Michael has done it again! This is his second 5 in 5 cookbook. This one is 5 in 5 for every season, stressing the importance of cooking with what is in season in your part of the country. The book is bright and beautiful with lots of color and his smiling face on the cover! What else does an aspiring home cook need?!
It is well arranged with an easy to see contents page showing a section for each season, and one for holidays. That is a bonus. It is a nice size, easy to hold in your hand to read and the print size makes it easy to work from in the kitchen when you may be glancing at the recipe from a foot or two away at the counter.
The premise here is for the home cook to be able to make a good meal with five fresh ingredients that cook in about five minutes. I will say here, the five minute part is five minutes of heat. You still have prep to do before cooking; but he has made that as easy as can be also.
Michael includes a pantry section which outlines the items you need to keep on stock to help facilitate the five minute cook time. He includes all things needed with complete lists for oils and vinegars, spices and seasonings, canned, bottled and boxed and basics. If you stock your pantry from his list, you will be well on your way to cooking every one of the 165 recipes in this book, in five!
I made four of the recipes to preview. I chose the Fall and Winter seasons (basically the season we are in) and one from the Holiday section. The first meal I made was Sirloin Steak with Onions. Oh my, the onions were to die for! These are not your basic steakhouse onions. He caramelizes them with a mixture of vinegar, honey and brown sugar that takes the humble red onion to a new level. The meal is completed with arugula on the side, dressed with a whisk of olive oil and lemon. I tried the Autumn Panzanella, which is also known as Tuscan bread salad. This was a mix of Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced fresh Brussels sprouts with cubes of baguette and chopped walnuts all tossed in a blend of vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Delicious! The Walnut Spread is a blend of toasted walnuts with roasted red peppers, lemon juice, honey and crushed red pepper flakes. You add that into your food processor and give it a whirl. Turn it into a dish and sprinkle with some crumbled feta, put any cracker you want on the side and set it out. Good stuff! This was from the Holiday section. I also made Spicy Beef Tacos. This calls for a blend of seasonings in place of the store bought "taco seasoning." Made with chipotle powder, cayenne, paprika and cumin seeds, it was spicy and satisfying. The heat in this one sneaks up on you, so beware.
I love this book. I will be making many more (if not all) of the recipes included here. Michael's book reflects the whole food, clean living cooking style we are hearing a lot about lately. Making the recipes in this book will give you a good start toward converting your kitchen (and diet?!) to a whole food kitchen.
I highly recommend you run right out and buy this! It is a great book from a great chef. I give 5 in 5 For Every Season five stars! He is an Iron Chef, after all!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review. These words are my opinion.
Thanks for reading!