A smart, inspiring cookbook showing how to plan, shop, and cook for dinners (and lunches and desserts) all through the week. The secret? Cooking ahead.
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, founders of the online kitchen and home destination Food52, pull off home-cooked dinners with their families with stunning regularity. But they don''t cook every night.
Starting with flexible base dishes made on the weekend, Amanda and Merrill mix, match, and riff to create new dinners, lunches, and even desserts throughout the week. Blistered tomatoes are first served as a side, then become sauce for spaghetti with corn. Tuna, poached in olive oil on a Sunday, gets paired with braised peppers and romesco for a fiery dinner, with spicy mayo for a hearty sandwich, and with zucchini and couscous for a pack-and-go salad.
Amanda and Merrill’s seasonal plans give you everything you need to set yourself up well for the week, with grocery lists and cooking timelines. They also share clever tips and tricks for more confident cooking, showing how elements can work across menus and seasons to fit your mood or market, and how to be scrappy with whatever’s left in the fridge. These building blocks form
A New Way to Dinner, the key to smarter, happier cooking that leaves you with endless possibilities for the week ahead.
“A gift for the time-harried, food-particular cook: a shopping and cooking plan for meals that can be prepared in advance to carry you deliciously through the week. It’s not only the recipes that are inspiring, but also the organizing rambunctiousness and confidence-embuing enthusiasm of the authors. Rich in ideas and hand-holding pointers, this is a book that makes itself immediately indispensable.”
“I want to hug this book! It’s like one long pep talk from your best friends who know everything about good food and always keep their cool in the kitchen. Amanda and Merrill guide you through the process of making beautiful home-cooked dinners—from menu planning to grocery shopping to reheating leftovers. They make an intimidating challenge (orchestrating five meals, plus brown-bag lunches, for a week) seem not only doable but also somehow even serene. I’m so inspired by this book—it’s a treasure trove of Amanda and Merrill’s genius.”
—Joanna Goddard, founder of A Cup of Jo
"It occurred to me that the book had a certain Marie Kondo quality to it: the life-changing magic of planning your week."
New York Times
Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016
New York Times
Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016
Favorite Cookbooks of Fall 2016
Los Angeles Times
"Hesser and Stubbs are steeped in practical home cooking, both professionally and personally, and they know what they’re talking about."
New York Times
"Food52 co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have hit upon a brilliant idea: Just because weekdays are frantic affairs, doesn’t mean weeknight dinners have to be. It’s a rescue plan that involves weekend cooking and then weeknight repurposing. Planned leftovers. It’s genius."
—San Jose Mercury News
"You will forget all about GrubHub as soon as you delve into this photo-driven book that divides the chapters by base dishes, to be made over the weekend, with a foolproof formula of how to stretch them over the week in a variety of innovative ways. With grocery lists and timelines to accompany each week, cooking ahead has never been easier or more delicious."
"It’s a self-help book masquerading as a cookbook, through which Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, the multitalented and very successful entrepreneurs behind the Food52 recipe repository and lifestyle website, try to help you live a better life."
". . . will keep you cooking smartly and happily."
Los Angeles Times
"An excellent concept, well-executed. Brava!"
"From the founders of one of our favorite food websites, this is a meal-planning book that feels far more modern and sophisticated than the usual meal planners."
"Divided by season and by the authors, it''s a beautiful book with food you want to eat. The seasonal plans give you everything you need to set yourself up well for the week, with grocery lists and cooking timelines. They also share clever tips and tricks."
Amanda Hesser is the co-founder of Food52 and was previously a writer and editor at the
New York Times. She wrote the award-winning books
Cooking for Mr. Latte and
The Cook and the Gardener. Her last book, a
Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard Award, is
The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and twins.
Merrill Stubbs is the co-founder of Food52 and has written for many food and lifestyle publications, including the
New York Times. She cut her teeth in the test kitchen at
Cook’s Illustrated and behind the counter at Flour Bakery in Boston before she worked with Amanda Hesser on
The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
This dish was inspired by a recipe from Jamie Oliver for slow-roasted chicken legs with garlic, tomatoes, and chopped chiles. After devouring his version, I considered the thought that it might be even better with a sauce to spoon over rice or drag hunks of bread through. A rummage in the fridge unearthed a half-empty bottle of rosé from the night before, so I added a slosh or two. The garlic and tomatoes melted into the wine in the oven, and voilà, I had a fragrant pink sauce for my chicken.
Wine Trade If you don’t have rosé, use a dry, fruity white wine instead. No one will know the difference. And if you open a bottle to make the dish, why not serve the rest of it with dinner?
A Rosé Dessert from Amanda “A good use of leftover rosé is to simmer it with sugar (4 parts rosé to 3 parts sugar) to make a syrup. Poach peaches or pears in the rosé syrup with a handful of fresh basil (which you already have on hand for the sausage ragù).”
SERVES 4 FOR 2 DINNERS
4 pounds (1.8kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or legs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes (about 12 ounces), chopped
2 cups (300g) cherry tomatoes
3 thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2⁄3 cup (160ml) dry, fruity rosé
Rice, Oven- Roasted Polenta, or crusty bread for serving
1. Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
2. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, and the chopped tomatoes in a baking dish large enough to hold all of the chicken in one layer. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on top. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the chicken, tucking them into the crevices wherever they’ll fit.
3. Add the thyme sprigs to the dish and sprinkle the pepper flakes and basil evenly over the chicken, followed by more salt and pepper. Pour the rosé gently into the crevices, being careful not to splash the chicken. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over everything.
4. Bake the chicken, uncovered, until the skin is crisp and the tomatoes have slackened and started to caramelize, about 1 hour.
5. If the sauce seems thin, transfer the chicken to a plate and turn up the heat for a few minutes; let the sauce boil until it thickens and becomes glossy. Discard the thyme sprigs, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
6. Return the chicken to the sauce and let cool. Cover and refrigerate in the pan for up to 5 days.
The day of: Reheat the chicken in the pan in a 250°F (120°C) oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with rice, polenta, or crusty bread.