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: Spanish Migas and Spicy Green Salad
Game Plan: Start by prepping and cooking the migas, using any unattended cooking time to prep the salad ingredients. Toss the salad while the eggs cook off heat in step 4.
Spanish Migas with Fried Eggs is made by frying bread crumbs in pork fat to create a rich, satisfying hash. We render the fat from a mixture of soft chorizo and thick-cut bacon, then fry pieces of bread in the fat until the smallest pieces are browned and crisped throughout and the larger pieces are crisped on the outside and moist within. Next, we fry a mixture of Cubanelle and red bell peppers until they blister and soften, return the meat to the pan, and add sherry vinegar for brightness and parsley for color. Finally, we top the dish with sunny-side up fried eggs. We pair the rich Migas with Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette. This bold salad uses a mix of greens, like arugula and watercress, that are dressed with a pungent vinaigrette.
12-Inch Nonstick SkilletsWe demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.
Dinner 2: Garlicky Shrimp with Bread Crumbs and Sautéed Green Beans
Game Plan: For this combination you will need two skillets. Prep the ingredients for both dishes. Start by cooking the shrimp through step 3. Once the shrimp are returned to the skillet in step 4, sauté the green beans.
Garlicky Shrimp with Bread Crumbs features plump shrimp in a flavorful pan sauce, all topped with crunchy bread crumbs. To avoid overcooking the shrimp, we sear them on one side, remove them from the pan, build the sauce in the empty pan, and then return the shrimp to gently finish cooking in the sauce. For Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs that are tender, lightly browned, and fresh tasting, we sauté the beans first, then add water to the pan and cover it so the beans finish cooking in steam.
The Best Potato RicersA ricer is a must-have tool for perfectly smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes.
Dinner 3: Swedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes
Game Plan: Start by cooking potatoes. As the potatoes simmer, prepare the meatballs through step 2. Once the potatoes have been mashed, cover them to keep warm, and finish cooking the meatballs (steps 3 and 4).
Our Swedish Meatballs boast a sausagelike springiness and satisfying snap. To achieve the right texture, we mix beef, pork, bread, cream together in a stand mixer along with a little baking powder, which keeps the meatballs delicate and juicy. For a light, creamy sauce, we add a bit of cream to chicken broth and brighten it up with a splash of lemon juice. Our Mashed Potatoes start with a high-starch russets. We cook the potatoes until they are just tender, but not falling apart. Finally, for a silky smooth texture, we use a food mill or potato ricer fitted with the finest disk to process the potatoes.