I got a new book to review this week by Michael Symon titled “5 in 5 for every season”. The idea behind the book is that Michael uses 5 main fresh ingredients in each recipe, and it takes 5 minutes of heat to prepare each dish! Who wouldn’t want to get dinner ready by Michael Symon in 5 minutes so I was really excited to try the book out.

I love Michael Symon with his shows, he has an unbelievable personality on the screen, always happy. He is a true representative of modern Greek-American cuisine, and uses only fresh ingredients that are common for the Mediterranean. Bingo! This is what my cuisine is all about! I love Italian and Greek food because the ingredients all taste so familiar to my own background.

I was hoping to see all of those influences in Michael’s cooking and recipes in this book. This is the first book by Symon that I have ever tried to cook with, so I can only write about this particular book.

I find while we love to eat fresh salads with raw veggies, often times when we are cooking on the stove, it takes waaaaay longer than 5 minutes to put the meal together. That is what we have noticed with the recipes we have tried so far. The food needs longer to prepare than it is stated in the book, like 2-3 times longer at least.

One recipe we have tried was of cauliflower with anchovies. While I love the saltiness of anchovies, I found that the cauliflower practically tasted like it had an ocean bath – very fishy flavors. I couldn’t get my kids to eat it. I had tough times eating it myself, now I have leftovers to power through. I think we didn’t get the anchovies in this dish at all. Even my husband didn’t particularly like it. It took a lot longer to cook cauliflower to doneness for this recipe – 5 minutes is not enough.IMG_5158

Another dish we tried yesterday was mushrooms cooked in red wine. This recipe seemed quite easy, fool-proof – I don’t know where it could have done wrong. However, we don’t normally cook mushrooms with red wine, and this was a new twist for us, so we wanted to try it. We found that splashing wine into the pan, and then immediately saying it’s done as per the recipe keeps all the alcohol content in the wine, and usually when we cook with wine we want to reduce the alcohol first before we start eating the food. Otherwise it’s like you are eating mushrooms swimming in wine, really. The timing of 5 minutes was also off here – the onions in the recipe need a bit more time to cook through. We have modified the recipe a bit by cooking it longer, and then adding some cream to it to balance the flavors better.


The third recipe that we have tried was roasted Brussels Sprouts. We have modified the recipe quite a lot, but it did take me about 20 minutes to cook the sprouts in the oven as well. We didn’t have bacon, and we substituted with fried onions and pine nuts instead. The dish tasted great!

I have a few more dishes in mind for the rest of the week from this book. I will update the post once I am done with those. For now, I have to give 3 out of 5 stars for the book.

Another concern for me in the book is the amount of pasta prepared. Almost 1/3 of the recipes are pasta dishes, and we are trying to eat less pasta now as we are low carb. Get on with the trends, Michael!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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