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: Skillet-Barbecued Pork Chops
Dinner 1: Skillet-Barbecued Pork Chops and Cucumber-Dill Salad
For Skillet-Barbecued Pork Chops that bring the smoky, salty-sweet flavor of barbecued meat indoors, we use a spice rub to help the pork develop a substantial crust as it browns. Brushing the chops with sauce and returning them to the pan for a brief sear reduces the sauce to a sticky, smoky, caramelized glaze. Cucumber-Dill Salad starts by salting thin-sliced cucumbers to remove excess water. We then toss the slices with a lush, tangy yogurt-based dressing and lots of fresh dill.
Printable Shopping Lists: Skillet-Barbecued Pork Chops and Cucumber-Dill Salad
ColandersA colander is just a bowl with holes, right? Chasing loose pasta around the sink may change your mind about that.
Dinner 2: Thai-Style Stir-Fried Noodles and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
Thai-Style Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken and Broccolini is our interpretation of Pad See Ew—the traditional Thai dish of chewy, lightly charred rice noodles, chicken, crisp broccoli, and moist egg, bound with a sweet and salty soy-based sauce. To achieve a light char on the noodles, we cook the components of the dish in small batches and eliminate much of the stirring while cooking. Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Shallot and Fish Sauce calls for lightly steaming the vegetable to soften its stems before it is quickly sautéed. A mix of fish sauce, shallots, and garlic forms the base of a salty, aromatic sauce.
Printable Shopping Lists: Thai-Style Stir-Fried Noodles and Baby Bok Choy
Best Garlic PressesSure, you can mince garlic with a knife, but a good garlic press makes the job faster and easier.
Dinner 3: Easy Salmon Cakes and Sautéed Peas with Fennel
Game Plan: Both recipes call for a 12-inch skillet. If you only have one traditional skillet, a nonstick or cast-iron skillet can be used to cook the salmon cakes. First, mix and shape the cakes. Next, start the pea recipe. Once the fennel is softened (step 1), fry the salmon cakes. While the cakes brown, finish the peas.
For our Easy Salmon Cakes with Smoked Salmon, Capers, and Dill, we turn to the food processor. Pulsing small pieces of salmon allows for more even chopping and results in small, discrete pieces of fish. We also ditch the somewhat messy egg and flour steps of the breading process. Instead, we simply coat the cakes with panko bread crumbs, which we also use to bind the fish mixture. Frozen peas have already been blanched, so the key to good Sautéed Peas with Fennel is to avoid overcooking. Just five minutes of simmering is all that is needed to produce bright, tender green peas. Switching from a saucepan to a skillet allows the peas to heat more quickly and evenly over the larger surface, further reducing the cooking time.
Printable Shopping Lists: Easy Salmon Cakes and Sautéed Peas with Fennel
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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.
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!
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.