With cooler climes sweeping in and harvest’s bounty at our doorsteps, we couldn’t think of a better time to feature some of Ina Garten’s autumnally-inspired recipes. Better known as the Barefoot Contessa,Ina Garten has a way of making food fabulous. As you prepare for tomorrow’s festivities, keep these tasty tidbits in mind! There’s still time to pull together a deliciously decadent dinner ensemble for your guests arriving from near and far, and the Barefoot Contessa is here to help our Bridal Circle family put her most scrumptious seasonal selections forward for an unforgettable feast.
Luscious Lemon-Ginger Molasses Cake with Whipped Cream
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus extra for serving
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup small-diced crystallized ginger, plus extra for serving
Whipped Cream, for serving
For the Whipped Cream:1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch-round baking pan, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, the molasses and the 2 teaspoons lemon zest and mix until combined. (The batter may look curdled.)
Sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, scraping down the sides. Mix until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the 1/3 cup crystallized ginger.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick just comes out clean. Don’t overbake it! Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely. Spread the top with whipped cream and sprinkle with crystallized ginger and grated lemon zest.
For the whipped cream:
Place the cream, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, creme fraiche and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed, until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving.
Harvest-Inspired Herb & Apple Stuffing
16 cups 1-inch bread cubes, white or whole wheat (2 baguettes)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 large)
2 cups medium-diced celery (3 large stalks)
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large diced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted, optional
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the bread cubes on a 13 by 18 by 1-inch baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 7 minutes.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, apples, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, until the mixture is soft.
Combine the bread cubes and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and add the chicken stock, and almonds, if desired.
Place the stuffing into the main cavity of the turkey and into the neck of the bird.. I cook a 12-pound turkey for 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven. Make sure the stuffing in the cavity is secured by wrapping the legs tightly with string
Sensational Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add enough salt so the water tastes quite salty. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn’t boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.
As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Place a food mill fitted with a small disc/blade over a glass bowl. Process the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth to force the potatoes through the disc. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, slowly whisk in enough of the hot milk/butter mixture to make the potatoes very creamy. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the sour cream and pepper and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.