Dinner Changing the Game – Melissa Clark

Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark delivers 200 recipes in her newest release each promising a fantastic dish that is so satisfying and flavor-forward it can stand alone – or be paired with a simple salad or fresh bread on the side.

This title is organized by main ingredient – chicken, meat, fish and seafood, eggs, pasta and noodles, tofu, vegetable dinners, grains, pizza, soups, and salads and have so many delicious options that you will never face the age-old dilemma “What’s for dinner?” Melissa Clark evens out the playing field and levels up our cooking game with great recipes and tips.

Dinner Changing the Game is a comprehensive yet approachable guide that reflects the way Melissa cooks at home for her family and on those rare nights when she’s alone. Beautiful photographs by the talented Eric Wolfinger bring the recipes to life.

This title is a must have for cooks who are responsible for daily meals. I particularly love the variety of recipes for chicken dishes and the many vegetarian options. I have the last of the blood orange crop on my table made the Blood Orange Chicken with Scotch Whiskey and Olives (sans the olives). This dish is what whiskey and blood oranges were made for – so incredible – my picture above.

Melissa’s previous titles and her two newspaper columns, A Good Appetite and What’s for Dinner are indexed for our members. Two clicks and all the recipes from both columns can be added to your bookshelf. Be sure to check out Melissa’s events that are planned to promote this title.

Special thanks to Clarkson Potter and Melissa Clark for sharing the gorgeous cover recipe with our members (well maybe I’ll make that instead). There is the only problem with the book – so many wonderful choices you will have a hard time deciding which recipes to break out first. Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway for three copies of this book. 

with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt
One of my all-time favorites, this sheet-pan supper has it all-spicy harissa-laced roasted chicken; sweet, browned leeks; crunchy potatoes; plus a cool garnish of salted yogurt and plenty of fresh bright herbs. It’s a little lighter than your average roasted chicken and potatoes dinner, and a lot more profoundly flavored. 
The key here (and with all sheet-pan suppers) is to make sure the ingredients can all cook together on the same pan. This means cutting sturdy, denser things into smaller chunks that will cook at the same rate (chicken, potatoes), and adding the more delicate ingredients (here, the leeks) toward the end so they don’t burn. Another important note: don’t overpopulate the pan. You need to leave space between things so ingredients can brown and crisp rather than steam. If you want to double the recipe to feed six, you can, as long as you spread everything out in two pans rather than crowding them in one.
1½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
1¼ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 × ½-inch chunks
3 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons harissa
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
⅓ cup plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk (if using Greek, thin it down with a little milk to make it drizzle-able)
1 small garlic clove
1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves
Fresh lemon juice, as needed
1. Combine the chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil.
3. Heat the oven to 425°F.

4. Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
5. While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
6. Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking sheet (or you can transfer everything to a platter if you want to be fancy about it). Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and serve.

Recipe shared with permission of Clarkson Potter and photo credit to Eric Wolfinger.

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  • dgp212  on  March 25, 2017

    I try to avoid weeknight meal boredom by rotating in new recipes or ordering from different restaurants.

  • Mariarosa  on  March 25, 2017

    I make meals on weekends and freeze ahead to eat during the week. I avoid boredom by trying out new recipes from cookbooks or that I've pinned on Pinterest, and by making at least three distinctly different dishes to freeze.

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  March 25, 2017

    I avoid it by buying cookbooks like this one 🙂

  • edyenicole  on  March 25, 2017

    I'm always trying new recipes.

  • HelenB  on  March 25, 2017

    I would start with the caramelized lemon chicken.

  • Nancith  on  March 25, 2017

    I make a point of preparing a weekly menu, & it is rare for me to repeat something, unless it is an old standby favorite, within a year. With Eat Your Books, I keep track of when I use recipes, so it's easy not to repeat.

  • gjelizabeth  on  March 25, 2017

    I don't avoid boredom. I am simply never bored. I find food and life both endlessly fascinating, even if it's just cold cereal with milk.

  • sgump  on  March 25, 2017

    If I'm eating leftovers, I do something slightly different the second and third times around (add a new ingredient or seasoning, for example).

  • Jane  on  March 26, 2017

    I love Melissa's recipes. They are so approachable for every night cooking but also so interesting. Her 'Cook This Now' cookbook is the most used cookbook in my entire collection. I'm looking forward to giving 'Dinner' a similar workout.

