-Marinated Flank Steak (pg 126), Crispy English Potatoes (pg 185) and Balsamic-Roasted Brussels sprouts (pg 196).

Chris, it must be noted, did a far better job of actually reading through the recipes and planning ahead than I did. He marinated the steak the night before, and planned out his timing so that everything was on the table and ready at the same time. This skill is far beyond me.

The meal itself was freaking amazing. Chis is a really good cook, and almost always executes whatever he makes well. Which is interesting because he’s a much less confident cook than I am (albeit way more thoughtful), even though I have significantly more failures than he does. The steak was tender and juicy, and full of great flavor. The mustard really added to the marinade. The potatoes were crispy and delicious; the pancetta really added to them. The Brussels sprouts were fantastic, with lovely balsamic flavor and yet more pancetta. The leftovers from this meal did not last very long.

Awesome meat and potatoes and veg.

The most impressive thing that he did with this book was to take the techniques and some of the ingredients from the Crispy English Potatoes recipe and, a few days later, apply it to his usual home fries (which are amazing), which he makes a few times a week, and create something entirely new. Which was fantastic. The remainder of the potatoes are sitting in the pan on the stove behind me as I write this, and I am really having difficulty not eating the rest of them.

Chris’s fab potatoes. We’re discussing writing a recipe for them.

2 thoughts on “Week 4: Barefoot Contessa Foolproof – Chris’s picks

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