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Fun with the Garden's Current Produce: Three Ingredient Cooking

  • Subject: [cg] Fun with the Garden's Current Produce: Three Ingredient Cooking
  • From: Sharon Gordon gordonse@one.net
  • Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 08:36:31 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

Over the weekend, I was listening to a radio show where they were
interviewing Rozanne Gold, author of several three ingredient cookbooks.
The fun thing about these is that they focus on using quality, flavorful
ingredients, and only three of them.  (Water, salt, and pepper are counted
as freebies if they occur in a recipe.)  Another bonus of these recipes is
that often two of the ingredients are whole foods.  The recipes vary between
the frugal and the expensive.  Since there are only three items, it's
important that the foods be flavorful, which increases the odds that they
are local, fresh, ripe foods.  In general I find the recipes to be an
interesting mix of simplicity with high powered results and fun way to look
at using food ingredients in different ways.

For the show, they also challenged some chefs around the country, and asked
the chefs to discuss the process and results.  This I found to be
enlightening. The main aspect that I have not been taking advantage of that
they used to good effect was using one ingredient in multiple ways in the
same recipe. For example, in an asparagus dish they roasted the asparagus in
olive oil and then also added paper thin slices of raw asparagus for crunch.
Don't know what the third ingredient was there.  In a fish and tomato dish,
the chef talked about doing the fish with a tomato sauce, but adding the
tomato in another form to the dish such as fresh diced, crisped skins, or
sundried.  In the recipe which had them salivating on the radio, a chef
cooked sweetened condensed milk for another four hours to turn it into a
Latino style caramel which is ----something con leche in Spanish.  They
mixed the caramel with butter and flour to make a delicious shortbread
cookie, and then topped the cookie with a frosting of the caramel.

On the same show, they also talked about how some restaurants were
advertising their new recipes with minimal ingredients and pointed out that
when you have only a few ingredients they are generally really fresh, ripe,
quality items.

Additionally, they mentioned some of Gold's newer books:
1) Healthy 1-2-3 and talked about how when you have fewer ingredients, they
are likely to be healthier
2) Desserts 1-2-3 and talked about how hard it is to create baking ones
under those circumstances, and how much fun it was to do the fruit recipes
3) A book she is writing at the present which is a compendium of 500
123-style recipes.

Some of her earlier books are
4) Recipes 1-2-3
5) Recipes 1-2-3 Menu Cookbook
6) Entertaining 1-2-3
7) Christmas 1-2-3

A book by a different author which I like is Cooking with Three Ingredients
by Andrew Schloss.  So far, they are the only two authors that I have come
across that have books out on three ingredient cooking.

If you look in Gold's Christmas book at http://www.amazon.com , there's a
good example of an ingredient used multiple ways in the Salad of Fancy
Greens and Roasted Clementines (amazon has an unroofed copy of some of the
pages, so beware the typos).  In this recipe there are three ingredients of
clementines, olive oil, and mesclun (or other mixed organic greens) and the
freebies of salt and pepper.  For this recipe, clementines are used five
ways, as roasted halves, as fresh slices, as roasted juice, as a roasted
smoothie style ingredient to help make the salad dressing, and as fresh
juice.  The olive oil gets used to roast the clementines and also fresh in
the salad dressing.  The mesclun is used one way as a salad green.  One
other thing that I think could be added would be to zest some of the fresh
clementines used for juice and toss the zest with the mesclun or mixed

Some of the books have the index available in the sample pages, so you can
get an idea of some of the combinations of three items.

Anyone have any favorite three ingredient recipes that you have come up
with?  Anyone want to take a challenge and see what you can come up with
over the next week?  This would be a great opportunity to use some of the
fresh spring vegetables if you live in the northern hemisphere or some of
the winter root cellar type vegetables if you live in the southern
hemisphere.  Also, it seems like it might make a fun challenge for the
community garden as a whole, either to come up with seasonal recipes  for
the newsletter, or to have a three ingredient dish potluck featuring the
currently ripe produce.


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