Five or fewer ingredients is all it takes to make a really delicious dish. It's true! That's good news for anyone who has to cook for a group of hungry people and doesn't want to spend a lot of time — or money — doing it. Whether it's a weekday family dinner or a Sunday brunch with friends, simplicity is key and these recipes will help streamline the cooking process for you.
The beauty of working with five or fewer ingredients is that you probably already have some of them in your kitchen, such as olive oil, butter, and maybe even phyllo dough. Rest assured that you will not have to stock up on rarely used ingredients, nor will you have to slave away in the kitchen. Instead, sit back and savor the food and the company.
- Prepared foods are your best friends: Make the grocery store work for you. Purchasing foods that are already prepped at the supermarket helps reduce the amount of work required later on. Reach for the bakery's freshly made baguettes or get a head start with store-bought cookie, phyllo, and pizza doughs.
Recipes to try: Petits Pains au Chocolat, Truffled Taleggio and Mushroom Pizza
- Get a fresh start: When you're working with a very limited number of ingredients, quality really matters. When possible, buy the freshest in-season fruits and vegetables that you can find. Consider using goods that are artisanal quality and organically grown, many of which you can buy at the farmers' market. The subtleties in flavor that might have once been masked by other ingredients will now shine through.
Recipes to try: Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey, Watermelon and Feta Salad
- Cool it down: There are days when you just don't feel like cooking anything, so always keep a bunch of no-cook recipes on hand. Some of the tastiest—and easiest—foods to prepare are no-cook and can be eaten as is,or with the help of the "cooking" acids in citrus juice, as in ceviches. These dishes are perfect when it's just too hot to turn on the oven.
Recipes to try: Scandinavian Ceviche, Orange Fools
- Creole-Style Oven Hash Browns
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Fresh Walnuts and Pecorino
- Spanish Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Manchego and Jamón Serrano
- Pork Chops with Mustard Crust
- Orange Fools
- Petits Pains au Chocolat
- Blue Cheese Crusted Tomatoes
- Colombian Arepas
- Truffled Taleggio and Mushroom Pizza
- Rack of Lamb and Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey
- Hazelnut Cookies
- Jill's Flaky Cheese Rolls
- Watermelon and Feta Salad
- Minted Sugar Snap Peas
- Gratin Dauphinoise
- Zucchini Bisque with Snow Crab
- Chunky Lemon Applesauce