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: Chicken Milanese and Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
Game Plan: Bring the water to blanch the broccoli rabe to a boil while prepping the chicken. While the breaded chicken rests in step 3, blanch the broccoli rabe. Sauté the broccoli rabe right before serving, while the chicken cutlets are in the warm oven.
For Chicken Milanese, we mix grated Parmesan cheese into a fresh bread crumb coating. Seasoning the chicken—instead of the breading—guarantees that the meat is well seasoned. Shallow-frying the cutlets two at a time ensures even cooking without creating too much steam that would otherwise leave the bread crumbs soggy. For Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes with round, balanced flavor, we start by blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water to tame its bitter edge. We then sauté the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, ingredients that complement its bold taste.
Meat PoundersFlattening a pork or chicken cutlet takes a steady hand and the right tool.
Dinner 2: Creamy White Bean Soup and Arugula Salad
Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes. Cook the garnish for the soup (step 1) and then mix the salad dressing (step 1). Cook and puree the soup. While the soup is reheating, toss the salad.
For Creamy White Bean Soup with Chorizo Oil and Garlicky Bread Crumbs, we start by briefly simmering canned great Northern beans and their seasoned canning liquid with softened aromatic vegetables and herbs. This heating step causes the bean’s starch to hydrate, which makes the soup especially creamy. Chorizo oil and garlicky bread crumbs are quick-to-make but impressive garnishes that complement the neutral soup base with vibrant color, flavor, and texture. For our Arugula Salad with Grapes, Fennel, Gorgonzola, and Pecans, we include ingredients that temper the spiciness of the arugula. Grapes and blue cheese lend sweet and salty counterpoints to the sharp, peppery greens; pecans and fennel contribute crunch and freshness. For the dressing, we add a spoonful of jam, which adds fruity sweetness and pulls the flavors of the salad in line.
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Dinner 3: Broiled Pork Tenderloin and Sautéed Cabbage
Game Plan: Prep all of the ingredients for the pork and cabbage. Broil the pork. While the pork is in the oven, cook the fennel mixture for the cabbage (step 1). While the pork rests, sauté the cabbage (steps 2 and 3).
The intense heat of the broiler gives our Broiled Pork Tenderloin the well-browned exterior and rosy-pink, juicy center usually produced by roasting but in a fraction of the time. We cook the pork in a disposable aluminum pan to reflect the radiant heat of the broiler toward the meat, ensuring that the interior doesn’t overcook by the time deep browning occurs. In our recipe for Sautéed Cabbage with Fennel and Garlic, we mitigate the pungent flavors and sulfurous odors that can plague overcooked cabbage. Instead of boiling or braising, we pan-steam and sauté the cabbage over relatively high heat to cook it quickly and add an extra layer of flavor from browning. Soaking the cabbage before cooking reduces bitterness while providing extra moisture to help the cabbage steam.