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Weeknight Cooking

Dinner This Week: Salt and Pepper Shrimp

This week’s menus include Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Latin Spice-Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak, and Stove-Top Roasted Chicken for dinner in about an hour.
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Published Sept. 10, 2021.

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.

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Dinner 1: Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Steamed Rice

Game Plan: Toss the shrimp with the rice wine and salt. While the shrimp stands, prep the remaining ingredients for the dish. As the oil for the shrimp heats, start cooking the rice. Once the lid is on the rice (step 3), fry the shrimp, monitoring the rice for doneness.

Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp features crunchy fried shell-on shrimp with a spicy, sweet, and savory coating. To keep the shrimp shells crispy and crunchy rather than tough, we use relatively small shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), which have thinner shells than large shrimp, and cook them in small batches in very hot oil. For our Steamed Rice, we first rinse the grains to remove some of their surface starch. We then start cooking the rice in boiling water, which provides enough agitation to release the remaining starch, resulting in just the right amount of stickiness.

Printable Shopping Lists: Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp and Steamed Rice

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Dinner 2: Latin Spice-Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak and Grilled Corn

Game Plan: Start by heating your grill. While the grill heats, prep the ingredients for the steak and corn. Grill the steaks. While the steak rests, grill the corn.

For our Latin Spice-Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak, we use a heady spice rub to give the steak a rich, flavorful crust. We cook the steak over high heat for a short period of time to develop substantial char on the exterior while keeping the interior rare or medium-rare. Grilled Corn with Flavored Butter starts with browning the corn on a hot grill. We then transfer it to a roasting pan containing flavored butter. We cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to cook the sweet, toasted ears until they pick up flavor.

Printable Shopping Lists: Latin Spice-Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak and Grilled Corn

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Dinner 3: Stovetop Roast Chicken and Sautéed Swiss Chard

Game Plan: Start by prepping and cooking the chicken through step 3, using the unattended cooking time to prep the Swiss chard. While the cooking liquid settles for the chicken (end of step 3), sauté the Swiss chard. Make the sauce for the chicken as the Swiss chard finishes cooking.

Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Herb Sauce has all the features of an oven-roasted bird, without having to preheat your oven. A technique of searing, steaming, and searing again yields chicken with crisp, golden skin, evenly cooked meat, and a flavorful sauce. The key to mastering Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic 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 lightly caramelized flavor that acts as a foil to the tender leaves, which we cook very briefly to maintain their earthiness.

Printable Shopping Lists: Stovetop Roast Chicken and Sautéed Swiss Chard


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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