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?
(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.