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Low ingredient meals


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I am always experimenting around with my cooking, as most of us on this board are I think. This week I am on a mission to come up with meals that have 3-5 ingredients (not including salt and pepper or any type of cooking oil) but are fantastic. Not just good, like some recipes that claim to only have 5 ingredients and those are some icky-something but really good.

Any ideas?

so far spagetti carbonara is coming to mind....

Pasta, bacon, eggs, parmesan.

Thanks!

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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The first thing I thought of was carbonara as well. Pasta is great for that, and there are endless pasta dishes that are both delicious and use few ingredients. Garlic, tomatoes and basil make a great pasta sauce that is perfect with grated pecorino.

The fewer the ingredients, the more you have to depend on the quality of each. Steak and potatoes with a simple sauce is good: steak, potatoes, red wine, stock.

Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

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Bad head cold, so forgive me if this does not make much sense...

My mother's version of Chicken breast Florentine-

chicken breasts (olive oil, salt and peppered) on a bed of spinach, topped with mozeralla and mushrooms

(I dont bread or flour my chicken, Im picky that way)

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Bit by bit, I'm working my way through Tom Colicchio's "trilogies," which are featured in his book Think Like a Chef. These are groups of three ingredients, like pasta, peas and lobster, or duck, root vegetable and apples. There are four variations on the former; three on the latter. Despite sticking to very basic components, the mixtures of flavors an textures are varied and surprising.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Roasted butternut squash soup.

Peeled Roasted Garlic

Cubed Roasted Butternut Squash

Sweat 1/2 minced onion with a little minced pancetta

Chicken stock to just cover.

S&P (cayenne) to taste.

Simmer, hit with immersion blender.

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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The savory crustless quiche Mark Bittman featured in last Wednesday's Times offers plenty of possibilities. I did it last night: eggs, cream, cheese, butter for the ramekins, plus salt and [cayenne] pepper. I tweaked by adding diced panicetta (gently fried out) and barely steamed asparagus (chopped). Serve with a crisp Riesling, baguette, butter and salad.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Flourless Souffle that is simply eggs, cream cheese, cheese and whatever else you want to add. Easy and perfect....I've made it with asparagus/broccoli, crab. various cheeses, etc.

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Bit by bit, I'm working my way through Tom Colicchio's "trilogies," which are featured in his book Think Like a Chef. These are groups of three ingredients, like pasta, peas and lobster, or duck,  root vegetable and apples. There are four variations on the former; three on the latter. Despite sticking to very basic components, the mixtures of flavors an textures are varied and surprising.

Dave~

that sounds interesting; I love that type of approach. Would you recommend the book?

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Chocolate Stout Braised Beef

1 Chuck Roast

1 Can Young's Double Chocolate Stout

3 Carrots

4 tbsp Sugar

Sear off the roast, add carrots to drippings, when carrots are slightly browned, add sugar and let caramelise. Add the beer, return the roast and braise until tender. Remove the roast & vegetables, skim off all the fat and reduce until thick and glossy.

PS: I am a guy.

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Most of the dishes I make have more than 3 to 5 ingredients, simply because I like adding herbs and spices.

A few simpler ones involve skinless, boneless chicken breasts: dip in egg, then panko seasoned with s&p (or panko mixed with grated Parmesan cheese, or panko mixed with cornmeal) and sauté until golden. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, if desired. (I also fry catfish the same way.)

Salmon with Blue Cheese -- I invented this while experimenting. You could probably broil it, but I cook it in the microwave: Place 1/2 pound salmon fillet on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave about 3 minutes on 70% power, until barely cooked through. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese. Microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute longer, until blue cheese is melted.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I keep on trying to entice myself into gussying up roasted vegetables, chicken, etc., but every time I start the prep, nothing seems to appeal to me more than simply a coating of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, and a scattering of garlic cloves and/or wedged onions. Simple is good. (Especially when your schedule gets crazy.)

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Bit by bit, I'm working my way through Tom Colicchio's "trilogies," which are featured in his book Think Like a Chef. These are groups of three ingredients, like pasta, peas and lobster, or duck,  root vegetable and apples. There are four variations on the former; three on the latter. Despite sticking to very basic components, the mixtures of flavors an textures are varied and surprising.

Dave~

that sounds interesting; I love that type of approach. Would you recommend the book?

I'm trying to find time to work up a proper report on it, but the short answer is that though it's not for everyone, it's one of the best cookbooks I've worked through in the last couple of years.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Bit by bit, I'm working my way through Tom Colicchio's "trilogies," which are featured in his book Think Like a Chef. These are groups of three ingredients, like pasta, peas and lobster, or duck,  root vegetable and apples. There are four variations on the former; three on the latter. Despite sticking to very basic components, the mixtures of flavors an textures are varied and surprising.

