Ina’s ‘Cooking for Jeffrey’ inspires ‘Cooking for Landon’

Published 12:58 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

My friend Kelly Ralls in Andalusia gave me Ina Garten’s cookbook, “Cooking for Jeffrey“ last Christmas and I must admit I am just getting around to using it. It is a great cookbook, and like all her other cookbooks, it is easy to use. Everyone knows Ina as the “Barefoot Contessa,” which is the name of her Food Network show. This cookbook is her 10th and perhaps it is her most personal book yet. She has filled it with recipes that Jeffrey, her husband of 48 years, and their friends have most requested.

I decided to choose three recipes to cook for Landon, my husband of 42 years. He enjoyed these dishes but there is not much he won’t eat. The beauty of these recipes is the fact that much can be prepared ahead so it saves the last minute hassle of getting it all together. There is something in this book for all to enjoy so try some of Ina’s recipes.

From Cooking for Jeffrey 2016.


Camembert and

Prosciutto Tartines

Serves 6

6 to 12 (1/2 -inch-thick) slices from a round rustic country bread, depending on the size of the loaf

2 (8-ounce) Camembert cheeses

12 to 15 thin slices Italian prosciutto

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Minced fresh chives, for serving

Preheat the boiler. Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches below the heat.

Lay the slices of bread in one layer on a sheet pan. Slice both Camemberts 1/3 inch thick across, making about 12 slices from each. Place the cheeses on the bread in a single layer, cutting them to fit and covering most but not all of the surface of the bread. Cover the bread and cheese completely with a layer of prosciutto, sprinkle with the thyme, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

When the broiler is hot, place the sheet pan on the prepared rack and broil the tartines for 2 to 3 minutes leaving the oven door slightly ajar), turning the pan once to brown evenly, until the prosciutto is browned and crispy. Watch the tartines carefully so they don’t burn! Cut each tartine crosswise into 1 ½ -inch slices, sprinkle with chives, and serve warm.

Roast Chicken with Radishes

Serves 4

1 (4-to 4 1/2-pound) roasting chicken, such as Bell and Evans (can be found at Whole Foods)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, quartered

6 sprigs thyme

1 ½ 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 a 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.

This is a great side to go with the chicken.

Parmesan Roasted Zucchini

Serves 6-8

6 medium zucchini (2 ½ to 3 pounds total)

Good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoons minced garlic (3 cloves)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

½ cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese

¾ cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Trim the stem end of the zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out a small channel of seeds with a regular teaspoon. Place the zucchini in one layer on a sheet pan, brush generously all over with olive oil, and turn the zucchini cut side down. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until just tender but still firm when tested with the tip of a small paring knife.

Meanwhile, make the bread crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, basil, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the panko and 3 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and mix well.

Turn the zucchini cut side up and spoon a heaping tablespoons of the panko mixture evenly on each zucchini. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the panko is crispy. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.