Friday, February 8, 2008

Barefoot Contessa’s Orange Yogurt: Marry Me, Ina

One quick note before today’s recipe: reader Zac made a great point in the comment section about yesterday’s plastic container tip. If you do save these guys, it’s best not to microwave/heat them up. That kind of material isn’t intended for high temperatures, and can either A) melt, or B) leak weird chemicals into your food. With that …

My love for Ina Garten is boundless and well-documented. Someday, I imagine snatching her from graying, intellectual Jeffrey and whisking her away to Brooklyn, where her quality Hamptonian cuisine would nourish and enlighten all the borough’s hungry denizens. Alas, Ina-napping is at least illegal, and at most bad for getting into heaven, so no dice. But in lieu of her actual presence, I can keep making her food.

Today’s recipe is the very last listed in the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, and easily missed among the Outrageous Brownies and Banana Crunch Muffins. It’s a simple Orange Yogurt, made tastier by the additions of honey, vanilla, golden raisins, walnuts and freshly squeezed juice. As with all Ina’s stuff, it’s pleasant, different and uncomplicated. If you can work a spoon, you can make this dish. (If you can’t work a spoon … maybe take lessons?)

A few points if you decide to take the plunge:

1) Wash the orange since it’s being zested. Otherwise, it’s Funky Aftertaste City, population: you.

2) There are a billion permutations for this thing and ingredients can be swapped out as you like. reviewers have some suggestions.

3) If you have a choice between generic yogurt and something slightly more upscale, I’d go with option #2. I’m finding our supermarket brand, while passable, isn’t necessarily conducive to meal quality.

4) Ms. Garten suggests using low-fat instead of fat-free yogurt. I used fat-free, because I’m contrary trying to lose a few pounds.

5) I had NO IDEA draining yogurt would produce that much liquid. I halved the recipe and still pulled out nearly a cup of water. Crazy. My roommate M was hilariously repulsed.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to attend to the crazy guy in front of my apartment who’s been yelling at a tree for the last five minutes. (This is not a joke.) Ahh … Brooklyn.

(Ina, get here FAST.)

Orange Yogurt
Makes 4 servings at about 2/3rd cup each
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

4 cups (2 pints) plain yogurt (I used fat-free, so calcs are for that. – Kris)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup good honey
1 orange, zest grated
1/2 to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange, orange zest, raisins and walnuts, for garnish (optional)

1) Adjust a small sieve or wire colander so it's hanging over a bowl. Line it with a paper towel or two (or cheesecloth, if you have it). Dump yogurt in sieve and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. It should drain, producing a surprising amount of yogurt water. Discard the yogurt water.

2) In a medium bowl, gently stir yogurt, raisins, walnuts, vanilla, honey, and orange zest together. If it's too thick, a little orange juice will make it less so. Top with orange, zest, raisins, or walnuts. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat and Price per Serving
291.5 calories, 5.1 g fat, $1.07

4 cups (2 pints) plain yogurt (I used fat-free. – Kris): 508 calories, 1.6 g fat, $2.00
1/4 cup raisins: 109 calories, 0.2 g fat, $0.45
1/4 cup chopped walnuts: 193 calories, 18.4 g fat, $0.58
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract: 18 calories, 0 g fat, $0.06
1/4 cup good honey: 258 calories, 0 g fat, $0.72
1 orange, zest grated: negligible calories and fat, free (comes with the orange)
1/2 to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice: 80 calories, 0.4 g fat, $0.50
Garnish (optional): negligible calories and fat, (comes with the orange)
TOTAL: 1166 calories, 20.6 g fat, $4.31
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 291.5 calories, 5.1 g fat, $1.07

(Ina photo courtesy of

Stumble Upon Toolbar


English Major said...

That sounds really good. The idea of draining the yogurt and replacing the liquid with juice is brilliant. Bless that Ina Garten!

I'd use Trader Joe's 2% Greek yogurt for this...yum.

Krista said...

I have been wanting to try this recipe since I saw her make it. My yogurt maker gets here Monday and you can bet this is what my first batch is being used for.

Thanks for the tip about the comments. I always forget to read them, and when I do remember I am never disappointed.

VixenOnABudget said...

Oh man. Definetly trying this.

scott said...

Um...Get in line. I proposed to Ina a while back after making her Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. My wife only objected a little...

NutritionFoodie said...

I read somewhere that the liquid in yogurt is good for bones. So if you like just drink the drained liquid plain or add sugar/salt to it and drink.