Mark Bittman

In Heated. More on Medium.

A vegetable recipe with a little beef

Shallow bowl of beef stew with large chunks of potato, garnished with chopped parsley.
Shallow bowl of beef stew with large chunks of potato, garnished with chopped parsley.
Photo: Mark Bittman

When it comes to eating, many of us like to start the year off on whatever we consider to be the “right foot.” For me, the “right foot” means cooking dishes where animal products recede into the background while plants take center stage. Not just in January, but always.

It’s a style that presents infinite opportunities. Finding myself with a pound of stew beef and a pantry full of (mostly) root vegetables, I decided to put the pressure cooker to work and produce a beef-and-root-vegetable stew that would stretch that pound of meat to serve 10 or 12 rather than…


Plus 7 tempting variations

Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Photo: Lauri Patterson/E+/Getty Images

The concept of griddling a sandwich isn’t exclusive to one cuisine. And you don’t need a fancy press to make a beautifully crisp and browned sandwich; the plate technique here does the job perfectly. Improve simple grilled cheese by adding your favorite dressing or using other fillings. Don’t be shy about splurging on ingredients.

Grilled Cheese

Makes: 1 sandwich
Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter, olive oil or good-quality vegetable oil
  • 2 slices any bread
  • Several slices (2 to 3 ounces) good melting cheese like Emmental, Gruyère, Jarlsberg, or cheddar.

Instructions

  1. Put a small skillet over medium heat and add the butter or…


Just-right gifts for everyone

Julian with a spatula at The Always Pan

This year has been objectively challenging, no matter how you look at it. Giving gifts makes you feel good. So here’s our third annual gift guide, with picks from everyone on our team. We like to think there’s something for everyone in here — mostly food-related, with an abundance of smoked fish, because… we love it. We’ve also got some (non-food! gasp!) wild cards.

Daniel’s Picks

So, technically, this thing — the wooden contraption that the young gentleman is standing on in the photo above — is called a Learning Tower, but I just can’t bring myself to ever call it that…


Make it easy on yourself as you focus on Thanksgiving prep

Pasta with broccoli and sausage
Pasta with broccoli and sausage
Photo: Romulo Yanes

As you’re finalizing your Thanksgiving menu, this is the week to cook recipes you know with your eyes closed — those family go-tos or the ones for ingredients on-hand. Here’s a collection of mine — a favorite pasta, a knockout chicken stew (make enough for leftovers), my mother’s sausage and peppers, and Kate’s egg in a hole — an ideal breakfast-for-dinner that allows for riffs like dressing it in fresh herbs, tomato sauce, salsa, or whatever inspires you.


Here’s a fine recipe for a fall weekend meal, plus leftovers

A slice of moussaka.
A slice of moussaka.
Photo: nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images Plus

There are countless versions of this lasagna-like Greek eggplant dish, but I’m not crazy about the kind with the custard on top. In Dinner For Everyone, I have recipes for mushroom and sweet potato moussaka, one with stewed lamb, and this one, below. Meat-eaters will be glad they decided to make it: All of the flavors and ingredients of the classic are captured without needing to cook and assemble a bunch of separate components. Read on for this weekend’s one-dish meal.

Miracle Moussaka

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt…


It’s hard to resist dishes like chilaquiles, our spin on a Hangtown fry, and a red-eye ham hash

Chilaquiles.
Chilaquiles.
Chilaquiles. Photo: Alleko

Three breakfast recipes — only one with eggs. In the case of chilaquiles, I can make a convincing argument for calling a bowl of tortilla chips dinner, especially if they’re coated in homemade salsa roja. In the souffled Hangtown fry, the eggs and oysters are so good together, that for once, the bacon plays second fiddle. And as for that red-eye ham hash, with its quirky, old-school, coffee and ketchup sauce, the work — i.e., chopping — is steady, well-paced, and highly rewarding.

Chilaquiles With Black Bean Relish

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 large guajillo or other medium-hot dried chiles
  • 2 cups boiling…


Use this template and riff as you’d like

Beef stew with less meat
Beef stew with less meat
Photo: Mark Bittman

Our team spent weeks — years, really — developing “less-meatarian” recipes, classics that de-emphasized meat and rely preeminently on vegetables, grains, and legumes. Both the Food Matters and VB6 cookbooks feature those kinds of recipes, and the style has mightily influenced our cooking for more than 10 years now.

It’s a style that presents infinite opportunities. Finding myself with a pound of stew beef and a pantry full of (mostly) root vegetables, I decided to put the pressure cooker to work and produce a beef-and-root-vegetable stew that would stretch that pound of meat to serve 10 or 12 rather than…


When you’d rather graze than feast

Chickpea fries
Chickpea fries
Photo: Burcu Avsar & Zack DeSart

I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose snacks over actual meals, I’d more often than not go with snacking because there’s an opportunity to try more things, you’re not pummeled by a big meal, and snacking can be fun.

I would not describe tomorrow’s snacking as “fun.” But I’m certain you’d appreciate a spread that includes a few of these dishes. Who doesn’t appreciate a snack to tide you over when nerves are frayed?

Note that I didn’t include sweets on the list: I wanted to keep the list in the spirit of snacks-for-dinner. …


Recipes for Halloween and beyond

Pasta with squash.
Pasta with squash.
Photo: Aya Brackett

Almost nobody cooks with fresh pumpkin. We’ll spend hours carving them into ornate jack-o-lanterns, but when it comes time to make pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup or pumpkin whatever, we reach for the can. Halloween is Saturday. Pumpkins abound. If there was ever a time to think about cooking one, it’s now.

Yes, peeling and cubing a pumpkin takes some time, but in the recipes I’m suggesting, that constitutes the bulk of the work. It’s worth noting that you can always substitute any orange winter squash for pumpkin if you like (speaking of squash, I’d regret not mentioning that you…


Shit! What’s for Dinner?

Big-on-flavor dishes include carrot coconut soup, chicken escabeche, and chipotle pozole

Chipotle pozole.
Chipotle pozole.
Photo: Aya Brackett

For those times you find yourself saying, “Shit! What’s for dinner?” — we’re here to help. For our third installment of what to eat this week, we’ve got a trio with the potential for bold flavor — with two fast dishes and one that requires more commitment, largely unattended.

The carrot coconut soup marries coconut milk, Southeast Asian flavors, and a little heat for an unbeatable combination; it’s also a reminder that creamy soups are equally good without cream. The escabeche takes cues from cooks in Spain, the Caribbean, and some South American countries who often marinate food after cooking…

Heated

Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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