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Barefoot advice: Ina Garten's newest show teaches the basics

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Ina Garten as seen in "Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro"

Ina Garten as seen in "Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro"

Ina Garten has a plan: to teach people how to cook. That may not come as some sort of earth-shattering revelation to fans of "Barefoot Contessa," her long-running series on Food Network, but for the past few months, she's been trying a somewhat different tactic.

"Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro" premiered back in May, and while it shares part of its name with her other show, this one definitely has its own distinct flair. Airing Sundays on Food Network, "Cook Like a Pro" features Garten teaching basic cooking techniques to her audience, with each episode focusing on a different ingredient or technique.

It's not exactly uncharted waters, but it's a bit of a departure from "Barefoot Contessa," which is more about learning specific recipes than general techniques. For example, this week's episode, which airs Sunday, July 2, is all about one of the most common and humble of ingredients: the egg. The host spends the episode teaching her viewers how to perfectly soft boil one of those little packages of goodness, sharing tips on how to perfectly whip the whites (which she then uses to make an incredible pavlova fruit tart), and even shares how to use them to make a homemade Caesar salad dressing.

Of course, that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what eggs can do. Garten also offers advice on how to make foolproof truffled scrambled eggs, shows off how to make tricky hollandaise sauce for eggs benedict and invites a guest into her kitchen to share the secrets of perfectly fried eggs.

To an experienced home cook, a lot of these techniques may seem a bit basic, but for the less experienced among us, the host has been a wonderful teacher. Next week's episode gets a bit sweeter with its focus on chocolate (chocolate ganache cake, anyone?), and the finale, which airs Sunday, July 16, is all about roasted vegetables.

Food Network definitely has the market for cooking competitions cornered, but with "Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro," Ina Garten shows that even its least kitchen-savvy viewers are capable of learning basic cooking techniques. Tune in Sundays on Food Network.