Four Ingredients

One thing about me that is important to know, is that I am a “reality” tv junkie and am particularly fond of the cooking series on BravoTV: Top Chef (all its variations), Top Chef Desserts and Rocco’s Dinner Party.  And, I am obsessed with food dishes that have incredibly long and fancy names.  I mean who doesn’t want to at least try something that has an agri-doux in its title, and a jus, anglaise, croudox will undoubtedly make even the basic of dishes more mouth watering.  Not to mention if you serve something infused with something else.  I dream of a dinner party where I present my guests with a 4-5 course meal full of fancy foreign words that actually mean cream, sauce, or smoke.

But lets get really real, when it comes to day to day cooking, I’m not making watermelon sorbet with a wine basil gelee.  And I doubt any of you are either.  Who has the time? I work 2 jobs, have a dog that needs walked 4 times a day, 2 cats yelling for my attention, and attempt to have a semblance of a social life: lunching, dining, and dancing with my fabulous friends.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t cook up something fabulous in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients.  So I’m very excited about finding and developing dishes that only have 4 ingredients in them (not including salt and pepper).

Tonite I made two deliciously wonderful dishes that are perfect for the last days of summer and would even work well for a small dinner party. Note, that although I often start with a recipe from a book, I almost always make them my own in some way. These two dish ideas originated from “The 4-Ingredient Cookbook.”


Zesty Lemony (Lime) Shrimp
I forgot to buy lemons today and had limes on hand, they worked just as well. The lemon counts as one ingredient and the parsley is optional.

12 oz peeled raw medium shrimp
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon (lime) zest
3 tablespoons lemon (lime) juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Place skillet on medium heat. Add the shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest and juice. Cook 5 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.
Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside. Increase heat to medium high and add the butter. Bring to a boil, for 2 minutes or until liquid measures 1/4 cup, stirring constantly. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and sprinkle with parsley.

If you were so inclined, you could call this Sauteed Citrus Shrimp in a Hearty Worcestershire Reduction.

Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad
(Creme Herb and Cucumber Salate)

1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled diced cucumber (or you could slice)

Combine the yogurt, mayo, dill and salt. Add the cucumbers and toss to coat. Recommendation is to serve within 30 minutes for peak flavors and texture.

Here’s hoping you’ll find ways to make your cooking both delicious and simple.


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