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Dinner This Week

Dinner This Week: Cooking from the Pantry - Vol. 12

This week’s menus include Sautéed Tilapia, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Pan-Seared Steak for dinner in about an hour.
By Published June 19, 2020

Even with the best-laid plans, cooking during these unprecedented times can be a challenge. So we've put together three recipe pairings, each with an entree and a side, that call for ingredients you may already have on hand. But if you don't have a particular ingredient or the supermarket is out of stock, don't worry; we've also provided ideas for subsitutions. 

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Dinner 1: Sautéed Tilapia and Sugar Snap Peas

Game Plan: Start by salting the tilapia. While the fish sits, prep the peas and make the topping. Once the fish is cooked, wipe out the skillet and use it to cook the peas.

For Sautéed Tilapia, we divide each fillet into a thick and a thin portion and sauté them separately for more precise cooking. The sautéing method can be used for other firm, thin fish such as catfish, but leave the fillets whole. Sugar Snap Peas with Almonds, Coriander, and Orange Zest can be served without the topping if desired. You can also change the topping ingredients to suit what you have on hand: Consider lemon zest in place of the orange zest. Different varieties of nuts (try pistachios) and herbs (try basil) will also work. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Sautéed Tilapia and Sugar Snap Peas


 

Dinner 2: Spaghetti Carbonara and Insalata Mista

Game Plan: Prep all of the ingredients for the salad, but wait to toss it. Make the carbonara. As the pasta rests at the end of step 3, rewhisk the dressing and toss the salad.

We call for bacon in Spaghetti Carbonara, but pancetta or guanciale will also work. Pecorino Romano is traditional, but Parmesan can be substituted in a pinch. Other long-strand pastas can be swapped for the spaghetti. Insalta Mista calls for a mix of mild lettuces along with smaller amounts of spicy greens (watercress and arugula) and bitter greens (radicchio and endive), but feel free to create your own blend. In the dressing, we use two types of vinegar: Balsamic brings sweet, caramel-like notes and red wine provides assertive acidity. Other types of wine vinegar—either white, champagne, or sherry—are good options, too.

Printable Shopping Lists: Spaghetti Carbonara and Insalata Mista


 

Dinner 3: Pan-Seared Steak and Fork-Mashed Potatoes

Game Plan: Start by boiling the potatoes, then prep the remaining ingredients for the potatoes and the pan sauce for the steak. Heat the skillet for the steaks right before draining the potatoes. Cook the steaks, then mash the potatoes and make the pan sauce while the steaks rest.

Two of our favorite cuts for Pan-Seared Inexpensive Steak are boneless shell sirloin steak (a.k.a. top butt) and flap meat steak (a.k.a. sirloin tips). However, this method works equally well with other types of steaks, provided they are 1- to 1 1/4 -inches thick. Any type of baby potato can be used in Fork-Mashed Potatoes with Herbs. We like the combination of olive oil and butter, but all butter or all oil can be used. Chives, tarragon, or chervil (or a combination) can be swapped for the parsley. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Pan-Seared Steak and Fork-Mashed Potatoes


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.