When interviewing Claire Robinson, host of Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix, I discovered that she and I have several things in common: she doesn’t like grocery shopping, she thinks most people look for quick recipes that don’t require four pans and tools such as the mandoline in my garage that I’ve always been afraid to use, she focuses on seasonal produce and not using processed foods AND she believes that you can make an amazing dish with just a few ingredients. This may sound a lot like you, too. Oh, and she proves that you can create many seemingly complicated dishes by using five ingredients or less on 5 Ingredient Fix.
Although Claire graduated from the French Culinary Institute, her style is more straightforward, what I call down-home, than haute cuisine – and why she’s the perfect fit for today’s busy parents and professionals. If you’re not familiar with 5 Ingredient Fix, check her out – the show airs ot 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 (FoodHD) on Saturdays. Set your DVR. I’ve watched her make “Low & Slow” wine-braised short ribs, cheesy grits, sinfully delicious French toast with strawberries and cream, a savory Lobster Corn crème brulee – that’s right LOBSTER crème brulee! You can get all these recipes at Food Network/5Ingredient Fix but it’s more fun to watch the show where Claire demonstrates and explains techniques like braising, poaching, and how to use a kitchen torch 🙂
One of her favorite go-to products is Arnold/Oroweat Sandwich Thins, which I’ve been buying because I love that one tasty “bun” has 5 grams of fiber and only 100 calories. They’re great when you want a light sandwich with not so much bread. The wonderful people at Arnold/Oroweat sent me packages of two flavors: Whole Grain White and 100% Whole Wheat with Claire’s recipes for Three Layer Turkey Reuben, Mushroom & Spinach Mini Pizzas, and Grape Tomato Bruschetta which shows you how versatile these Sandwich Thins are.
I experimented on my own and whipped up an assortment of sweet and savory Pizzettas with grilled fruit and vegetables – full of fresh seasonal flavors, they were an excellent light appetizer for our summer barbecue and would be perfect for a poolside lunch as well.
During our interview I asked Claire questions that I thought would be of interest to the busy parents and professionals that are She’s Cookin’ readers:
What 5 ways to use Arnold/Oroweat Sandwich thins besides sandwiches?
1. thicken soups
2. make bread crumbs
3. use the bread crumbs with a bit of dijon mustard to coat chicken to make homemade chicken tenders
4. make toast points which are spread with different infused oils and baked, an alternative to tortilla or pita chips
5. dessert – grill and topped with grilled fruit (see my Pizzettas)
What are your 5 favorite healthy snacks?
1. frozen popsicles made from Greek yogurt and fruit
2. freeze fruit such as grapes and banana chunks
3. stove top popcorn sprinkled with infused olive oil (examples rosemary, cayenne, raw sugar)
4. homemade bruschetta topped with nut butters and fruit
5. baked chick peas (garbanzo beans) tossed with olive oil and a curry or BBQ spice blend and baked (substitute for corn nuts)
What are the 5 foods/condiments that are always in your fridge?
1. fat free Greek yogurt which adds creaminess and tang and is packed with protein – she uses it to thicken sauces, salad dressings, smoothies made with the frozen bananas
3. bacon – just a little bit adds a flavor punch and Claire uses it in stocks and stews, too.
4. dijon mustard – adds a ton of flavor to a lot of dishes and it can also be used as an emulsifier and to thicken sauces.
5. fresh herbs – how you buy them is how they should be stored, so if they came fresh from the farmers market – don’t put them in the fridge.
What are 5 essential pantry items?
1. balsamic vinegar – doesn’t have to be expensive, reduce it down for sauces, balsamic crema is a favorite
2. olive oil (which is counted as an ingredient on her show) – making your own infused olive oils is super easy, adds so much flavor
3. bread – can be used to thicken soups, make croutons, bread crumbs
4. honey or agave nectar or maple syrup – use instead of processed sugar
5. onions and garlic – besides adding to nearly every savory dish, you can make your own infused olive oils
She also added a GOOD salt and pepper (S&P are not counted as one of the 5 ingredients, and both are essential for flavoring).
I’m celebrating my 21st anniversary (that is not a typo) this week and am planning on sipping some champagne and whipping up Claire’s sinfully rich and delicious French Toast with Strawberries and Whipped Cream. Thought you might enjoy a leisurely weekend brunch with your loved one (s) too 🙂 Here’s the video:
Disclosure: I received two packages of Sandwich Thins and a gift card to interview Claire and review their product. All opinions are my own.