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: Grilled Pork Kebabs with Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw
Game Plan: Prep the dressing for the slaw and put in the freezer (step 1). While mixture chills, prep the remaining ingredients for the slaw (step 2) and the kebabs (steps 1 and 2). While the grill heats, toss the slaw and refrigerate it while you grill the pork.
Grilled Pork Kebabs with Barbecue Glaze starts with 1-inch chunks of pork tenderloin that we salt briefly to help retain moisture. We then add cornstarch to a barbecue glaze to help it cling to the meat. Grilling the kebabs briefly over a hot fire creates flavorful char and keeps the meat juicy. We toss the cabbage for our Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw with salt and sugar before microwaving it for one minute. In seconds, the cabbage sheds the same amount of liquid that it would release in 3 hours at room temperature. Cooling down the cabbage is easy: We simply chill the dressing in the freezer and then refrigerate the finished slaw before serving.
SkewersWe got grilling with six different sets to find the best of the bunch.
Dinner 2: Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Restaurant-Style Rice
Game Plan: Toss the shrimp with the rice wine and salt. While the shrimp stands, prep the remaining ingredients for the dish. As the oil for the shrimp heats, start cooking the rice. Once the lid is on the rice (step 3), fry the shrimp, monitoring the rice for doneness.
Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp features crunchy fried shell-on shrimp with a spicy, sweet, and savory coating. To keep the shrimp shells crispy and crunchy rather than tough, we use relatively small shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), which have thinner shells than large shrimp, and cook them in small batches in very hot oil. For our Chinese Restaurant-Style Rice, we first rinse the grains to remove some of their surface starch. We then start cooking the rice in boiling water, which provides enough agitation to release the remaining starch, resulting in just the right amount of stickiness.
The Best Spider SkimmersA bad skimmer can turn even the most patient cook into a basket case.
Dinner 3: Meatless “Meat” Sauce with Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad
Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both recipes. Start cooking the sauce. Once the tomatoes have been added (step 4), bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta. Once the chickpeas have been added to the sauce (step 5), boil the pasta while the sauce simmers for 15 minutes. Toss the salad right before serving.
Meatless “Meat” Sauce with Chickpeas and Mushrooms is a savory, unctuous tomato-meat sauce—without the meat. Cremini mushrooms and tomato paste provide savoriness. Chopped chickpeas add bulk and a meatlike texture. Extra-virgin olive oil, plus classic Italian aromatics—garlic, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes—round out the flavors. Our Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad with Grapefruit and Fennel combines soft, mineral-y green leaf lettuce with bitter, crunchy radicchio. Sweet, peppery grapefruit and grassy fennel both balance the bitterness of the radicchio and add brightness.