Friday, January 24, 2014

Michael Symon's 5 in 5

It is no secret here on the blog that I adore Michael Symon. I've reviewed his restaurants and his cookbooks. His food philosophy just meshes so well with mine

As one of the cohosts of The Chew, Symon does a regular segment called 5 in 5 where he takes 5 ingredients and is challenged to make a delicious meal in just 5 minutes. Thus the concept of this new cookbook was born.

I've made a couple meals from this cookbook and while they always take longer than 5 minutes (I mean, who is lucky enough to have prep cooks to get all your mise en place ready for you?), Symon even cops to that in the book saying, "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."

You'll also notice in the cookbook that sometimes recipes go beyond 5 ingredients. Again, 5 in 5 is more of a guideline than a rigid rule. 

The recipes in this cookbook are all mouth-watering and full of flavor. Probably my favorite dish I've made so far is the breaded pork loin with apple salad because, as with almost all of Symon's recipes, the key is to create a balance of flavors and textures. Instead of pairing the meat with a heavy, starchy root veg as most Americans tend to do, Symon always prepares his sides with something bright, acidic, and/or crunchy.

The draw of 5 in 5 is certainly the idea of making dinner with little time and few ingredients, but Symon has gone beyond making dinner work, he also makes it delicious.

Breaded Pork Loin with Apple and Parsley Salad
(Adapted from Michael Symon's 5 in 5)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
4 (6-oz) pieces pork loin, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 granny smith apples, cut into matchsticks (I used honeycrisp)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts

1) Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Put the eggs in another shallow bowl and beat them lightly. Put the panko in a third shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.

2) Put large skillet over medium-high heat.

3) Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Working with one piece of meat at a time, dredge the pork in the flour, coating both sides. Shake off excess then dip the pork into the beaten eggs and then the panko.

4) Add olive oil to preheated olive oil to pan and cook pork, about 2 minutes per side.

5) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar, EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the apples, parsley, and scallions then toss to combine. (I recommend making the dressing in a separate bowl because I found that the proportions made too much dressing for the amount of apples, parsley, and scallions).

6) Put pork on plates and top with apple salad. I also served mine with a little Italian farro for some nuttiness.

Michael Symon's 5 in 5 
Published: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Pages: 224
Genre: Cookery
Audience: Adults
Disclosure: Purchased Copy


  1. I made one of his first 5 in 5 dishes, a steak recipe that was wonderful.

  2. Ok between you and Diane, I guess I have to check this out. I haven't ever seen The Chew, if you can believe that.

  3. LOVE Michael Symon - he's my favorite Iron Chef! This recipe looks delicious - although it seriously takes liberties with the "5 in 5" concept! That's more than 10 ingredients in there!

    1. I agree, he takes a lot of liberties. Maybe he considers 5 ingredients for each dish? I don't care. It was still a quick, easy meal that I'd certainly make again.

  4. I never heard of him before. Funny how he uses more than 5 ingredients.

  5. mmm I like the sound of an apple salad with herbs!

  6. I have not tried any of Symon's recipes but the pork loin you prepared sure looks delicious.