Symon writes quick fix cookbook

Iron Chef Michael Symon writes a cookbook that is quick and uses minimum ingredients with “Michael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners.”

Written for hurried home cooks that may be apprehensive about tackling big dishes, this books offers simple but tasty meals.

The book is divided into 8 chapters: Pasta, On a Stick, Between Bread, Packet Perfection, Eggscellent, Man with a Pan, Let’s Grill and I Scream, You Scream. All are intended to use 5 fresh ingredients and a few pantry staples, cook in about 5 minutes, serve a family of four and cost around $5. Hooray!

Pasta offers recipes like Angel Hair with Peas & Pancetta, Tagliatelle with Quick Meat Sauce, Classic Fettucine Alfredo, Shells with Tuna, Chickpeas and Parsley and more.

On a Stick offers kebabs or skewered dishes like Pork Tenderloin with Soy, Ginger and Cilantro, Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce, Shrimp with Pineapple Glaze and more.

Between Bread is great sandwiches such as Loose Sausage and Peppers, Breaded Chicken & Mozzarella with Basil, Portobello & Argula with Blue Cheese and Tomato Tuna Melt to name a few.

Packet Perfection is pouch cooking on the grill like Kielbasa & Kraut, Shrimp & Chorizo, Cod with Dill and Lemon and more.

Eggscellent is egg-based dishes for any meal like Feta & Spinach Frittata, Prosciutto & Tomato Frittat and Eggs in Avocado with Tomato & Basil.

Man with a Pan is one-pan dishes like Bread Pork Loin with Apple Salad, Breaded Beef Cutlet with Spinach and Mushroom Salad, Garlic Chicken with Asparagus and more.

Let’s Grill offers grilled dishes such as Bricked Grilled Chicken with White Bean Salad, Shrimp with Grilled Lemon & Mint, Grilled Flank Steak with Corn & Bacon Salad and more.

I Scream, You Scream offers a chance to make your own ice cream sauce for sundaes, like Grilled Peaches and Honey Sundae, Warm Chocolate and Chile Sundae and Salted Caramel Sundae with Peanuts to name a few.

Since my oldest is a fan of pasta, I decided to try out a few pasta recipes on her. First, we made Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Spinach and Goat Cheese. Well, with feta, as we couldn’t find goat cheese. The title pretty much sums up the ingredients, and it did come together very quickly one hurried weeknight. We discovered something about feta we both had forgotten – it has a lemony flavor, one that is pronounced with the few simple ingredients. We both enjoyed it, the picky youngest wouldn’t touch it, but I thought I’d use a different cheese next time.

With my dad we tried out Pappardelle with Mushroom Cream Sauce. This pasta used olive oil, mushrooms, sour cream, onion and tarragon together for the sauce. My dad and I enjoyed it, my oldest thought it tasted like it was missing something and didn’t like the licorice-like taste of tarragon. The picky youngest again wouldn’t touch it.

All in all, I enjoyed the simplicity and quick-fix of the dishes, and the oldest would like to do a little tweaking, but that’s the fun of cooking!

“Michael Symon’s 5 in 5” is published by Clarkson Potter. It is $19.99.

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