Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Barefoot Contessa Dinner

Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, is one of our favorite chefs on TV.  Her recipes are classic with a twist and always delicious! Try these Italian themed recipes: Chicken Piccata, Roasted Garlic Potatoes and a Pear and Apple Crisp!

Chicken Piccata
  • 4 split (2 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • Good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Sliced lemon, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

  • 3 pounds small red or white potatoes
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, toss with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

Pear and Apple Crisp

  • 2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
  • 2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Topping:
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

    For the topping:

    Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
    Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

    [Photos and Recipes from Foodnetwork.com and Ina Garten]

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