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.
Dinner 1: Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Watermelon Salad
Game Plan: Start by prepping the pork (steps 1 and 2). While the pork stands, prep the salad ingredients, but wait to combine them. Start heating your grill once the pork has marinated for 20 minutes. Toss the salad while the cooked pork rests in step 4.
Garlic-Lime Grilled Pork Tenderloin Steaks relies on honey for browning and fish sauce for added meatiness. Feel free to use lemon juice instead of lime juice. Basil or parsley can be used in place of the cilantro. Watermelon Salad with Cotija and Serrano Chiles makes a light and refreshing accompaniment to the pork. Jalapeños can be substituted for the serranos, or simply omit them for a milder salad. If cotija is unavailable, try feta instead.
Dinner 2: Sicilian Fish Stew and Garlic Bread
Game Plan: Prep and cook the fish stew through step 2, using the unattended simmering time to prep the garlic bread (step 1). Once the fish is added to the stew, bake the garlic bread.
Sicilian Fish Stew calls for fish stock, but bottled clam juice is a good substitute. Sturdy fish like tuna or halibut can be used in place of the swordfish. Flakier fish like cod will also work, but the pieces may break apart when simmering. Parmesan and Asiago Cheese Garlic Bread starts with toasting the garlic, which helps to mellow its flavor. We like a 50:50 blend of Asiago and Parmesan, but feel free to use just one or the other. A loaf of supermarket Italian bread, which has a soft, thin crust and a fine crumb, works best here.
Dinner 3: Skillet Penne with Sausage and Leafy Green Salad
Game Plan: Start by prepping and cooking the penne. While the penne cooks (step 2), prep the salad ingredients. Toss the salad right before serving.
Skillet Penne with Sausage and Spinach was developed using Italian-style turkey sausage, but other types of turkey or pork sausage can be used. If using pork sausage, drain off the fat before adding the pasta. It's fine to substitute other short tubular pastas (like ziti) for the penne. The Leafy Green Salad can be adapted to work with your favorite mix of greens or lettuces. Feel free to use any type of vinegar in the dressing, but make sure to stick with a 4:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.