Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.
Dinner 1: Broiled Pork Tenderloin with Pan-Steamed Asparagus
The intense heat of the broiler gives our Broiled Pork Tenderloin the well-browned exterior and rosy-pink, juicy center usually produced by roasting but in a fraction of the time. We cook the pork in a disposable aluminum pan to reflect the radiant heat of the broiler toward the meat, ensuring that the interior doesn’t overcook by the time deep browning occurs. For our Pan-Steamed Asparagus with Mint and Almonds, we steam the asparagus in a small amount of water in a covered skillet to which we also add butter, salt, and garlic. We then simmer until the water evaporates, leaving the asparagus crisp-tender. A final toss with sherry vinegar, fresh mint, and smoked paprika adds complexity.
12-Inch Nonstick SkilletsWe demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.
Dinner 2: Kung Pao Chicken with Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
To get the requisite tingly, spicy flavor in our Kung Pao Chicken, we use toasted crushed Sichuan peppercorns and arbol chiles that we halve lengthwise to expose their interiors and maximize the flavor they add. We cover the skillet to facilitate quick and even cooking of diced chicken thighs. Finally, we add celery for crisp freshness and a final addition of scallions and toasted peanuts for all-important crunch. Sautéed Baby Bok Choy is lightly steamed to soften the stems before being quickly sautéed. A mixture of oyster sauce and fresh chopped ginger forms the base of a salty and mildly spicy sauce.
Printable Shopping Lists: Kung Pao Chicken and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce and Ginger
The Best Garlic PressesSure, you can mince garlic with a knife, but a good garlic press makes the job faster and easier.
Dinner 3: Grilled Tuna Steaks with Napa Cabbage Slaw
For Gas-Grilled Tuna Steaks (find the charcoal version here) with a smoky char and a moist interior, we coat the fish in a red wine vinegar and mustard vinaigrette prior to grilling. Honey in the vinaigrette promotes browning, and oil keeps the fish moist. Napa Cabbage Slaw offers a more tender, delicate texture and a sweeter flavor than traditional green cabbage slaw. To avoid a bland, watered-down dish, we make a potent dressing with a high ratio of vinegar to oil. After tossing the cabbage with the dressing and letting it sit for about 5 minutes, moisture from the cabbage dilutes the dressing slightly, so the slaw reaches an ideal level of bright acidity.