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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…

Shit! What’s For Dinner?

Unfussy basics for the start of 2021

Photo: Suzy Allman for the New York Times

Happy New Year. We would hope it’s a given that 2021 will be a marked improvement from last year. Now let’s get cooking. We’ll start with a terrific what-to-do-with-pasta-leftovers that’s actually worth planning for — pasta frittata. It’s portable, it’s endlessly versatile, and it’s practically foolproof. Substitute almost any cheese for the parmesan (or leave it out altogether) and toss in any cooked vegetable or meat: Make it your own. As for the chopped salad, this is perfect as a hearty side or a light meal — plus 8 possible additions. …

Shit! What’s For Dinner?

What to cook this week

Photo: Sam Bloomberg-Rissman/Moment/Getty Images

This week’s picks start with a recipe for Hanukkah, brisket that requires low and slow cooking, with the final browning that can take as little as 10 minutes. Next up, Daniel’s flourless noodles that are fun to make every time. We’ve also got chicken soup with matzo balls, and a stick-to-your ribs white bean soup that you’ll be glad to have the leftovers for lunch.

‘Barbecued’ Brisket

Makes: 8 or more servings
Time: About 3 hours


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, more as needed
  • 1 whole beef brisket, about 5 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 large…

Shit! What’s For Dinner?

We’re saturated with news of a post-Thanksgiving Covid spike: Let’s take care of ourselves and each other

Oysters on the half shell
Oysters on the half shell
Oysters contain more zinc than any other food. Photo: Yuliya Koshchiy/500px/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx have warned of an impending Covid-19 spike beyond what we’re already seeing — as a result of Americans’ insistence on traveling to see their families over the holiday.

While our suggestions for the week aren’t as festive as we’d like as we approach the December holiday month, we’d rather you take care of yourselves, stay healthy, and stay home.

Our first selection, below, is a collection of immune-boosting meals that includes greens with fruit, cheese, and nuts; 10 ways to cook beans and greens; and variations on minestrone soup.

Next up, we’re pointing…

My seasonal go-to for a vegetable that’s not my favorite

Pasta with winter squash and tomatoes in a Dutch oven.
Pasta with winter squash and tomatoes in a Dutch oven.
Photo: Kate Bittman

For the last few years, every time winter squash appears, I’ve pretty much immediately made Bittman’s Pasta With Winter Squash and Tomatoes recipe. Aside from delicata, which I absolutely love, I’m not the biggest fan of squashes, so I’m always looking for new, inoffensive ways to incorporate them.

This recipe is easy — the peeling and chopping of the squash is the most tedious part, as it tends to be for squash recipes — and super hearty; plus, the pasta-to-vegetable ratio is kinda crazy, and it works. It’s 2 pounds of squash, plus a couple of cups of chopped tomatoes…

These customizable one-pan dinners take just a few minutes under the heat

Empty racks inside an oven with its lights turned on.
Empty racks inside an oven with its lights turned on.
Photo: Douglas Sacha/Moment/Getty Images

Yes, this is the most wonderful time of year to cook in most parts of the U.S.

Corn, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peaches, plums, apples, etc. — all abundant. But what if you’re jazzed about the produce but can’t muster the enthusiasm to cook? Bust out a sheet pan.

Once the oven is heated and the corn is shucked, this one-pan broil (and its variations) take only as long as the scallops need to brown and cook through, which is, like, five minutes. While that happens, you chop up some scallions, chiles, and cilantro to bring some freshness to the table.

Where mealtime is a moment for change

People sitting around tables.
People sitting around tables.
‘ALL’S Dinner,’ a big outdoor table to dine together with Christian citizens, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and laypeople in Rome, Italy, as an answer against all forms of intolerance and racism in June 2019. Photo: Stefano Montesi /Corbis/Getty Images

We live in a system in which a white cop feels empowered to kneel on a Black man’s neck for nearly 9 minutes and take his life. That system is held up by politicians, officers, and everyday citizens who grew up in homes with a narrow view of America — an incomplete narrative, one that vilifies Black Americans. Those in power don’t learn these behaviors in adulthood; they’re often learned in the dining room or the kitchen, where conversations can lead to stereotyping and mocking those who are different.

The uprisings in response to George Floyd’s murder and the death…

Finally, two of the world’s greatest dishes have become one

Photo: Daniel Meyer

On a weekday morning last month before the world turned upside down, I asked my wife to devote her commute to thinking about what she wanted for dinner. At 8:07 a.m., I got this text:

OK dinner theme is chicken, three options: rotisserie from Mexican resto, your chicken potpie, or Pelicana.

The “Mexican resto” is 20 seconds from our apartment and their rotisserie chicken is legit. Chicken potpie is something we have once a year when it’s freezing outside. Pelicana is a delicious Korean fried chicken restaurant, whose location near-ish to us seems to have closed.

At 8:10 a.m., …

These Parmesan dumplings come together in just 30 minutes

Photo: A_Lein/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Despite a short ingredient list, gnocchi — these ornery Italian dumplings — are easy to mess up.

The key to pillowy gnocchi is adding just enough flour to bring the dough together. They typically contain potato, but if pulling out a Y-peeler seems like a lot for a weeknight, try this potatoless version. It’s a fuss-free biscuitlike concoction spiked with Parmesan cheese. All you do is drop spoonfuls into a quick, bright tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Parmesan Dumplings in Tomato Sauce

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt…

It’s an easy and delicious way to round out a meal

Call it dinner: “cream of whatever you’ve got” soup with arugula and parsley oil. Photos: Annie Siebert

It was a familiar scene: I stared into my crisper, and a bunch of random vegetables blinked back at me.

Two fennel bulbs. One bag of baby carrots. A head of broccoli. Three whole white carrots. Half a bag of arugula. A few sprigs of parsley.

I pulled my recently obtained copy of Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” from the shelf and turned to the index. My favorite part about acquiring a ton of cookbooks has been using the indices. It’s like googling, but more meditative, and you can be sure the results are reputable.

I scanned the…


Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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