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It’s Sunday as I write this piece and it’s freezing outside. I don’t want to go out, I want to eat a warm cozy meal and I think my husband will go for it.

All week long I eat my usual Caesar Salad with grilled chicken for lunch and sometimes dinner. It’s been yogurt and bran for breakfast and  grilled cauliflower and roasted kale when I can find it for snacks and dinner.

But today, I’m stepping out and pulling out the pots and pans.

Ina Garten, you are my go to girl today and here’s what I’m planning on cooking for myself and whoever wants to come on over. It feels indulgent, but it’s not, it’s creative and delicious and except for the last course, it’s healthy.

 

I’m starting with Ina’s Guac.

 

  • 4 ripe Haas avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Starting with Chicken with Radishes

  • 1 (4- to 4½-pound) roasting chicken, such as Bell & Evans
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1½ pounds radishes, preferably mixed heirloom, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan or ceramic baking dish just large enough to hold the chicken and radishes, and sprinkle the cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Put the lemon and thyme in the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under the body. Cut any larger radishes in half so they are all about the same size and place around the chicken.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Brush the chicken and radishes all over with the melted butter and sprinkle them both liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. Cover the pan or baking dish with aluminum foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with the radishes and pan juices.

WARM FIG AND ARUGULA SALAD

  • ¼ cup aged sherry vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 8 to 12 ripe fresh figs, depending on their size
  • 1 cup whole walnut halves (4 ounces)
  • 8 to 10 cups baby arugula (9 ounces)
  • 8 ounces crumbled Roquefort cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil. Set aside.

Remove the stems from the figs with a small knife. Depending on their sizes, cut the figs in half or quarters through the stem end. Place the figs and walnuts together in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the figs, until they begin to release some of their juices.

Meanwhile, place the arugula in a large bowl, add the vinaigrette, and toss well. Distribute the arugula among 6 salad plates, add the Roquefort, and then place the warm figs and walnuts on top. Serve immediately.

Copyright 2014, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

 

FROZEN KEY LIME PIE

Even if we don’t eat this anytime soon, at least I will have it in the freezer for later.

  • For the Crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Filling:
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
  • For the Decoration:
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Thin lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Note: Remove the pie from the freezer fifteen minutes before serving.

 

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I’m Cooking Today Like The Barefoot Contessa was last modified: by

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