What’s for dinner? Mark Bittman teaches you how to cook for everyone


Mark Bittman has been at the top of The Dinner Game since the publication of “How To Cook Everything” in 1998. If you own a copy, you know all about his commitment to getting a meal on the table, and your sauce-splattered copy definitely bears the scars from its time beside you in the kitchen.

Recently, Bittman joined SalonTV’s Manny Howard on “Salon Talks” to discuss his latest effort, “Dinner for Everyone: 100 Iconic Dishes Made 3 Ways Easy, Vegan, or Perfect for Company”. In it, Bittman assembles recipes in utilitarian troikas that have a soothing effect, giving the reader the reasonable impression that, for tonight’s meal at least, anything is possible.

“Everything,” which was as concerned with a standing rib roast as popcorn and pancakes, has become “Everyone.” There is something for you here: One pod of recipes includes pork chops with Riesling sauce as the expedited quickie, thick-cut pomegranate-glazed eggplant as the vegan option and the breath-taker is rye-stuffed pork chops with mustard sauce. Each dish is thematically harmonic and satisfyingly distinctive.

“The vegetable cutlet thing is an old-fashioned favorite. People who grew up in New York know about vegetable cutlets, because there were vegetarian restaurants even when we were kids,” Bittman said. “It's strong-flavored, thick-cut thing; no one's gonna mistake eggplant for pork chops, that's clear. But these groups of three, they're liberally defined, let's say.”

Bittman comes by his reputation as the champion of accessible and efficient recipes. “When I started cooking, I was really cooking for myself. And I liked it. And then I discovered, years later, after my first kid was born, this cooking for other people really has something going for it,” says Bittman. “It's really great. And it still is.”

Watch the episode above to learn more about Bittman’s new approach to meat dishes and what his fans love about his famous grilled cheese recipe. For more food-centric episodes, visit our “Salon Talks” Food playlist.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


Video Image: Aya Brackett, reprinted from Dinner For Everyone. Copyright © 2019 by Mark Bittman.Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC,

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