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: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Napa Cabbage Slaw
Game Plan: Start by seasoning the pork and heating the grill. Meanwhile, prep the ingredients for the slaw and complete step 1. Grill the pork and the salsa ingredients. While the pork rests, complete the salsa and toss the slaw.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple-Red Onion Salsa features a rich crust and a tender, juicy interior. We start by searing the roast on the hotter side of the grill, allowing the exterior to develop flavorful browning before the interior is cooked through. We then move the meat to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking gently. Napa Cabbage Slaw with Jicama and Pepitas offers a more tender, delicate texture and a sweeter flavor than traditional green cabbage slaw. To avoid a bland, watered-down slaw, we make a potent dressing with a high ratio of vinegar to oil. After tossing the cabbage with the dressing and letting it sit for about 5 minutes, moisture from the cabbage dilutes the dressing slightly, so the slaw reaches the perfect level of bright acidity.
10-Inch Chef's KnifeOur favorite chef’s knife features an 8-inch blade. Can a knife with a larger blade make prepping food easier?
Dinner 2: Pasta with Pesto and Potatoes with Romaine and Watercress Salad
Game Plan: Heat the water to boil the pasta while prepping the ingredients for both dishes. Prepare the pasta dish, then toss the salad right before serving.
Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans, a dish from Liguria, is the classic way to serve pesto. The starch from the potatoes lends body to the sauce, and the tender green beans add color and flavor. Cooking the ingredients separately ensures everything is properly cooked and makes the dish more foolproof. Romaine and Watercress Salad combines crisp romaine lettuce with spicy, tender watercress. Thinly sliced kohlrabi and sweet apple combine cohesively with the salad greens and provide complexity .
The Best Food ProcessorsOur longtime favorite is powerful and easy to use, but is it still the best choice?
Dinner 3: Chicken Saltimbocca with Broccoli Rabe
Game Plan: Prep the chicken through step 2 and prep the broccoli rabe through step 2. Cook the chicken and make the sauce. Once the sauce is done, transfer to a serving bowl and cover to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet and cook the broccoli rabe.
The key to Chicken Saltimbocca is to balance the three elements—chicken, prosciutto, and sage. We place thin slices of prosciutto on floured chicken breasts and then cook them proscuitto-side down, which bonds the ham to the chicken and eliminates the need for toothpicks. Instead of using whole sage leaves, which can overpower the dish, we sprinkle a small amount of minced sage between the chicken and ham to add well-distributed herb flavor. For Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes with round, balanced flavor, we start by blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water to tame its bitter edge. We then sauté the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, ingredients that complement its bold taste.
Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter
The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.