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Recipes: 'The Barefoot Contessa' Series

Kitchen Clambake

Serves 6 to 8

For years at Barefoot Contessa, we made this clambake at the beach. Not only did we have to dig a pit for cooking, but we had to deal with all that wind and sand and darkness. I finally got smart and decided to make a clambake in the kitchen. This is made in one huge pot and it’s wonderful served with corn on the cob, a tomato salad, and lots of crusty French bread. And no sand.

1 1⁄2 pounds kielbasa

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)

2 cups chopped leeks, well cleaned (2 leeks, white parts only)

1⁄4 cup good olive oil

1 1⁄2 pounds small potatoes (red or white)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1⁄2 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

1 pound steamer clams, scrubbed

2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded

1 1⁄2 pounds large shrimp, in the shell

3 lobsters (1 1⁄2 pounds each)

2 cups good dry white wine

Slice the kielbasa diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices. Set aside. Sauté the onions and leeks in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 16- to 20-quart stockpot on medium heat for 15 minutes, until the onions start to brown.

Layer the ingredients on top of the onions in the stockpot in this order: first the potatoes, salt, and pepper, then the kielbasa, littleneck clams, steamer clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobsters. Pour in the white wine. Cover the pot tightly and cook over medium-high heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes. The clambake should be done. Test to be sure the potatoes are tender, the lobsters are cooked, and the clams and mussels are open. Remove the lobsters to a wooden board, cut them up, and crack the claws. With large slotted spoons, remove the seafood, potatoes, and sausages to a large bowl and top with the lobsters. Season the broth in the pot to taste and serve immediately in mugs with the clambake.

Excerpted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. Copyright © 1999, Ina Garten. Reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Strawberry Country Cake

Makes two 8-inch cakes

Each cake serves 6 to 8

This is the most delicious cake to make when strawberries are in season. The recipe makes two 8-inch cakes. If you are not using the second cake, let it cool completely, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 6 months.

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1ÿ sticks) at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

For the filling for each cake:

1 cup heavy whipping cream (1/2 pint), chilled

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.

Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature.

To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream by hand or in a mixer until firm; add the sugar and vanilla. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with half of the whipped cream, and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten. Copyright © 2001, Ina Garten. Reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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