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 This Week: Braised Lamb Shoulder
Published Dec. 25, 2020.
Dinner 1: Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes and Red Wine starts with a relatively tender cut that doesn't require a long cooking time. In just about 20 minutes, the chops reach the desired doneness after simmering in a simple yet flavorful sauce of dry red wine, chopped canned tomatoes, and garlic. For Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chives with a well-browned exterior and tender interior, you need high, dry heat and a low-sided roasting pan that is large enough to accommodate the vegetables without crowding.
Printable Shopping Lists: Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
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Dinner 2: Chorizo and Potato Tacos and Avocado Salad
For our Chorizo and Potato Tacos, we start by making our own juicy, highly seasoned chorizo: We mix ground pork with ancho chile powder and spices that have been bloomed in oil to bring out their flavors. We cook the pork mixture in a skillet and add parboiled diced potatoes that absorb the flavorful pork fat and juices as they finish cooking. Mashing some of the potatoes makes the filling more cohesive. For a balanced Avocado Salad with Mango and Jicama, we pair buttery avocados with a highly acidic dressing to cut their richness. We emulsify the vinaigrette with a bit of mayonnaise to ensure cling. Arranging the mango and jicama on top of the dressed avocado maximizes visual appeal by preventing the avocado from turning the salad murky.
Printable Shopping Lists: Chorizo and Potato Tacos and Avocado Salad
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Dinner 3: Teriyaki Tofu and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
Teriyaki Tofu starts with making from-scratch teriyaki sauce with soy sauce, sugar, mirin, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. To encourage the tofu to absorb as much flavor as possible, we cut it into slabs and bake it in the slow, gentle heat of the oven. To make up for the liquid that the tofu sheds as it cooks, we overreduce the sauce to start. As the tofu bakes, it releases water into the concentrated sauce, diluting it to just the right flavor and thickness. 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-sweet sauce.
Printable Shopping Lists: Teriyaki Tofu and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy