Archive for February, 2015

This is another recipe from the Barefoot Contessa’s new cookbook, Make It Ahead. It is very easy, nutritious and, of course, you can make it ahead. If you aren’t adept at making a good seal with the parchment paper packets, use a stapler!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice because the concentrates contain sodium benzoate. I use President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives.

Place fish on parchment and add seasonings and olives

The fish will steam inside the parchment and be done in about 15 minutes

Herb-roasted fish


4 12 x 16-inch (30 x 40 cm) pieces of parchment paper

4 8-ounce (250 g) boneless fish fillets, such as snapper or cod

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons (60 ml) good olive oil

8 large sprigs fresh thyme

8 large green olives with pits

2 egg whites, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Place one fish fillet on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with ¼ of the salt and ¼ of the pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon (15 ml) each of the lemon juice and olive oil over the top of the fillet. Lay two sprigs of thyme on top and place 2 olives next to the fillet. Repeat with the other three fish fillets.

Brush the egg whites around the edges of the parchment paper and fold in half. Carefully fold the edge of the parchment paper under and around the fish to make a package. Repeat for the other three packages. You can prepare the packages and refrigerate for up to one day. When ready to cook, place the package on a sheet pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot in the parchment paper. Serves 4.

From the Barefoot Contessa’s Make It Ahead

The Barefoot Contessa’s latest cookbook, Make It Ahead, contains make-ahead instructions for every recipe it contains. This garlic and herb roasted shrimp is a terrific dish and so easy. Melt some butter, add olive oil, seasonings and lemon zest. Pour over the shrimp and pop the dish in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, roast the shrimp for about 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread or rice, and a salad or green vegetable.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream and look for shrimp with no additives.

Mix butter, oil and seasonings

Pour mixture over shrimp and top with lemon slices

Garlic & Herb Roasted Shrimp


¼ pound (125 g/1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons (30 ml) good olive oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced garlic (6 cloves)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced fresh rosemary leaves

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large lemons

2 pounds (1 kg) shrimp, peeled with the tails on

1 teaspoon (5 ml) coarse sea salt

4 slices country bread, toasted


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Melt the butter over low heat in a medium (10-inch/25-cm) sauté pan. Add the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon (2 ml) black pepper and cook over low heat for one minute. Off the heat, zest one of the lemons directly into the butter mixture.

Meanwhile, arrange the shrimp snugly in one layer in a large (12-inch/30-cm) round ovenproof sauté pan (or 10 x 13-inch/25 x  33-cm baking dish) with only the tails overlapping. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp. Sprinkle with the sea salt and ½ teaspoon (2ml) black pepper.

Slice the ends off the zested lemon, cut five (¼-inch/6-cm-thick) slices, and tuck them among the shrimp. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, just until the shrimp are firm, pink, and cooked through. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto the shrimp.

Serve hot with the toasted bread for dipping into the garlic butter. To make ahead, prep the dish and refrigerate it in the pan. Roast before serving. Serves 4.

From Make it Ahead by the Barefoot Contessa

If you want to impress your valentine, cook a lovely dinner at home. And to really pull out the stops, make your true love Yorkshire pudding. Traditionally served with roast beef, Yorkshire pudding can also be a dessert, often served with cream and syrup. I had always been intimidated by the thought of making Yorkshire pudding, and any I had eaten were often heavy and greasy. But I tried this recipe a few years ago and the results were great. I like it for two reasons: First, you don’t need pan drippings to make this version, just butter; and second, you can keep the batter in the fridge for up to two hours in advance. You and your valentine will love these tall, light and crispy Yorkshire puddings.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter than contains only cream, no colour or preservatives.

You can keep the batter in the fridge for up to two hours

Put a teaspoon of butter into each section of a muffin pan and put in the oven

Add the batter, filling each 2/3 full

Yorkshire pudding


1 cup (250 ml) flour

3 eggs

1 cup (250 ml) 2% milk

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt

fresh ground pepper

12 teaspoons (60 ml) butter


Add flour to large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the milk, eggs and seasoning. Add half the liquid to the flour and whisk. Add the other half — you want the mixture to be smooth and the consistency of heavy cream.

If it is a bit thick add a little more milk (1 tablespoon/15 ml at a time). Put it in the fridge to rest the batter for 10 minutes or up to two hours. Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 F (218 C).

In a standard size muffin tray put 1 teaspoon (5 ml) butter in each mold. Put the tray in the preheated oven until butter is bubbling and tray is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the hot tray and fill the cups just under 2/3 full (or they will bubble over). Put the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Do not open the oven during this time or the puddings will deflate. Bring temperature down to 350 F (177 C) and finish baking for 5 minutes or until tops are crisping and golden.

Remove from oven and pierce with a small knife to release steam. Serve immediately. Makes 12.

From the Globe and Mail