I have no greater pleasure than cooking for the people I love—and particularly for my husband, Jeffrey. I have been cooking for Jeffrey ever since we were married forty-eight years ago, and Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and our friends request most often.
In this book, I tackle the number one question I'm asked by my readers: "Can I make it ahead?" If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, I'm here to let you in on the strategies and tips I've learned thanks to twenty years of running a specialty food store and seventeen years writing cookbooks.
This book is about planning a menu and coordinating everything so it all gets to the table at the same time. I'll show you how to make a game plan so everything is served hot while you keep your cool.
This book is all about saving you time and avoiding stress. These aren't recipes with three ingredients that you can throw together in five minutes before dinner. These are tried-and-true Barefoot Contessa recipes that are easy enough to make but still have all that deep, delicious flavor that makes a meal so satisfying.
When I talk about getting back to basics, I'm not talking about simple mashed potatoes or a plain roast chicken. What truly fires my imagination is taking ordinary ingredients and cooking them - or pairing them - in a way that "unlocks" their true flavors. This book is about how to cook the simple ingredients you can find in a grocery store and how to unlock their essences.
"Something smells really good!" my husband, Jeffrey, exclaims every Friday night when he walks in the door. Most weeks, Jeffrey has been around the world and back and when he walks in that door, I want him to feel that he's really home. For me, the very best way of all to make a house into a home is to have the smells of good food coming from the kitchen.
Americans think of French food as fancy food. It’s true that some French food is elaborate and formal, but there are so many kinds of French food. I hope you’ll find lots of entertaining ideas here and recipes that will not only wow your family and friends, but also convince you how easy it is to cook really delicious French food, even if it’s not a special occasion.
This idea of family is behind much of what defines my cooking style. I want everyone who comes to my house to feel like family. I’ll share with you lots of the ways I do this when I entertain, setting the stage (or the table) for sharing, connecting, and creating a true sense of community. People who have had this experience with you will go home feeling nurtured and loved, and the good news is, so will you.
From the time I was married in 1968, I loved planning parties, cooking, and getting together with my friends. But in the beginning, I did some truly awful parties. As time went on I learned that small dinner parties were often more satisfying that big cocktail parties, that easy food meant I would spend more time with my friends, and that the music at a party is sometimes more important than the food. But most of all, I learned to stay focused: Parties are “recess” for grown-ups, and I want everyone to go home saying: “Wasn’t that fun!”
At Barefoot Contessa we made hundreds of thousands of banana crunch muffins over the years, so I know the recipe works. Grilled salmon salad, sugar snap peas with black sesame seeds, and fresh corn salad with basil – these are the dishes that made the store so popular over the years, and you can make them at home at exactly as we made them at the store. When I find recipes that work, I use them over and over again.