How to Build a Better Dinner¹

Probably behind a pay wall but i liked it.

How to Build a Better Dinner


Interesting read. And no paywall.

1 Like

I was able to read it and enjoyed it, as well. Thank you.

1 Like

Thanks, no paywall as well.

I think theoretically I understand what he meant, but practically, not sure if I can apply it. It needs an experienced cook that understands a lot about its ingredients and has a cooking style. For example, I like to cook different cuisines throughout the week, sure I can build some building blocks, but the next rotation that the block will be used might be weeks or months later.

The only building blocks I regularly make is meat stocks, I make it whenever I’ve collected enough bones and then freeze them.


I think we all do this to some extent. It’s not so complicated as he implies. It’s using leftovers to advantage. Saved sauces. Reserved nits and pieces.

1 Like

Many of the examples seem to be in large quantities , where the same person will not be eating the same flavors over and over.

I like the idea, and the affirmation of my need for so many condiments and home made sauces.

I really like building dishes in stages, and have no tolerance for a multistep recipe on a weeknight. I like making my sauces, flavoring a protein, roasting a veg, or cooking a side ahead of time.

Right now I have some shredded chicken and too many options, one of which is an aji amarillo sauce I made from the NYT. It’s REALLY good, but has fresh herbs that may not last long.

I was planning tostadas, and all the mise en place is ready …except for the refried beans. I have so many dried beans. I’m going to make some Rancho Gordo Good Mother Stallard in my Instantpot, but hope I can use them for something else as well, this week, or to feed the freezer. What seasonings?

But maybe a salad. Can I do both if I don’t season the roasted/poached chicken beyond some basics? I bought tarragon for salad. I wonder if that always goes with chicken.

Or a tinga? The filling can be used different ways, but maybe not the same filling two ways in two days.

Trying to add this philosophy to my planning.

And just to confuse things a bit more, I’ve roasted a bunch of poblanos, and was thinking of @bbqboy’s chile relleno casserole. Chicken would be good in that, right?

I’ll be fine.


I can’t access the article but if you’re looking for something to do with shredded chicken. Flautas!
Mix the chicken with a bit of garlic and onion powder, S & P and On The Border Hot Sauce to moisten (but not too much ). Roll up tightly in flour tortillas and secure with toothpicks. Shallow or deep fry.(your choice) until golden brown. Refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and tortilla chips make great accompaniments.

Thank you!

Chicken tinga tostadas but with an aji amarillo pepper sauce instead of chipotle in adobo. But I’m always looking for something all of us will eat.

The amount of time to use up a quantity of something perishable for a small family is too long, but it makes sense for dry mixtures. For example, I make a batch of the seven dry spices for Texas Roadhouse Chili, or the five for “Italian Seasoning” ( for pizza).