Dinner This Week

Dinner This Week: Pesce All'Acqua Pazza

This week’s menus include Pesce All'Acqua Pazza (Southern Italian Poached Fish), Juicy Pub-Style Burgers, and Eggs Pipérade for dinner in about an hour.

Published Mar. 4, 2022.

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: Pesce All'Acqua Pazza (Southern Italian Poached Fish) and Broccoli Rabe

Game Plan: Start by bringing water to a boil for the broccoli rabe, then prep and start poaching the fish. While the fish cooks, prep, blanch, and drain the broccoli rabe (step 2). As the fish finishes cooking off the heat, sauté the broccoli rabe.

Pesce All'Acqua Pazza refers to the southern Italian tradition of cooking the day's catch in seawater. Modern recipes feature longer ingredient lists: Parsley, tomato, white wine, and garlic are common. For the fish, we chose skin-on haddock fillets. The flesh held up nicely during poaching, and the abundant collagen in the skin suffused the broth with rich flavor and body. Halved cherry tomatoes provided sweetness and pops of color. For Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes that delivers less bitterness and a round, balanced flavor, we start by blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water to tame its harsh edge. We then sauté the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, ingredients that complement its bold taste.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pesce All'Acqua Pazza (Southern Italian Poached Fish) and Broccoli Rabe

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Dinner 2: Pub-Style Burgers and German Potato Salad

Game Plan: Start by freezing the meat for the burgers. While the meat chills, prep the salad and cook through step 1. Grind, form, and refrigerate the patties (steps 2 and 3) and then finish the potato salad (step 2). Cook the burgers.

Our Juicy Pub-Style Burgers start with flavorful sirloin tips that we coarsely grind in a food processor. Melted butter ensures juiciness and encourages browning. Loosely mixing the beef and gently forming the patties helps prevent overworking the meat, which can toughen burgers. Searing in a superhot skillet and then finishing in a low-heat oven yields a crispy, well-browned crust and a juicy center. To flavor our warm German Potato Salad, we fry up plenty of bacon, then use just part of the rendered fat in the vinaigrette, along with white vinegar, whole-grain mustard, sugar, and some of the potato cooking water, which adds body to the dressing.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pub-Style Burgers and German Potato Salad

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Dinner 3: Eggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf

Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes. Start cooking the pilaf. Once the pilaf is simmering covered (step 3), prepare the egg dish.

Eggs Pipérade, a Basque classic, features rich, tender scrambled eggs paired with a mix of tomatoes and sautéed peppers. We use a combination of red bell peppers and pale green Cubanelle peppers, which offer sweetness and delicate fresh flavor, respectively. To prevent the vegetables from turning the eggs stringy and wet, we precook them to evaporate excess moisture, and we also keep the pipérade and the eggs separate until they hit the plate. Our Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon uses an almost equal ratio of quinoa to water (about half that of other recipes) to ensure tender grains with a satisfying bite. We toast the quinoa in a dry skillet to develop its natural nutty flavor and finish our pilaf with fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice. 

Printable Shopping ListsEggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon

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

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