What's the Deal with 5 Ingredient Recipes?

5 ingredient recipes

If you've been on the more culinary side of the internet recently, you've probably seen the trend: quirky recipe books boldly advertising that all of their recipes are made with 5 ingredients or less-- perfect for a chef on the go. There are a few problems with this claim, however; problems that we look to tackle in our own 5 Ingredients or Less Cookbook.

The easiest one to take on is "ingredient flubbing," where cookbook authors will try to get around their self-imposed ingredient limit by assuming you have things like cayenne pepper or lemon juice on hand, and thus avoid counting these toward their "5 ingredients." We get past this by assuming you have salt and pepper to season, and everything else is an ingredient. No exceptions. 

Then there are the books that hide complicated steps behind a simple ingredient list, using a page and a half of directions to use each of their 5 ingredients in 6 different ways. Impressive, but probably not the simplicity you were looking for. We use ingredients that pair well naturally, and we understand that prep time is just as important as the ingredient list. You're looking to get dinner on the table, not impress party guests with how few ingredients are in your duck confit replica of Venice. 

The hardest problem of all is flavor-- there's only one ingredient in roasted carrot, but will it really be satisfying as a main dish? Some books attempt to get around this by crossing their fingers that you'll buy expensive ingredients that do the work for them, but we like a challenge. By combining innovative new flavor combinations with tried and true classics, we've truly done our best to make a series of 5 ingredient recipes that you can be proud to put on the table, without violating the low-effort spirit of the trend. Check out the cookbook here!