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: Filipino Chicken Adobo and Rice Pilaf
Filipino Chicken Adobo consists of chicken simmered in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. We also decided to add coconut milk— which is traditionally used in adobos in southern Luzon—since it paired well with the tart and salty elements of this dish. For Rice Pilaf with fluffy, separate grains, we use a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1½ cups of water. Sautéeing the rice in 3 tablespoons of butter for just one minute gives the pilaf a rich, buttery flavor.
The Best Nonstick SkilletsThese pans are wildly popular for a reason. When you have a good one, food never sticks and cleanup is a breeze.
Dinner 2: Sesame-Crusted Salmon and Sautéed Swiss Chard
For Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Lime and Coriander, we brine the fillets to ensure that each piece is well seasoned and remains moist after cooking. We also brine and toast the sesame seeds to bring out their nuttiness. Finally, we use tahini paste combined with citrus juice to glue the sesame seeds to the fillets. The key to mastering Sautéed Swiss Chard with Ginger is getting the stems to finish cooking at the same time as the leaves. Sautéing the stems first over relatively high heat provides a desirable tender-crisp texture and a lightly caramelized flavor that acts as a foil to the tender leaves, which we cook very briefly to maintain their earthiness.
The Best Rimmed Baking SheetsA rimmed baking sheet is essential for baking but also for roasted veggies, proteins, and more. We found the best models in every size.
Dinner 3: Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Kohlrabi and Radicchio Slaw
Our Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Pork Chops employ a reverse-sear method: We first cook the salted chops in a low oven and then sear them right before serving. Slowly bringing the chops up to temperature ensures evenly cooked meat. The low oven also dries the surface of the chops so they develop a deeply browned crust when seared. Kohlrabi, Radicchio, and Apple Slaw is a fresh take on coleslaw, where we trade out cabbage for a variety of root vegetables that lend color and flavor to this year-round side dish. To avoid a waterlogged salad, we toss the kohlrabi shreds with salt and sugar to soften them slightly and draw out moisture. Adding radicchio breaks up the salad and gives it lift; apple lends a layer of fresh flavor.