Wednesday, October 2, 2013

50 Great Chefs For 50 Years, Ina, And Cape Cod Chopped Salad

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Delicious Dinner!
 Do I need to say more?  Here's an empire that's hard to ignore.  For my 50 Great Chefs for 50 Years, I couldn't forget about Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa.  Granted she was a TV chef, which I rarely saw, but her books are amazing compilations of simple and elegant dishes that the home cook was thrilled to make and eat.  She writes a great book.  Her original book has been thumbed through and cooked through.  I also own just about every other book of hers, but Back to Basics is special.  Care to guess why?  Ok, yes.  I met her at a cookbook signing.  She is so cute!  I wrote a blog about our signing and the Leftover Party we heard about.  And I cleaned out my freezer.  You'll have to read the old blog to understand, it's a funny one.

So on to the book. The one recipe I make over and over is her Italian Wedding Soup, which we all love.  There are others I have made with great success.  But short of having a dinner party every week, doing an entire menu from a chef is getting fattening!  So we decided we were making the ultimate Autumn salad.  A perfect light dinner, and a recipe that really embraces her philosophy.  It doesn't have to be fussy.  But it should be done well.  I made roast beef and fontina paninis with balsamic onion jam too, I mean a salad needs a little more sometimes.

Roast Beef, Fontina and Balsamic Onion Jam

The panini is my creation.  The salad is all Ina.  And it is delicious!  The recipe that follows is my version.  I left out the orange juice and orange zest, and I subbed dried cherries for the dried cranberries.  I also added some romaine lettuce as the recipe calls for just arugula.

Cape Cod Chopped Salad
adapted from Ina Garten

4 oz. thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
4 oz. baby arugula
Chopped romaine
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries
3 oz. blue cheese

This mini cast iron fry pan toasts nuts beautifully!


3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

This battery operated blender gets used every day for homemade salad dressing.

Cook the bacon as desired and cut into pieces.  In a large bowl add the arugula and romaine and top with the bacon, blue cheese, dried cherries, and toasted walnuts.  Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar and emulsify the oil at the end.  Toss with the dressing and serve.

Have you missed the previous chefs?  50 Chefs for 50 Years:
#1 Mom, and Steak In A Bag and Ambrosia Pie
#2 Chuck Williams (founder of Williams Sonoma) and Cheese Souffle and Chuck's Zucchini
#3 Dinah Shore, and Corn Crab Cakes with Jalepeño Tartar Sauce
#4 Deborah Madison, and Summer Squash Tatines
#5 & 6 Eli and Max Sussman, and The Best Fall Dinner EVER!

Stay tuned.  We have a long way to go until I turn 50!  About 9 months......What are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!

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