  • nadiam1000  on  March 26, 2017

    I do not really have time to prepare weeknight meals (maybe why I need this book…) but I do like to cook extra on the weekends and heat it up during the week or serve the extra meat, chicken or roast vegetables on a salad or in tacos or wraps.

  • stephdayl  on  March 26, 2017

    I avoid boredom during the week by prepping lots of "bases" that can be turned into anything. I roast a bunch of veggies (whatever is in season), some meat, cook a batch of grains, some greens, some stock, and a sauce (usually tomatillo or some kind of salsa). I can use all these to make grain bowls, soup, breakfast for dinner with some eggs, stir-fry, or salad. Often, we'll just set everything out buffet style and everyone can mix & match their own. Endless combinations!

  • jezpurr  on  March 26, 2017

    To avoid boredom I always try to cook something I like to!!!^_^

  • pandasaurusrex  on  March 27, 2017

    I avoid boredom by cooking at least 1 new recipe from my growing cookbook collection 🙂 Even if it's just a simple side dish, it can be a revelation (like the curried lentils from "Small Victories").

  • lebarron2001  on  March 28, 2017

    I avoid boredom by cooking from my latest new cookbooks.

  • MmeFleiss  on  March 29, 2017

    I avoid it by using cookbooks.

  • JenJoLa  on  March 29, 2017

    To avoid weekday meal boredom I try to rotate my cookbooks.

  • amandacooks  on  March 29, 2017

    I just picked up this book from the library today, and it sure is overwhelming trying to decide where to begin. I'm really excited to see how many recipes I can make before I have to return it. Borrowing cookbooks from the library instantly adds variety to our weekly meals since you only have a couple of weeks to cook from the book and then it's on to the next one!

  • fiarose  on  March 29, 2017

    i pretty much never, ever get bored cooking, but–i especially enjoy when i'm trying a new recipe, it keeps you paying attention and really gets you involved in the process!

  • anastasiiap  on  March 30, 2017

    I'm watching my toddler at the same time – not time for boredom )))

  • Uhmandanicole  on  April 4, 2017

    I scour the internet and or flip through my cookbooks to avoid boredom. Or just go to comfort food my mom used to make me as a child

  • Elena Rose  on  April 4, 2017

    I would start with the garlic-chile chicken breasts with cucumbers and green ginger sauce.

  • Siegal  on  April 6, 2017

    I do get bored I need more
    Books for inspiration

  • t.t  on  April 8, 2017

    I don't get bored easily.

  • PennyG  on  April 9, 2017

    I try a new Indian dal every week – keeps me from getting bored.

  • tangaloor  on  April 9, 2017


  • earthnfire  on  April 9, 2017

    I check out Melissa's recipes on the NYT cooking app.

  • thecharlah  on  April 10, 2017

    Sadly I usually only cook on the weekends..

  • HokieCarrie  on  April 11, 2017

    Actually I have a hard time fighting off the weeknight boring dinner issue. We generally have the same things and then experiment on the weekends.

  • lgroom  on  April 15, 2017

    Now that it is just me doing the solo thing again, I do get a little bored. I hate to dirty a bunch of dishes for just one person. Once I get settled I hope to entertain a couple times a week just to escape the food doldrums.

  • RSW  on  April 17, 2017

    Trying different spices

  • sipa  on  April 18, 2017

    I love to cook so it's generally not boring but on the days I can't get enthusiastic we go out to dinner or my husband picks something up on his way home from work.

  • meggan  on  April 20, 2017

    I try new recipes constantly. My husband hates it because even if likes something, I rarely make it again!

  • Sofie168  on  April 22, 2017

    I try recipes from different cultures/ethnicities.

  • imaluckyducky  on  April 23, 2017

    To avoid boredom I select 2 cookbooks a week to cook from

  • kelliwinter  on  April 24, 2017

    cooking is NEVER boring! I love to cook, from the simplest scrambled eggs to huge crazy meals

  • rejcooks  on  April 24, 2017

    Carmelized lemon chicken!

  • AnnaZed  on  April 24, 2017

    We don't have boring food here, not ever. I do have some recipes that I repeat, but mostly because we really like them, and not many actually.

  • christineleong  on  April 28, 2017

    I am always browsing cookbooks for ideas!

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