5 ingredients or fewer
undaunting recipes to celebrate sloth february
Monday, February 6, 2023
Welcome to the Shoppy Shop [Grub Street]
An Ode to Kraft Mac and Cheese [Catapult]
Welcome to Sloth February! “But Deb, February began six days ago! And your newsletter has been AWOL for nearly a month!” The answer is simple: First there was a book tour. Now there is sloth. Let me explain: If we met on book tour over the last 2.5 months and you asked me what was “next,” while I do understand that you were asking me about my hopes and professional aspirations, what I told you I was going to do next was something called Sloth February. It’s on my calendar and everything!
The 30-event, 20-flight, and 6-train ride Smitten Kitchen Keepers Fall/Winter Book Tour were one of the greatest joys of my professional life, especially if I got to meet you while I was out there. But, as it’s now largely wrapped up [Columbus, I’m coming for you in March!] I feel that is it essential that I rebalance my energy by doing much *less* of everything that I “must” and lean into the things that delight me, especially the frivolous ones. So while this month is largely devoted to catching up on all of the things I had to say no to when life got busy — like, pilates, and tennis, and you know, scheduling those check-ups. It’s also puzzles, catching Edward Hopper’s New York at the Whitney before it closes, and trying silly things I plan to fail spectacularly at, and relishing in giving myself time to do it anyway. Come, join me.
On a cooking note, I know we all sloth differently. Maybe it’s a month of defrosting all of those freezer meals January you gifted to February you. Maybe it’s pb&j, scrambled eggs in tortillas, and/or frozen tortellini for dinner until you’re ready to try for more. There is no right or wrong way to sloth. But to me, there’s nothing that better embodies the Sloth February energy than undaunting recipes [all have 5 or fewer ingredients] that yield high rewards [like, a full chicken dinner and the best shortbread, ever]. My focus here is on recipes that you might not guess from the outset have such short ingredient lists have goals because the flavor and outcome is totally uncompromised.
Deb, A Happy Sloth
Smitten Kitchen Keepers, my third cookbook, has been out for 10 wonderful weeks and I love to see everything that you’re cooking from it. While the majority of the book tour is behind us, I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio in March, and I’ll be sprinkling in a few other events throughout the spring. You can keep up to date with all of the details on this page.
New: A clean-out-the-fridge roasted cauliflower salad, the kind of thing I crave endlessly for winter lunches. This one has charred scallion segments, salted pistachios, chopped dates, and a sharp lemon dressing and it's so inhalable that forkfuls were walking off as I tried to take photos.
If you didn't know oven-baked Buffalo wings could be awesome, you're in for a treat. These are browned, crispy, craggy-surfaced, well-seasoned, and with so little hands-on work, this won't be the last time you make them. For dinner, we like it with an Iceberg Wedge.
One of my favorite foods on earth is a tortilla de patatas, an olive oil-rich omelet with slow-cooked potatoes and onion. It's perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; it's good cold, warm, or room temperature. Serve with a squiggle of aioli and a crisp salad, so perfect for a brisk wintry week.
This is one of my favorite simple soups because it has five ingredients you might even have around, takes about 30 minutes to make, and tastes incredibly rich for something so light and simple.
Please do not judge this pizza by its smooshed Oscar the Grouch-like appearance. Spinach leaves crisp over a small but mighty layer of cheese, a complex salty, stretchy, funky three-fer of mozzarella, pecorino, and gruyere that anchors the spinach to the crust. It so perfectly hits the spot; you are going to love this.
Quick, stovetop mac-and-for that you can have 15 minutes from now, or when an intense need for pasta with a sauce of salty melted cheese strikes and nothing else will do. [Bonus: Drop broccoli florets into the boiling water for 2 minutes, scoop it out, and start the recipe from there with the dried pasta as written. Cheese, carbs and green vegetables? We're set.]
Let’s have deviled eggs for dinner, no, seriously. It’s like egg salad, but cuter. Mine have no piping bags or fussy ingredients, just a simple filling and then I like to apply toppings with chaotic abandon, whatever I can dredge up from the fridge. I can't wait to see what you come up with.
Cabbage cooked slowly in salty buttery chicken drippings until charred at the edges and caramelized throughout is the real star of this deeply cozy and rewarding three-ingredient roast chicken inspired by the wonderful Helen Rosner.
Craving shortbread incessantly after bingeing on Ted Lasso, I made them 50 ways before landing on this, my forever recipe for tender, buttery, perfect-every-time shortbread cookies from three ingredients with virtually no fuss.
A 5-ingredient decadent flourless chocolate cookie that would be kind of amazing right now, don't you think?
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!