Set aside a weekend afternoon to make this perfect winter dinner

An oval casserole dish of gnocchi gratin garnished with crispy sage leaves.
An oval casserole dish of gnocchi gratin garnished with crispy sage leaves.
Photo: Aya Brackett

If you’re in the Northeast and Midwest, you’re likely slogging through days that include snow, sleet, and grey skies. In other words, it’s the perfect weather for comfort food dishes.

This one is a bit of a project: Since gnocchi are known to be ornery, the key to getting pillowy lightness with these Italian dumplings is to add only enough flour to bring the dough together. The first thing you’ll notice with this dish is probably the rich sauce, then you’ll bite into the sublime dumplings. You’ll want to make this over the weekend.

Gnocchi Gratin

Makes: About 4 servings Time: About…


It depends on your level of commitment

A person with short salt-and-pepper gray hair + matching facial hair and glasses talking, holding a glass bottle.
A person with short salt-and-pepper gray hair + matching facial hair and glasses talking, holding a glass bottle.
Mossimo Bottura. Photo: MasterClass

While the online learning industry was booming before Covid-19, it has now become a central part of our lives. More Americans are taking online classes — even when it comes to cooking.

While many classes are free, MasterClass, the Rolls-Royce of online education platforms, is one of the first to partner with iconic celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, Aaron Franklin, and Thomas Keller. The movie-like trailers showcase famous chefs sharing moments of culinary clarity and inviting us to join them for the ride.

Membership to the platform is $90 per class, with an option for an all-access…


It may also change your mind about tofu

Photo: Burcu Avsar & Zach DeSart

Earlier this year (I believe it was just before quarantine set in) we did a sort of tofu primer, with an eye towards encouraging those of you who are anti-tofu or tofu agnostic to give this polarizing ingredient another chance. In doing so, I neglected to include the recipe that many people have told me was their gateway drug: kimchi-tofu soup.

Now that it’s basically winter, a dish like this — warm, comforting, highly flavorful, and done in 25 minutes — is a lot more than just a friendly vehicle for tofu; it’s borderline essential. The main ingredient is kimchi…


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…


Q&A

Cooking more doesn’t have to mean wasting more

A head of cauliflower next to small piles of cauliflower stems, florets, leaves, stalks, and ribs, respectively.
A head of cauliflower next to small piles of cauliflower stems, florets, leaves, stalks, and ribs, respectively.
Photos courtesy of Belmond Mount Nelson

With pretty much everyone forced into the kitchen, food waste is on all of our minds, especially because many are trying to limit trips to the grocery store. We talked to Rudi Liebenberg, the executive chef of Belmond Mount Nelson in Capetown, South Africa, who focuses on limiting waste as much as feasible.

Heated: Since home cooks aren’t cooking on the scale of restaurants, I think a lot of us might be daunted over whether we should be saving the stems of our cilantro or putting our fish carcasses in the freezer until we have time to make stock later…


Turns out, they’re inspiring, too

A handwritten list of “Culinary Desires” and a pen on a woven rug next to a calendar turned to the January page.

In 2021, I’m looking forward to a tentative trip to Italy in July. Or maybe a birthday party with more than one guest in March. I guess just a martini at home next Friday.

Though we’re nowhere near close to being able to make post-Covid plans, What I can do is march purposefully into the kitchen and make an amaretti crumble with mascarpone cream. Or stir-fried celery with peanuts and bacon or something with the ‘nduja I bought on sale.

These are my only plans for the foreseeable future. I am so excited by them (and by my ability to…


Shit! What’s For Dinner?

Dishes to look forward to this week

A drawing of a grain bowl.
A drawing of a grain bowl.
Illustration: Elsma Ramirez

While tomorrow is a day many of us are looking forward to (and are downright relieved about), we can’t help but feel anxious post-insurrection, as we approach a staggering 400,000 lives lost since March, and a litany of other things that provoke worry. Let’s hold onto hope and find strength for the work that’s cut out for us.

Meanwhile, we still have to eat. This week, we’ve got make your own grain bowls, macaroni and cheese, and of these roasted chicken ideas, we’re into the cumin, honey, and orange option.

Grain Bowls

Makes: 6–8 servings Time: 10 minutes to more than an…


REEF Technology may change how we think of restaurants post-Covid

A pop-up REEF kitchen.
A pop-up REEF kitchen.
(Here, notably not in a parking garage.) Photo: REEF Technology

Order up! One fried chicken sandwich appears on the digital screen. Batter, dunk, fry, assemble. The spicy habanero fried chicken gets gussied up with a few pickle slices and a slap of butter on a Martin’s potato roll. Paired with macaroni salad and daikon slaw. Like an orchestrated quartet, three chefs seamlessly construct David Chang’s famous Fuku Korean fried chicken sandwiches in a 200-square-foot kitchen. The sandwich is popped into a to-go box and sealed with a Fuku sticker. …


Win a print until Feb. 2: Otherwise, consider 1. and 3.

A drawing of a hamburger castle.

First off, here’s a special pre-order offer for you: A chance to win a framed, limited edition print, made just for us by the wonderful Alex Testere. Three lucky winners who pre-order my upcoming book, Animal, Vegetable, Junk, and fill out this form by February 2nd will receive a print (check them out below). Everyone who enters will receive a special postcard.

Good luck, and, as always, thank you.


Shit! What’s For Dinner?

Quick and easy winter dishes

A bowl of mussels
A bowl of mussels
Photo: Shyman/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Winter is always “the darkest season,” but this one more than most. While what we decide to cook and eat usually can’t make our problems disappear, it can soothe us, center us, fortify us, or consume our attention in welcome ways, even if only for a few minutes. For anyone in need of something to cook this week or beyond, here are five ideas that have been bouncing around my head (and my stove). For the most part, they’re simple, quick to make, don’t require any exotic or supremely expensive ingredients, and are, most importantly for the dark days ahead…

Heated

Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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