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: Crispy Pan-Fried Pork Chops and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Game Plan: Start by braising the sweet potatoes. While potatoes simmer, prep and bread the pork chops through step 2. Once potatoes are mashed, cover and keep them warm while you pan-fry the chops.
Using boneless center-cut loin chops keeps our Crispy Pan-Fried Pork Chops recipe fast and easy. We lightly score the chops and then dredge them in cornstarch to create an ultracrisp sheath that stays strongly adhered to the chops. Mustard and minced garlic perk up the coating and crushed cornflakes add a crisp, craggy exterior. To keep our Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes from becoming thin and watery, we braise the sliced potatoes in small amounts of heavy cream and butter. This provides just enough moisture to yield a silky puree while adding a hint of richness.
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Dinner 2: Mahogany Chicken Thighs and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
Game Plan: Prep and start cooking the chicken. Prep the baby bok choy while the chicken is in the oven. While the chicken rests in step 5, sauté the bok choy.
Our recipe for Mahogany Chicken Thighs uses a hybrid cooking technique to achieve moist, flavorful meat and crispy skin. We start by gently simmering the thighs in a potent mixture of soy sauce, sherry, ginger, and garlic to an internal temperature of 195 degrees, which converts the tough connective tissues into rich gelatin and boosts the flavor. A brief flash under the broiler crisps the skin and gives it a rich mahogany color. Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Miso Sauce is lightly steamed to soften the stems before being quickly sautéed. A mixture of white miso and mirin forms the base of a salty and sweet sauce.
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Dinner 3: Tuscan Bean Stew and Spicy Green Salad
Game Plan: Prep and start cooking the stew. While the stew simmers, prep the salad. Toss the salad right before serving.
Quick Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew showcases one of the region's favorite ingredients: cannellini beans. To make this stew into a weeknight one-pot dinner, we turn to convenient canned beans and fortify the stew with pancetta and other traditional Tuscan ingredients, including kale, lots of garlic, and rosemary. Some salads act as a humble introduction to the main course, while others demand attention and pack a flavor punch all their own. Such is the case with Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette. This bold salad uses a mix of arugula and watercress and is dressed with a pungent mustard-based vinaigrette.