Just Four Ingredients Fast: Australian Women’s Weekly

| 11 May , 2010 | Reply

Jane de Graaff, I Ate It All

Let\’s be honest- when it comes to cooking occasionally we run out of time, patience and maybe even inspiration.

It\’s a problem that even the biggest food-lover and most brilliant cook can face. You know what it\’s like: you\’re run off your feet, there\’s nothing in the fridge and you just don\’t have the time to sort through your beautiful mountain of gourmet cookbooks for something quick and easy for dinner.

So your mutinous mind is thinking take-away for dinner right?

Well, it doesn\’t have to be this way if you happen to have a copy of The Australian Woman\’s Weekly Just Four Ingredients Fast handy. Because with each dish calling for a total of (you guessed it) just four ingredients, you\’re bound to find something that can be whipped up out of whatever you\’ve got on hand.

To tell the truth, I wasn\’t so keen on the idea of a cookbook that oftentimes seems to be more full of serving suggestions than actual cooking.

But as I slid through the pages noting everything from mussels in garlic broth to duck with caramelised applesРa funny thing began to happen. I realised that this cookbook is less about the nitty-gritty of making cr̬me anglaise than it is about helping us out when all other options have been sucked dry.

And what a great blessing a little book like that can become!! It\’s an easy reminder that cooking can sometimes be as simple as good flavour combinations, rather than time-consuming kitchen acrobatics.

As I marked out page after page to try for dinner, I found myself doing a complete 180 degree turn in my thinking. Sometimes serving suggestions and a kick of inspiration are recipe enough to plate-up an inspired dinner.

And with this in mind, Just Four Ingredients Fast is brilliant. With each recipe taking up barely half a page and pulled together from things you might find lurking in the pantry, it\’s a book for every cook who has ever run out of time. For the cook that has better things to do than stand over the stove tending to a needy risotto- and by god sometimes there are much better things to do.
What can I say, after a quick flick through, dinner is planned and almost on the table, and in less time than it takes to drive up the street for take-away.


We tried garlic and paprika char-grilled prawns with sumac and sesame chicken skewers and a bowl of balsamic gazed baby onions. Knock together a simple salad and that\’s dinner done. Too easy, and we didn\’t even have to leave the house.

Available now:  Random House RRP$19.95


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