Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten has been on television since 2003. Her food journey started long before that, though, when she purchased a specialty foods store in East Hampton, New York.
Garten has gained plenty of cooking experience over the years, and she knows how to add her own twist to a dish — including the creative way she taps into a summertime salad.
Ina Garten doesn’t have any professional culinary training
When Garten was young, she wasn’t planning to become a celebrity chef. A small ad in a newspaper is what intrigued her — she saw a specialty foods store, Barefoot Contessa, for sale in East Hampton, New York. Garten and her husband made the trip to the Long Island town to check it out, and they purchased it on a whim.
Garten and her husband moved to East Hampton, and her store quickly gained notoriety. She later started writing cookbooks, which caught Food Network’s attention. Garten’s show, Barefoot Contessa, premiered in 2003, and she somehow went from a White House employee to building an empire of her own in the food industry.
Garten loves putting twists on classic dishes. And her potato salad — which features fresh lobster meat — is no exception.
How to make Ina Garten’s lobster potato salad
1 1/2 pounds unpeeled small Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 extra-large egg yolk (optional — if using, let yolk reach room temperature)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup celery, diced to 1/4-inch
1/2 cup red onion, diced to 1/4-inch
1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat, diced to 1 inch
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water (water should be 1 inch above potatoes). Boil water with 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer potatoes on low for 15-25 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes, and leave them in a colander covered with a towel for 5-10 minutes. Chop potatoes; add them to a large bowl.
In a bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly add olive oil while whisking, making sure dressing emulsifies. Add wine and capers to dressing.
Take half the vinaigrette and add it to the still-warm potatoes; gently toss. Add scallions, celery, red onion, and lobster to the potato salad, along with more vinaigrette (reserve a bit of vinaigrette).
Add lemon zest and juice to the salad, along with tarragon, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Add remaining vinaigrette and any additional seasoning to taste before serving.
A few of Ina Garten’s other favorite lobster dishes
Lobster is the ultimate summer dish. It can be eaten on its own (with drawn butter, of course), or infused into various dishes. Garten has created various dishes with the seafood, including her lobster corn chowder.
Garten is a fan of simple dishes, and her Barefoot Contessa lobster cobb salad is no exception. For something a bit heartier, Garten also offers up a tasty lobster pot pie on her website.
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