A Quick Cookbook, Perfect for Weeknights

Short Ingredient list, simple directions, and a few shortcuts are all you need.

Short Ingredient list, simple directions, and a few shortcuts are all you need.

A Cookbook for the Time Challenged
Do you like to cook, but find it difficult to cook from scratch on a weeknight? So many cookbooks assume a larger pantry and an earlier start-time than I usually have during the week. The Quick Six Fix by Stuart O’Keefe might be just the thing you need to avoid that box of Mac-n-Cheese and make something delicious in no time at all.

The cover says it all: 6 ingredients, 6 minutes prep, 6 minutes cleanup. Now, truth be told, most recipes in the book don’t conform to 6/6/6. However, the instructions are cleverly laid out to minimize time start to finish, including cleanup.

The dinner came together quickly and was delicious!

The dinner came together quickly and was delicious!

Test Drive a Recipe: Speedy Cioppino
The first recipe I tried was for Speedy Cioppino, a fresh fish stew. I had most of the pantry ingredients on hand, so I just stopped to pick up a mix of seafood and a fresh baguette on my way home from work. Basil from the garden did allow me to drop the grocery ingredients by one!  The recipe claimed 6 minutes of prep, 35 minutes of cooking, and 6 minutes of cleanup.  I timed myself and we sat down to dinner 40 minutes after the seafood hit the kitchen counter. Not bad! Paired with a glass of Fino sherry, the cioppino was delicious.

Thoughts on the Quick Six Fix
The recipes are well thought out and they concentrate on a low number of ingredients outside of pantry staples. They wisely balance prepped food from the grocery store such as pre-washed greens, or already peeled shrimp with fresh ingredients. To keep things simple, sometimes steps are combined which an experienced cook may want to separate.  In our cioppino, all the seafood was added at once, when I might have added the clams, shrimp and fish at slightly different times, a minor complaint.

Almost every recipe is accompanied by a beautiful full page photo to help entice you to try making the dish. All in all, a nice addition to the bookshelf, especially for those time challenged weeknights!

One page ingredient list and instructions, and a facing page with a beautiful photo.

One page ingredient list and instructions, and a facing page with a beautiful photo.

Speedy Cioppino

Note: I was a bit suspicious of 2 teaspoons of dried chili flakes, so I cut that in 1/2. Always easier to add spice than to take it away! The cioppino was still spicy, but not overly so.

Recipe reproduced with permission of the publisher. Note: non-pantry ingredients are listed in bold blue.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine (Stuart recommends Chardonnay)
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 lbs seafood (he likes a combination of cod, halibut, mussels, scallops. Cut the fish into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 crusty French baguette, torn into 4 pieces
  • 10 medium Basil leaves, chopped, as garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add wine and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water, cover, and let simmer over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and add all the seafood, give a quick stir, place the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the shells have opened.
  5. Ladle into big bowls, sprinkle with basil, and serve with crusty bread and butter.

The publisher provided the cookbook with a request for a review if I liked the book, but no expectations beyond the request. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Comments
5 Responses to “A Quick Cookbook, Perfect for Weeknights”
  1. Jeff,
    Very impressive, the simplicity of the book and your cioppino! Sounds like something even a “non-cook” who loves to eat would be able to follow and enjoy? Also, a great gift…
    Thanks for sharing and to Stuart for writing!

  2. This sounds like the ideal cookbook for my life right now! I’ll have to put this in my amazon cart. The Cioppino is gorgeous!

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  1. […] flavor, and pair well with olives, salty ham like Serrano, and seafood. I enjoyed Fino with a quick speedy cioppino recipe. They are served ice cold in a sherry glass or a white wine glass. I personally find Fino […]



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