Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients

Ina Garten, Author . Clarkson Potter $35 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5435-0

The sixth cookbook from the Barefoot Contessa juggernaut contains exactly the kind of appealing, simple-yet-just-gourmet-enough recipes Garten devotees adore. There’s nothing very surprising (Garten tries to claim an ingredient-focused premise), but her formula works. She offers such dishes as Lobster Corn Chowder, Creamy Cucumber Salad, Tuscan Lemon Chicken, Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter (which has just five ingredients, plus salt and pepper), and Brownie Pudding. Garten suggests tips on such things as setting the table and “10 things not to serve at a dinner party.” Her tone can be charmingly pretentious, but she comes down to earth with admissions like “I have to admit that pastry still makes me anxious. When I discovered puff pastry, it was such a relief.” Recipes are short and simple, and she often squeezes in insightful hints for making things work perfectly. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
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