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: Glazed Salmon and Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
For our Glazed Salmon, we lightly sprinkle the exterior of the fillets with cornstarch, brown sugar, and salt before cooking. This mixture gives the glaze a sticky, rough surface to adhere to. To balance the rich salmon, our glazes combine intensely savory, sweet, and tart ingredients. Starting in a cold skillet and using plenty of olive oil produces Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Gochujang and Sesame Seeds that are deeply browned and crisp-tender in less than 10 minutes.
12-Inch Nonstick SkilletsWe demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.
Dinner 2: Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup and Biscuits
For Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup with Kielbasa with a chunky, hearty texture, we start with creamy, lower-starch Red Bliss potatoes. Removing the pot from the heat allows the potatoes to finish cooking in the hot broth, thereby preventing them from overcooking and getting mushy. A relatively small amount of lightly smoked kielbasa adds heartiness without overwhelming the flavor of the soup. Easiest-Ever Biscuits combine the ease of cream biscuits (no cutting fat into flour) with the ease of drop biscuits (no rolling and cutting). For a dough with a droppable consistency that isn’t greasy and doesn't spread too much, we increase the fluidity of the cream. Warming the cream to between 95 and 100 degrees melts the solid particles of butterfat dispersed throughout, and makes a dough that is moister and scoopable and that rises up instead of spreading out in the oven.
13 by 9-inch Broiler-Safe Baking DishesWe love our winning rectangular glass and metal baking dishes, but they’re not broiler-safe. We set out to find a table-worthy baking dish that could handle the broiler’s heat and was easy to use.
Dinner 3: Teriyaki Tofu and Sautéed Snow Peas
Teriyaki Tofu starts with making from-scratch teriyaki sauce with soy sauce, sugar, mirin, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. To encourage the tofu to absorb as much flavor as possible, we cut it into slabs and bake it in the slow, gentle heat of the oven. To make up for the liquid that the tofu sheds as it cooks, we overreduce the sauce to start. As the tofu bakes, it releases water into the concentrated sauce, diluting it to just the right flavor and thickness. Adding a little sugar to Sautéed Snow Peas with Ginger, Garlic, and Scallion helps to bump up the peas' natural flavor. To keep the pods crisp, we limit the cooking time: Two minutes is enough heat for most peas. Final punches of flavor come from ginger, garlic, and fresh scallions.