or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › I'm not much of a mathemitician.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I'm not much of a mathemitician.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
In fact, I have trouble counting past ten with my shoes on. But....

Out of curiousity, I watched that new FN show, "Five Ingredient Fix." The premise is, you can cook "simple" gourmet meals using only five ingredients.

Now five ingredients doesn't strike me as a particularly low number. But it gets worse. Herbs, spices, and other flavorings are, apparently, not counted as ingredients. Extrapolating out, I would guess that something like a bechamel would only be counted as one (the host made one dish in which she combined cream with creme fraische and counted it as one ingredient). So, for one of her dishes, her 5-count became 8 when I did the counting.

So now I'm wondering if I'm the only mathematically challenged cook around here. Or do you agree that five ingredients, when you leave out herbs and spices, and the individual components of complex blends, is actually a rather high number.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #2 of 12
Hilarious! That doesn't make any sense to me. Here's my favorite 5 ingredient grilled chicken.

- chicken breast
- salt
- pepper
- ground cumin
- olive oil

1. Slather the chicken with all the other ingredients.
2. Grill
3. Eat

Or does salt/pepper equal 1 ingredient? Or are they not an ingredient at all?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #3 of 12
ya, it seems like maybe she is trying to stretch it a little bit for the sake of a simple TV show premise.

Hopefully more people will watch the show, go 'i call BS' and stop watching because its terrible TV, or maybe thats just me.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Koukouvagia, according to the host's way of counting, your recipe only has one (or, if she stretches and counts the oil, two) ingredients. Salt, pepper, other herbs and spices are not counted as ingredients. And, apprently, anything that gets blended before being added is only one ingredient.

I've also never seen an FN star before who spoke down to her audience as much as this one. I don't know where they dug her up, or why they think anyone is being fooled.

What a joke!

The whole point is that they promoted this show as something really special. But I reckon once you discount salt, pepper, herbs, spices, and other staples, and start considering blended stuff as one ingredient, much of what we make uses five ingredients or less.

The other thing that gets me is the idea that number of ingredients defines a complex dish. While it can contribute, complexity usually has more to do with techniques than with number of ingredients.

Take my signature seafood lollipops recipe. Using FN's math, it only has six ingredients (the way I count, it would be at least nine). But it involves grinding and mincing techniques; sausage making techniques; poaching techniques, and deep frying techniques. Most people would call it a complex dish to make. But if I eliminated one of the ingredients (which would be easy to do) it would qualify as "simple" because it only has five (ha!) ingredients.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #5 of 12
I've not seen this show -- which really breaks my heart, let me tell you -- but I'm a bit confused even beyond the math.

Is she breaking everything down to a sort of final, at-the-stove mise en place, with there being only five prep bowls allowed? Thus a seasoning mix would all be one ingredient because it's in one bowl?

What's supposed to be the point of X number of ingredients? I mean, it's not ingredients that make a dish complicated or simple, usually, but techniques. I could make a lovely duck dish that has three ingredients, perfect for the home cook:

Take one whole duck, head and feet and all. Break it down. Split the head, remove skin from neck, remove feet and sear in direct flame to peel the skin. Render all fat except the neck skin, and reserve cracklings. Chop liver coarsely, cook gently in a little fat until barely done, then puree with an equal weight of fat and pack into a ramekin and chill. Scrape the carcass for all those little snippets of meat. Turn all the bones, head, etc. into stock, then reduce to a sauce consistency. Turn the legs into confit. Chop the meat with some of the confit fat, pipe into the duck neck skin tied off at one end, tie the other end, poach until done. Score the breasts, season, and cook until crisp-skinned but rare, then slice thin on the bias. Sear the neck sausage and slice thick. Plate breasts, sliced sausage, and confit. Mount the reduced stock with butter and nap the breasts with this.

Ingredients: 1 duck, salt-and-pepper, a little butter. To make it complicated, serve the duck over some arugula -- ingredient #4 (or #5 if both salt and pepper count).

Somehow I think this isn't what this lady has in mind, right? It's supposed to be simple and easy cooking? Then the number of ingredients strikes me as an immensely stupid way to think about it.

Does this show have any redeeming qualities?
post #6 of 12
Better switch to sandals, bro. And for the rest of us, let's take a deep breath before jumping to conclusions.

It's true, Claire Robinson, the TV cook in question doesn't count salt and pepper as an ingredient -- which IMO is fair considering the premise of her show. If you think her dishes are actually seven ingredients we can talk about that, although you'll never convince me it's much of a scandal.

As Harry Truman used to say, "let's look at the record" (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/c...e/index.html): For the recipe in question the ingredients were: Creme fraiche; cream; yukon gold potatoes; cauliflower florets; and fresh thyme.

Note: she does count the only herb she uses as an ingredient -- putting paid to another assertion in this thread.

We've been falsely assumed,
BDL
post #7 of 12
Is Kraft boxed mac-n-cheese mix counted as one ingredient?
post #8 of 12
:D
To answer this , one must be a chemist not a cook.:D:lol:
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #9 of 12
Well in that case the moussaka I made last week had 3 ingredients! Vegetables, meat sauce, and bechamel... heck this is fun narrowing down all dishes to less than 5 "ingredients."

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #10 of 12
Ok. This is how it works. Anything that can be combined with anything else becomes a single ingredient. So actually the show should be called One Ingredient Meals, because when you add the sauce to the chicken that becomes one ingredient. Bonus points if you can figure out a way to mix all your side dishes and the entree together into a sort of KFC Famous Bowl/dog food concept. Brilliant!
post #11 of 12
And after you clean your plate, it becomes zero ingredients.
Wow, finally a zero calorie meal.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #12 of 12
You know as a chronic smart***, this debate is tempting me. But i wont. Not because Im mature and all, but because there may be kids present.

Lets just say there is a process that renders all ingredients into one.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
Reply
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › I'm not much of a mathemitician.