Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Review: 5 Ingredient Fix

Title: 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant, and Irresistible Recipes
Author: Claire Robinson
Publisher: Grand Cental Life & Style, a division of Hachette Books
Pub Date: October 2010
Pages: 239
ISBN: 978-0-446-57209-5
Price: $29.99 US/$33.99 CAN

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

Synopsis from the publisher:
Claire Robinson-host of Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix-is here to help you get dinner on the table with minimal fuss and just a few great ingredients.

With everyone struggling to streamline and budget, Claire's recipes make preparing delicious meals a snap. Showing you how to choose the right ingredients along with a little culinary know-how is her specialty. According to Claire, cooking doesn't have to be complicated to be impressive: Simplifying the process with fewer ingredients saves time, frustration, and ultimately, money.

From breakfast treats like Brioche French Toast with Strawberries and Cream, to fun starters like Mini Shrimp Cake Poppers, to comforting dinners like Buttermilk Pecan Chicken with Cheesy Penne, all of Claire's recipes have no more than five ingredients. A quick trip to the supermarket and one bag of groceries later, an affordable, better-than-restaurant-quality meal can be ready in no time.

About the Author:
Claire Robinson is hte host of Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge. She cites her French speaking grandmother as a major influence on her love for food. Claire graduated from the French Culinary Institute, is an accomplished private chef, and has worked on culinary production teams for several cooking series, including Food Network's Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

My review:
I am always looking for food ideas that are quick and taste great. I have an hour commute to and from work and the last thing I want to do when I get home is to spend a large amount of time preparing our dinner. I seem to get stuck in a rut and prepare the same meals over and over and we are in need of variety that isn't complicated.

I was interested in checking out a copy of Claire Robinson's new cookbook as it contains meal ideas of only five ingredients each. Robinson has combined the every day with more elegant selections in this book and I like that. I want to cook a meal occassionally that is more elegant and a little out of the ordinary daily fair we are used to eating without it taking hours in the kitchen.

The book starts off by giving information to each cook about the essentials they all need in their kitchens. I like that this is included as I have an assortment of items in the kitchen but I have to admit that I am a secret chef wanna-be and love hearing the advice of chefs on what you need to use in your kitchen and how to use those items. The book is then divided up into eight sections to include: Breakfast, cocktails, appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, vegetable dishes, pasta and potatoes, and desserts. Each recipe includes information on what ingredients included really make this recipe and then also includes ideas for including other items or ingredients if you happen to have them in your kitchen. Aside from all of the recipes, I think my favorite section is at the end. Robinson includes a follow up to the recipes with Menu Ideas for Memorable Meals. I am sure everyone at one time has thought what am I going to prepare with that chicken or how can I jazz up my boring pasta. This section contains meal ideas for all occassions from the appetizer to the dessert and I plan on using these for when I have company over. Of course, my company can think I am a fantastic cook without knowing I had a little help on putting together such a great combination of items.

I have only gotten to try a couple of items from this cookbook so far but I can't wait to try them all. I hope you will all check out this new cookbook. You can follow the link below to amazon to get your own copy, but in the meantime, here is one of the recipes that I thought all might like to try.

Buttermilk Pecan Chicken
*4 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
*1 cup buttermilk
*1 cup toasted pecans
*1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Yield: 4 servings

Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently flatten it wiht a meat mallet or heavy, flat object to an even 1/3 inch thick.

Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

In a food processor, pulse the pecans and panko together until fine. Transfer mixture to a large rimmed dish.

Remove the marinated chicken breasts from the buttermilk and shake off any excess. Dip the chicken in the breading mixture, evenly coating both sides.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Working in two batches, add the breaded chicken breasts and shallow fry 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden in color. Remove them from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate; season with salt and pepper immediately and serve.

If you had rather not fry the chicken breasts, place them on a lightly greased baking dish adn bake them for 25-30 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees.

1 comment:

  1. I love to cook and another cookbook is always welcomed in with open arms in my house. Only 5 ingredients makes it all the better!!