Michael Symon's 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners: A Cookbook

Michael Symon's 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners: A Cookbook

by Michael Symon, Douglas Trattner


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Food Network star Michael Symon shares 120 superfast and delicious recipes for busy cooks.

With his boisterous laugh and Midwestern charm, Michael Symon has become one of the most beloved cooking personalities on television. For ABC's The Chew, he developed a brilliant, simple formula to help home cooks pull together fresh, from-scratch meals on weeknights: a maximum of five fresh ingredients that cook in five minutes. This cookbook ties into the segment, featuring dazzlingly quick, satisfying dinners that your whole family will love.

Michael first teaches you how to set up your pantries with essentials that make whipping up dinner easy. Then he shares 120 recipes for pastas, skillet dinners, egg dishes, grilled mains, kebabs, foil packets, and sandwiches illustrated in 75 photographs. This is streamlined cooking for busy families and firmly solves the "what's for dinner?" conundrum for home cooks everywhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780770434328
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 139,268
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Michael Symon is a cohost of ABC's The Chew and Food Network's Iron Chef America and Burgers, Brew & 'Que. He is the chef and co-owner of the acclaimed restaurants Lola, Lolita, and his newest restaurant, Mabel's BBQ, all in Cleveland, Ohio; the BSpot burger restaurants in Ohio; and Roast in Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of Michael Symon's Live to CookMichael Symon's CarnivoreMichael Symon's 5 in 5, and Michael Symon's 5 in 5 for Every Season.

Read an Excerpt


When I was first asked to join ABC’s The Chew, what excited me most was the thought of being able to inspire people at home to cook simple, affordable, and delicious food. 

Up to that point in my career, most of the cooking I had been doing—both at my restaurants and on television—was high-end restaurant-style food. I absolutely love competing on Iron Chef America, but let’s face it: Not a lot of viewers are going to have the time, ingredients, or skill to make those dishes at home for dinner. 

So while we were devising different segments for the show, I thought it would be great to do something that was practical and encouraging. My goal was to show people that cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming or expensive to be delicious. If I motivated even a few viewers to cook more often at home, then I would consider my mission a success.

I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration. The truth of the matter is that Liz and I don’t go out to dinner very often. And after a long day in the studio or my restaurants, I don’t always feel like whipping up an elaborate feast, either. More often than not, I look in the fridge, look in the pantry, and come up with a quick meal based on what we already have on hand. Not only does this cooking style eliminate the need to run to the store, it is also extremely cost-effective, another plus. 

Knowing that home cooks, like me, don’t always want to spend hours in the kitchen making a meal, I decided that the recipes should be quick, too. How quick? Well, what if I could trim that time to as little as 5 minutes. I thought, Who wouldn’t cook more if they knew they could prepare a great meal in less than the time it takes to listen to “Stairway to Heaven”? 

Thus, 5 in 5 was born. Using no more than 5 fresh ingredients and some pantry staples, which all cook in 5 minutes, you can make dinner for a family of four every night and—bonus—that meal will cost less than $5 a serving. To make it fun on the show, we decided to do a beat-the-clock-style bit, not unlike what I’ve been doing for years on Iron Chef America. It’s become one of the most popular segments on The Chew.

Now keep in mind that I’ve been cooking professionally for decades and can work pretty quickly. But on the show, even I sometimes go over the buzzer—and it’s always a riot! The key is to relax, have fun, and cook more. If it takes you 6, 7, or even—gasp!—8 minutes, so be it. In the end, you will still end up with a delicious, made-from-scratch meal that costs less than fast food, tastes a million times better, and is healthier for you and your family.

Table of Contents

Introduction 8

The 5 in 5 Pantry 12

5 in 5 Quick Builds 15

Timesaving Tips 24

1 Pasta 26

2 On a Stick 60

3 Between Bread 74

4 Packet Perfection 104

5 Eggscellent 118

6 Man with a Pan 132

7 Let's Grill 180

8 I Scream, You Scream 210

Acknowledgments 220

Index 221

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