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 Fish Tacos and Mexican Grilled Corn
Game Plan: Start by making the chile mixture for the fish. As the mixture cools, prep the remaining ingredients for the tacos and the corn. Marinate the fish (step 2). After 15 minutes, heat the grill. Grill the fish, pineapple, and jalapeños (step 4) followed by the corn. While the corn cooks, mix the salsa for the tacos. Grill the tortillas right before serving.
Grilled Fish Tacos start with meaty swordfish, which is easier to grill than flaky options like snapper and cod. A thick spice paste featuring ancho and chipotle chile powders, oregano, coriander, and citrus juice helps to develop deep, flavorful charring on the grill. A grilled pineapple salsa, creamy avocado, and crunchy iceberg lettuce completes the tacos. To achieve maximum browning on our Mexican-Style Grilled Corn without drying out the kernels, we quickly cook husked corn on a hot grill. A coating of chili powder and oil gives the corn spice and helps prevent sticking. A mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise is a good substitute for crema in the sauce used to coat the grilled corn.
Charcoal GrillsWe’ve happily made do with Weber’s basic kettle for years. But would newer, more tricked-out charcoal cookers be worth the upgrade?
Dinner 2: Pasta with Pesto and Potatoes with Romaine and Watercress Salad
Game Plan: Heat the water to boil the pasta while prepping the ingredients for both dishes. Prepare the pasta dish, then toss the salad right before serving.
Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans, a dish from Liguria, is the classic way to serve pesto. The starch from the potatoes lends body to the sauce, and the tender green beans add color and flavor. Cooking the ingredients separately ensures everything is properly cooked and makes the dish more foolproof. Romaine and Watercress Salad combines crisp romaine lettuce with spicy, tender watercress. Thinly sliced kohlrabi and sweet apple combine cohesively with the salad greens and provide complexity .
The Best Slotted SpoonsWe rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.
Dinner 3: Almond-Crusted Chicken Cutlets and Napa Cabbage Slaw
Game Plan: Start by salting the chicken (step 1). While chicken sits, prep the ingredients for the slaw and complete step 1. Coat and bake the chicken (steps 2 and 3). While the chicken rests, toss the slaw.
To ensure that our Almond-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Lime and Chipotle are juicy and flavorful, we pierce the chicken breasts with a fork, salt them, and let them rest before dredging them with a seasoned mixture of half almonds and half panko bread crumbs. To enhance the nutty taste, we toast the coating in browned butter. Napa Cabbage Slaw with Jicama and Pepitas offers a more tender, delicate texture and a sweeter flavor than traditional green cabbage slaw. To avoid a bland, watered-down slaw, 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 the perfect level of bright acidity.