Monday, July 29, 2013

Book 102: Barefoot Contessa | Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust

by Ina Garten

I did it again. I purchased another cookbook (two actually - stay tuned for a post on an interesting flavored ice-cream), what can I say; I love cookbooks. After making this delicious recipe I had found on-line, which just so happens to be in this book as well, I had no choice but to order Ina's latest.

What is it with Ina. Her recipes are always so simple, yet taste so good. Good food does not have to be labor intensive. Just grab one of her books and find out for yourself.

I was having Greek salad for dinner and was wanting some bread to go along with it. I was looking for something quick (no yeast) when I came across these bread-type sticks, which turned out to be a perfect accompaniment and could not have been easier or quicker to make.

This recipe consists of only 6 ingredients: frozen puff pastry (which is always good to have on hand), Dijon mustard, egg, Gruyére cheese, Parmesan cheese, and flaked sea salt.

Once your puff pastry is thawed (it's best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, though I placed mine in the refrigerator that morning and it was ready by dinner time), you roll it out, spread it with mustard, add cheese, fold, cut, give it an egg wash, sprinkle with more cheese and a sprinkle of salt - go easy here - I myself went a bit too heavy on the salt. (I am still new to using these finishing type salts.) Bake.

Viola! Deliciousness on the table.

Thanks, Ina.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Those lovely looking crostinis on the cover, is the delicious recipe I found on-line.

How simple is this?

I like to make a recipe as per the instructions first time around, as I did here. Personally, I am not fond of Dijon mustard, its OK. I still thought these were tasty, though next time I will omit the mustard and use cheese only, or sub in my favorite mustard, Inglehoffer Sweet Mustard. Go with what you like - you can't go wrong with puff pastry.

After rolling out your dough to an 11x13-inch rectangle, you are instructed to cover the lower half with the mustard, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Brush the border with the egg wash and fold the top half over the bottom half, lining up the edges...

..Wait! What about all this cheese - it cannot possibly all get sprinkled on top. Though this is how the recipe reads. I could not proceed this way. I had to put a little bit on the inside. Just a little.

After folding over and aligning the edges, you chill the dough for 15 minutes. During this time, I read, and re-read the recipe. I just could not imagine not using some of that cheese on the inside of the batons. The recipe does not state to do so. However, after like the third time reading the recipe, I actually read the blurb above the recipe, "The batons are filled with spicy mustard and sharp Gruyère ."

Someone goofed on the proofreading. No worries. I pulled my dough from the refrigerator and pulled it apart (hence the sad looking rectangle of dough below), and added more of the cheese. I am a much happier camper now. :)

After chilling, trim the irregular edges with a knife.

Cut the dough into approximately one-inch strips. You will have about 10 to 12 batons.

Don't throw those scraps away! Bake them up as well - they are just as delicious.

Cheesy goodness.

Mustard and Gruyére Batons
Makes 10-12 Batons

Flour for dusting the board
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed and very cold (best thawed overnight in the
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 egg beaten with 1-teaspoon water, for egg wash
3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Unfold the sheet of puff pastry on a well-floured board, and roll it to an 11 x 13-inch rectangle with a floured rolling pin. (Diagonal strokes keep the pastry rectangular.) With a shorter end closest to you, brush the lower half of the pastry evenly with the mustard, leaving a ½ -inch border around the edges. (This is where you will want to add cheese (Gruyère) as well.) Brush the border of the pastry with the egg wash and fold the top half over the bottom half, lining up the edges. Place the pastry on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes.

Place the pastry on a board and trim the three irregular edges with a sharp knife. With the folded edge away from you, cut the pastry in 1 x 6-inch strips. You will have 10 to 12 batons. Spread the batons out on the sheet pan so they’re not touching. Brush the tops lightly with the egg wash (don’t’ allow the egg wash to drip down the sides) and sprinkle evenly with the Gruyère, Parmesan, and 1½ teaspoons sea salt. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake the batons for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes and serve warm.

Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof/Ina Garten


  1. Cathleen, outstanding photography of these amazing sounding (and certainly looking) Mustard and Gruyère Batons - I cannot say that I own one of Ina Garten´s cookbooks but I have tried a few of her outstanding recipes - one was for utterly delicous coconut cupcakes - so now that I read your lovely post, I think I should consider getting one of her cookbooks after all, you certainly sound convincing and this recipe is just great!
    Have a fabulous week, Cathleen!

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Andrea! If I'm correct, I own all her cookbooks! Call me crazy. I just love the simplicity of her recipes. I too have made many of her recipes and they always turn out the way they should. The coconut cupcakes I have yet to try. You do the same and have yourself a wonderful week!


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