Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Ideas and Recipes for Parties That Are Really Fun

by Ina Garten, James Merrell, James Merrell and Barefoot Contessa

Hardcover, 264 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $35 | purchase

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Title
Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Subtitle
Ideas and Recipes for Parties That Are Really Fun
Author
Ina Garten, James Merrell, et al

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Book Summary

Offers a wide array of menus for themed parties and such seasonal recipes as butternut squash, tomato fennel salad, chicken chili, and mango salsa.

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Excerpt: Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Recipes from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Chicken Chili
Serves 12

We had been making traditional chili at Barefoot Contessa for almost 20 years. I decided to update it with chicken to make it lighter, and it's even more popular than our regular chili.

8 cups chopped yellow onions (6 onions)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
4 28-ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper

For Serving
Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream

Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 36 to 40 cookies

This is my favorite variation of the old Barefoot Contessa chocolate chunk cookie recipe. It has the combination of flavors in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Yum!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup good smooth peanut butter
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound good semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, and mix. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the batter, mixing only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using either a 1-3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands, flatten the dough lightly, then press the tines of a wet fork in both directions. Bake for exactly 17 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Hot Mulled Cider
Serves 12

Nothing tastes as good on a cold winter day as hot spiced cider. It's easy to make and really warms your insides after an afternoon of winter sports. And nothing makes a house smell as wonderful. For a party, I leave it on the stove over very low heat and everyone helps themselves.

16 cups apple cider or pure apple juice
4 2-inch cinnamon sticks
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
8 whole cloves
8 star anise

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and serve.

*Commercially prepared mulling spices, which combine many of these ingredients, can be added to the apple cider to make preparation even easier.