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 Grilled Pork Kebabs and Couscous
Game Plan: Start by brining the pork. After 15 minutes of brining, heat your grill. Meanwhile, prep the couscous. Grill the pork. While pork is resting, cook the couscous (it's OK that the pork will end up resting for longer than 5 minutes.)
For Pinchos Morunos (Spanish Grilled Pork Kebabs), we prefer to use boneless country-style pork ribs, but pork loin can be used in a pinch. If using pork loin, cook the kebabs to 140 degrees to prevent the meat from drying out. Couscous with Dried Cherries and Pecans relies on the pilaf method to produce a light, fluffy texture. Dried cranberries can be used in place of the cherries and other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, can be swapped for the pecans.
SkewersWe got grilling with six different sets to find the best of the bunch.
Dinner 2: Greek-Style Shrimp and Sautéed Garlic-Lemon Spinach
Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for the spinach before starting to cook the shrimp. While the shrimp simmers in the covered skillet (step 3), sauté the spinach.
Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta starts by seasoning large shrimp with garlic, lemon zest, ouzo, and salt. Next, we create a sauce by sautéing onion, garlic, and bell peppers and rounding out the aromatics with dry white wine and more ouzo. Gently simmering the shrimp and sauce together allows for an exchange of flavors. Finally, we call for sprinkling a generous amount of feta on top: Some will melt into the sauce and the rest will remain as a flavorful presence. For our Sautéed Garlic-Lemon Spinach, we prefer the sweet flavor and hearty texture of flat-leaf spinach. After the spinach is cooked, we use tongs to squeeze it in a colander over the sink to get rid of its excess moisture. Once it is dry, we season it with a squeeze of lemon juice and some grated lemon zest, as well as a pinch of red pepper flakes for gentle heat.
Traditional SkilletsA 12-inch skillet should last a lifetime and cook almost anything. But does quality construction have to cost top dollar?
Dinner 3: Stuffed Bell Peppers and Greek Salad
Game Plan: Start by blanching the peppers and boiling the rice (step 1). Meanwhile, prep the remaining filling ingredients and start cooking the beef (step 3). While the peppers bake, prep the salad, starting with marinating the onions and cucumber (step 1). Toss the salad right before serving.
For Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers that are soft and tender yet firm enough to stuff, we blanch the peppers for three minutes before stuffing them. For the filling, we augment the classic combination of rice and ground beef with sautéed onions, garlic, and plenty of melty cheese. Our Greek Salad features crisp ingredients and bold flavors, including briny olives and tangy feta, all highlighted with a bright-tasting dressing. For balance, we use a combination of lemon juice and red wine vinegar and add olive oil, fresh oregano, and a small amount of garlic.