tasty tuesday meets the barefoot contessa

This week's Tasty Tuesday is a whopping double header. This months Barefoot Bloggers recipes were outstanding and I could not wait to share them with you. The first recipe is from Ina Garten's new cookbook that hasn't even been released yet. Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips is due on the book shelves October 26, 2010 and her publisher allowed the early release of this recipe just for the Barefoot Bloggers. How cool is that?? Thank you Ina. I can't wait for the new cookbook.

OK, so back to the sandwich. Rebecca @ Ezra Pound Cake chose this recipe. When Ina says it's the Ultimate Grilled Cheese she is not messing around. This was a spectacular explosion of smooth Gruyere cheese, the salty crunch of smoky bacon with a back-note of Dijon mustard. It made me fall in love with my panini maker all over again. Don't have a panini press, don't let that stop you. An iron skillet will do. This was a phenomenal sandwich. You MUST make this. It pairs beautifully with a mixed green salad or a hot cup of tomato soup. Absolutely wonderful.

Celebrate the Feast!
Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich
recipe by Ina Garten


12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as Nodine’s applewood smoked
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick (12 slices)
6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
6 oz aged Gruyere or Comte cheese

6 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, such as Cabot or Shelburne Farms
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and cut in 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter.  Flip the slices and spread each one generously with the mayonnaise mixture.  Don’t neglect the corners!

Grate the cheeses in a food processor fitted with the largest grating disk and combine.  Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread.  Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.

Heat an electric panini press.  When the press is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.  Allow to cool for 2 minutes.  Cut in half and serve warm.


Now for recipe #2.  Viki @ My Fare Lady chose this winner. Ina's Oven Fried Chicken was a delightful surprise. The coating was crunchy and not too heavy. I appreciated the method of quick fry and then bake it off so that the fat content is cut in half. It's been awhile since I have enjoyed fried chicken because of that fact. 

Oven-Fried Chicken
recipe by Ina Garten

2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
1 quart buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.

Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don't crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

Celebrate the Feast!
This weeks recipe is being shared with Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and City Wife Country Life as well as Frugality and Crunchiness w/ Christy! Head on over to their blogs and check out other fabulous recipes.


Mary L. on Foodista