Dave~

that sounds interesting; I love that type of approach. Would you recommend the book?

I'm trying to find time to work up a proper report on it, but the short answer is that though it's not for everyone, it's one of the best cookbooks I've worked through in the last couple of years.

Sounds like a fun approach for a cooking club.

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First thing that came to mind for me was Filipino chicken adobo.

Soy sauce

Vinegar

Bay Leaf

Garlic cloves

Peppercorns

Chicken

Add some rice (or chuck some potatoes into the simmering chicken), plus a simple steamed vegetable, and it's a tasty dinner with less than 10 ingredients!

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gallery_1890_1967_160407.jpg

Roast chicken -- nothing more than salt, pepper and a chicken. roast it per T. Keller's method. use kitchen twine to truss the bird.

Pan-sauteed green beans and potatoes with garlic. Recipe here. In the pic above I used wax beans. Same difference.

Easy, there's your five ingredients.

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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I recall seeing a cookbook at Barnes & Noble using only 5 ingredients per recipe.

Turns out there are oodles of the ilk on Amazon: Clickety

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Enchiladas made with leftovers. Leftover roast chicken & potato rolled up in corn tortillas with canned echilalda sauce and cheese poured over top.

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Wow..these are great ideas!

I do the roast chicken thing all the time and I love it that way.

I forget about frittatas, but they are always delish!

dockhl ~ do you have a recipe for the souffle?

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I recall seeing a cookbook at Barnes & Noble using only 5 ingredients per recipe.

Turns out there are oodles of the ilk on Amazon: Clickety

The problem I have always had with these cookbooks are that the recipes never seem to come out as you would expect, or they use alot of processed stuff I just don't eat. Do you know of a good one out of what Amazon had listed there?

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Creamed (or baked) Spinach:

Chopped spinach, either fresh or frozen (I use frozen chopped spinach)

Minced shallots

Minced garlic

Cream Cheese

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Not counting as main ingredients: olive oil (for sauteeing shallots and garlic), salt, black and/or cayenne pepper, a dash or two of nutmeg, and a couple of dashes of Tabasco.

You can add some diced artichoke hearts (I use the ones jarred in vinaigrette) which takes it to a whopping 6 ingredients.

- Cook spinach, drain. While the spinach is still hot, stir in cream cheese, sauteed shallots and garlic, diced artichoke hearts, seasonings and about 3/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately if not baking. Stir in 1/2 cup of the parm if baking and sprinkle the remaining on top (bake at 325-350 until bubbly), or stir in all of the parm if not. I've also put down one layer of the spinach mixture, sprinkled on 1/2 of the remaining parmesan cheese, add a second layer and then sprinkle the last of the parm on top before baking.

- I don't really measure, but usually for every 2 packages of frozen spinach I use one 8-oz package of cream cheese, 1 small jar of the artichoke hearts (drained and chopped), and at least 3/4 cup of the parmesan. The amount to use of the rest of the ingredients depend on your personal tastes of course. (I guess 3 packages of spinach would be fine as well and less fattening per serving.:laugh:)

Enjoy. :smile:

Edited to correct the estimated amount of parmesan cheese used and to clarify cooking directions. Also to add that I will make this any time of year, even the dog days of Summer.

Edited by divalasvegas (log)

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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You could tell us what's in your refrigerator and pantry and let us give you some ideas. The problem with 3-5 ingredient meals from a cookbook is that's that much additional stuff you need to buy. There's no guarantee that the final product will come out to your liking, so then you'll need to use all that extra stuff you bought in the first place!

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I just threw together Tandoori chicken from what I had in the fridge

1lb boneless chicken thighs

In food processor added

1 chopped onion

1 thumb sized roughly chopped ginger

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon Garam Masala

pureed and put in ziploc with 1 cup plain yogurt.

If I had some lemon juice I would have added it. I've seen some Tandoor recipes online that call for vinegar, but wasn't sure what kind. White distilled?

Add chicken and let that marinate overnight. Broil or grill til done.

Wish I had a serrano pepper to have added to the processor.

I know that's six ingredients, but thought this was so easy I could squeak by with it.

Great thread idea!!

-Grace

Grace Piper, host of Fearless Cooking

www.fearlesscooking.tv

My eGullet Blog: What I ate for one week Nov. 2010

Subscribe to my 5 minute video podcast through iTunes, just search for Fearless Cooking

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