We all have our breaking points. For some, it may be getting home from work after the sun goes down to an almost empty fridge and a hungry spouse. For others, it may be finally getting tired of endless Taco Tuesdays and Fried Rice Fridays. Whatever that point is, when we hit it, we’re eating out and ordering delivery at a far more rapid pace than is financially responsible. There is a better way.
This better way was a big part of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Food section for years. Called the 5:30 Challenge, it was a beloved weekly recipe column that helped readers prepare dinner using no more than five ingredients, all in 30 minutes or less.
Starting this week, the 5:30 Challenge is back with the same rules, and a slightly more current ingredient philosophy. You’ll find fewer canned goods and more fresh vegetables, along with a wide-ranging culinary lens. As before, salt, pepper and water don’t count toward the ingredient total; neither does oil for greasing a pan. And you’ll often see a suggested side dish that can be prepared while the main event cooks. You’ll still want to make sure to read the whole recipe through before you begin — you may need to chop vegetables while water comes to a boil, or prepare a garnish while another item is in the oven.
This week, pull out a sheet pan for an elegant, citrusy seafood dinner. You’ll make good use of your broiler to char fennel and cook scallops, which are paired with a spicy, tangy grapefruit salsa. Add in steamed couscous or toasted bread on the side.
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