Saturday, April 15, 2006

Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Macaroons


I love watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. Ina's life in the Hamptons is filled with food, flowers, and friends. I love the glass doors on the simple white cabinets in her kitchen. The latch hardware is a perfect complement to the crisp white paint. Who wouldn't want an 8-burner Viking range and a massive granite-topped island? I have serious kitchen envy whenever she's in her large walk-in pantry deciding which chocolate (or pasta or liquor) she'd like to use. And her kitchen overlooks her beautiful (and large) purple-and-orange themed garden. Ina has row upon row of herbs whereas my tiny, San Francisco sized herb garden boasts 1 parsley, 1 sage, 1 rosemary, and 2 thymes.

Some of my friends can’t understand why I find the show so appealing. Some hate the style in which the show is filmed. Too many close up shots of a used whisk/spatula/fork on the Boos block. Too much time spent on florists delivering flowers to clients or realtors taking potential home buyers to visit a cheese factory. Others find Ina, and the Hamptons, totally pretentious. Okay, I will admit that the whole scene is a bit over-the-top. I do live in casual California after all. But Barefoot Contessa is a glimpse into a world so far removed from my reality except for the good food. It’s a guilty pleasure that I look forward to every Saturday. And speaking of guilty pleasures, here’s Ina’s recipe for coconut macaroons. They are moist and super rich especially when drizzled with melted chocolate. Now how bad can that be?

Coconut Macaroons
(Makes 20 to 22 cookies)

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.


Anonymous said...

Ha, I also love Ina. She's so calm and composed but still very personal. I also LOVE her kitchen. Grrr I want that kitchen....

Unknown said...

I also love Ina - for the reasons you state, and because she reminds me so much of my mother (in looks & enthusiasm for cooking & flowers). Pretentious would be keeping all your delish recipes to yourself. I've brought many a wonderful meal to the table that came directly from her recipes or was inspired by something she made.

margarita said...

I love Ina, her house, her show. i love that Jeffrey and Ina seem to have a almost perfect marriage. Ina keep up the good work and God bless you. I'm addicted to your show.

Unknown said...

i would love to thank Ina for how simple and fun she makes cooking and she along with Sarah molten i got back and really love the art of cooking along with the way it taste wow thanks for the show and your friend are very lucky to have you as i am sure you are to have them . merry Christmas all