We all have our idols. For the little boy racing matchbox cars across the living room floor, it’s Jeff Gordon. The blossoming young ingenue adores Carrie Underwood. And, of course, we gays LOVE our Lady Gaga. Seriously, it’s like a mandate to being gay…
But to a kitchen queer, no one holds a candle to Ina Garten: the Barefoot Contessa.
She. Has. It. All.
Let’s start with that BEAUTIFUL white kitchen. I would literally run around that giant island in sensible pumps, a poofy dress with matching apron, and a Donna Reed wig until my kneecaps fell off.
Also, she’s SO graceful and well-spoken. If you’ve ever heard me tell a story in person after three glasses of wine or laugh at something unfortunate happening to an obese person on YouTube, you can attest to the fact that my voice sounds something like a dying cat being forced to mate with an asthmatic Fran Drescher. I need to be refined! I mean, a lot of Ina’s charm could be for show, and she could swear like an Italian mob wife off camera, but in my gay heart of hearts, she is her TV personality through and through.
Finally, the thing I’m the MOST jealous about Ina is her relationship. I mean I want a nice, loving guy that is almost NEVER around. That way I can cook and bake all day while getting drunk with my gay friends. It’s nice that every once and a while she cooks a nice meal for her man or he makes a cameo appearance at the end of the episode just to remind all the viewers that she does in fact have the perfect life.
So, instead of experimenting with ingredients and flavors, every once and a while, Kyle and I are gonna bring you our favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes in posts called ‘ode to ina.’
And what better way to start than all my favorite things: corn, cream, and Ina Garten.
cheddar corn chowder from the kitchen of Ina Garten
- 8 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 4 large yellow onions, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 2 pounds medium white boiling potatoes, unpeeled & sliced
- 10 cups corn kernels
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Serve warm with a garnish of bacon.