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: Sauteed Pork Cutlets
Dinner 1: Sautéed Pork Cutlets and Sautéed Spinach
Instead of using supermarket pork cutlets for our Sautéed Pork Cutlets with Lemon-Caper Sauce, we opt for boneless country-style spare ribs that we pound ¼-inch thick. We brine the meat to retain moisture and then sauté it in a combination of olive oil and butter to promote browning. To wilt the spinach leaves for Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Chips, we place them, still a little damp from washing, into a pot with a small amount of fat over medium-high heat and cover the pot. The water clinging to the spinach is all that is required to wilt down the huge volume of raw leaves to a manageable quantity.
Printable Shopping Lists: Sautéed Pork Cutlets and Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Chips
The Best Metal SpatulasThis essential tool can be a cook's best friend—but only if you choose the right one.
Dinner 2: Grilled Shrimp Kebabs and Rice and Pasta Pilaf
Game Plan: Start by brining the shrimp (step 1). While the shrimp brines, prep and microwave the vegetables (steps 2 and 3). Soak the rice (step 1) while assembling the kebabs. Cook the pilaf (step 3), while the grill heats. Once the pilaf has been removed from the heat, grill the kebabs. Once the kebabs are cooked, the pilaf will be ready to serve.
Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Kebabs are notoriously difficult to get right because of the incompatible cooking times of shrimp and vegetables. Our recipe works by pairing slower-cooking jumbo shrimp with quick-cooking vegetables: mushrooms, bell peppers, and scallions. We parcook some of the vegetables in the microwave to give them a head start before skewering them. Finishing with a fresh lemon-herb vinaigrette while the skewers are hot from the grill makes for a flavorful finish. Rice and Pasta Pilaf combines tender rice with toasted, nutty pieces of vermicelli. In order to have both ingredients finish cooking at the same time, we soak the rice in hot water for 10 minutes to soften its outer coating and help it absorb water quickly. We let the cooked pilaf stand for 10 minutes with a towel under the lid to keep it from becoming soggy.
Printable Shopping Lists: Grilled Shrimp Kebabs and Rice and Pasta Pilaf
SkewersWe got grilling with six different sets to find the best of the bunch.
Dinner 3: Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic and Caesar Salad
Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic is a simple dish that consists of a beautifully grilled steak lightly dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The grassy oil complements the beef, while the acidic lemon juice sharpens the flavors. For heady— but not overpowering—garlic flavor in our Caesar Salad, we use a rasp-style grater to turn garlic cloves to a paste and then steep the paste in lemon juice to temper its bite. To emulsify the dressing, we beat egg yolks, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce into the lemon juice and garlic and then slowly drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese. For tender-crisp croutons, we sprinkle cubes of ciabatta bread with a little water to preserve their moistness even after they are toasted.
Printable Shopping Lists: Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic and Caesar Salad
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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.