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: Orange-Honey Glazed Chicken Breasts with Asparagus Salad
Game Plan: Prepare the chicken through step 3. When the chicken is in the oven (step 4), prep the salad ingredients, including sautéing the asparagus (step 1) and making the dressing. Toss the salad right before serving.
Orange-Honey Glazed Chicken Breasts feature perfectly rendered skin, moist meat, and a glaze with complex flavor. We lightly coat the chicken with flour to enhance browning and provide a good grip for the glaze. Corn syrup, which is half as sweet as sugar, gives the glaze just the right amount of stickiness while keeping the sweetness level in check. Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Spinach Salad with Sherry Vinegar and Goat Cheese starts with a quick sauté to give the asparagus a tender-crisp texture. A zesty sherry vinegar vinaigrette, along with goat cheese and baby spinach, provide flavor and substance, respectively.
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Dinner 2: Stir-Fried Thai-Style Beef with Thai Sticky Rice
Game Plan: The rice for this pairing needs to soak for 4 to 8 hours, so start it in the morning. When you are ready to cook, begin by steaming the rice. As the rice steams, prep and cook the stir-fry. The two dishes will be done at about the same time.
Stir-Fried Thai-Style Beef starts with inexpensive blade steak, which offers tenderness and beefy flavor. A marinade of fish sauce, white pepper, citrusy coriander, and a little light brown sugar enhances the flavor of the meat before it is stir-fried with sliced shallot and chiles. Mint, cilantro, and chopped peanuts finish the dish with freshness and crunch. Traditionally, Thai Sticky Rice (Khao Niaw) is cooked in a bamboo basket set over an hourglass-shaped aluminum pot, which allows the rice to steam on all sides. We mimic that setup with a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh strainer set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
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Dinner 3: Scrambled Eggs with Pinto Beans and Orange and Radish Salad with Arugula
Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes, starting with the oranges to give them time to drain. Once the eggs have been cooked, toss the salad and serve.
For our Scrambled Eggs with Pinto Beans and Cotija Cheese, we add olive oil to the eggs to tenderize them and lend richness. We then cook the eggs quickly in more olive oil, stirring constantly to create large curds. We then fold in pinto beans once the curds are well established but still a little wet so that the eggs can set up around the beans and create a cohesive dish that we garnish with salty cotija cheese and cilantro. To eliminate excess moisture in Orange and Radish Salad with Arugula, we drain the oranges before tossing them into the salad. Lime juice forms the base of a bright, bold dressing; arugula and thinly sliced radishes provide color and a mustard-y bite.