In new book, celebrity chef Ina Garten shares tips on how to Cook Like a Pro
For her 11th cookbook, Ina Garten — the Emmy-winning force behind the Food Network’s The Barefoot Contessa — turns her attention to passing along easy-to-apply tips that she’s gleaned from professionals, her own career and her busy test kitchen.
“My goal with this book is that everyone will have the tools and information to cook totally delicious and professional-looking dishes every time,” she writes in Cook Like a Pro (Clarkson Potter, $35). “And even better — your family and friends will love you for it! How great is that?”
What comes first: the book or the television show?
Usually, I write the book, and then once the book is published I do the recipes on TV. This is the first book that I’ve done where I did them together. I’ve always been so rigid about it, because I had the idea that, once you’ve seen the recipe on TV, why would you need the book? But sometimes, when I’m working on the TV show, I’ll think, “I wish I could have put this recipe into the book.” So, for this book, I decided to see what happens, and let it happen organically. Sometimes, we have to let the universe react.
You include lots of famous people in the book, including New York restaurateur — and Shake Shack founder — Danny Meyer. How did you connect him with hummus?
He was travelling in Israel, and he posted a video of someone making an enormous batch of hummus. They were using it as a sauce; it wasn’t a thing on its own that you’d serve with pita chips. And I immediately thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to put together a big platter of hummus with a big vegetable salad on top?” I went into the kitchen the next morning and played with it, and I nailed it on the first shot. It’s really good, and it’s different from the way you normally use hummus.
Wait, Ina Garten eats at Shake Shack? That probably explains the book’s Shake Shack-inspired fried chicken sandwich recipe. Ina Garten has just released her 11th cookbook.
It was a treat; it wasn’t an ordinary Shake Shack date (laughs). They had just come out with their chicken sandwich. It’s so good, it’s crazy. The secret to making it is that before you fry it, you double dip it in the buttermilk and the flour. That gives it a nice, crisp crust.
I loved encountering Chicken Marbella a la Ina. How did that remake of a famous recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook come about?
I wrote in the book that Nora Ephron used to say that if you went to a dinner party in New York in the ’80s, you’d have Chicken Marbella.
Full Q&A at thestar.com/life