A Barefoot Holiday

Join Ina Garten and her husband, Jeffrey, as they visit friends in the Berkshires and throw a festive Christmas Eve lunch at home. 

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Photo By: PACIFIC TV

Photo By: PACIFIC TV

Photo By: PACIFIC TV

Photo By: PACIFIC TV

Photo By: PACIFIC TV

Fireside Picnics and Christmas Eve Lunches

It's the week before Christmas, and Ina and Jeffrey are kicking off their holiday season with a trip to visit friends in the snowy Berkshires. While there, they have a cozy fireside kitchen picnic and learn how to make fresh pasta and holiday French toast. One week later, on Christmas Eve, Ina and Jeffrey treat those same friends to a fabulous East Hampton lunch, featuring the freshest Berkshires ingredients and products.

Pea and Fennel Soup

Ina begins this rich soup by caramelizing fennel and onions in a large pot. She then adds in chicken stock and frozen peas, and churns the soup with a stick blender so it can develop a smooth texture. Half a cup of creme fraiche finishes the soup off, giving it a luxurious silkiness. Ina also adds a drizzle of olive oil and, for a bit of crunch, some seasoned and baked sourdough croutons.

Cheese and Ham Board

Ina likes to use an assortment of soft, hard and blue cheeses to make up her festive board. She also adds a beautiful bunch of grapes, some thick slices of smoked ham and a spread of dark and light English water crackers to provide her guests with additional things to nibble on. For toppings, Ina recommends buying a jar of English honey mustard and a jar of fig jam.

The Southfield Store Holiday French Toast

Amanda Perreault, executive pastry chef at The Southfield Store, begins this dish by making its thick apple-cranberry compote. Next comes the French toast, which is soaked in a mixture of heavy cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest and vanilla, and fried in clarified butter. Some reduced maple syrup and a spoonful of pecan butter top the toast, infusing it with holiday flavors and aromas.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Ina uses a dash of espresso powder in her cocoa mixture to bring out its intense chocolate flavor. She also serves her cocoa with a whole candy cane for stirring and an assortment of Berkshires-bought holiday cookies and candies, including gingerbread-molasses and oatmeal-pecan cookies from Mountain Bakery and caramel turtles and coconut snowballs from Robin's Candy Shop.

Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms

One of Ina's favorite dishes, this fettuccine makes a great holiday dish because you can make huge batches of it in just 30 minutes! Once it's cooked and drained, Ina adds the fresh fettuccine, which was made by her husband, Jeffrey, directly into the white truffle butter sauce so it can fully absorb all of the sauce's rich and creamy flavors. 

Tegroni

Part tequila, part Negroni, this drink is a creative way to bring a bit of serious Christmas excitement to your holiday cocktail. Made from equal parts tequila, sweet Cinzano and Campari, and garnished with grapefruit peels, this drink is bound to make even Scrooge feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Slow-Roasted Spiced Pork

To make sure the pork butt fully absorbs the spicy mixture she rubs on top of it, Ina scores the meat's fat diagonally with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern and applies the rub the night before. She then roasts the pork in white wine for seven hours and garnishes it with lime juice and slices for a tropical and zesty kick.

Ginger Shortbread

Ina uses minced crystallized ginger in the batter of these star- and snowflake-shaped cookies to give them a warm and spicy taste. She loves to serve hers with ice cream and suggests choosing seasonal flavors like pumpkin, gingerbread and rum raisin.