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Dinner This Week: Philly Cheesesteaks

This week’s menus include Philly Cheesesteaks, Brazilian Shrimp and Fish Stew (Moqueca), and Pasta All'Amatriciana for dinner in about an hour

Published Jan. 19, 2023.

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: Cheesesteaks with Oven Fries

Game Plan: Place steak in the freezer, meanwhile prep and start roasting the potatoes. After removing the foil from the potatoes (step 5), start making the cheesesteaks (starting with 2).

Making Philly Cheesesteaks at home requires coming up with a simple and economical way to mimic the thinly shaved slivers of rib eye usually obtained with a meat slicer. Skirt steak’s thin profile and open-grained texture makes for easy slicing, and its flavor was similar to rib eye. To approximate the wide griddle typically used in Philadelphia, we cook the meat in two batches, letting any excess moisture drain off before giving it a final sear. For Oven Fries, we coat the potatoes in a cornstarch slurry that crisps up like a deep-fried fry would. We arrange the coated planks on a rimmed baking sheet that we coat with both vegetable oil spray and vegetable oil; the former contains a surfactant called lecithin, which prevents the oil from pooling and, in turn, prevents the potatoes from sticking. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Philly Cheesesteaks and Oven Fries

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Dinner 2: Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew) with Rice Pilaf

Game Plan: Start by preparing the stew through step 3. Next, start the rice pilaf. As soon as the rice is gently simmering, turn your attention back to the stew and begin step 4. Once the seafood is fully cooked, the rice will be ready. If you have any leftover lime juice and chopped cilantro from the Moqueca, stir them into the rice before serving to boost its flavor.

Moqueca (Brazilian Shrimp and Fish Stew) is a bright, fresh-tasting dish that comes together easily. We call for cod, but haddock or other firm-fleshed, flaky whitefish can be substituted. Other sizes of shrimp will work here, but we prefer to use untreated shrimp. As a foil to all of the bold flavors, we pair the stew with Basic Rice Pilaf. We like the flavor that butter brings to the rice, but oil (either vegetable or olive) is a good substitute. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Moqueca (Brazilian Shrimp and Fish Stew) and Rice Pilaf

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Dinner 3: Pasta All'Amatriciana with Bibb and Arugula Salad

Game Plan: Prep all of the ingredients for both dishes. Prepare the pasta dish, then toss the salad right before serving.

Pasta All'Amatriciana uses salt pork as the flavorful base of the sauce, but pancetta can be also used. Pecorino Romano is traditional in this dish, but grated Parmesan will work in a pinch. Bibb and Arugula Salad with Pear and Goat Cheese can be adapted to suit what you have on hand. The pears, goat cheese, and pepitas can all be swapped out for similar ingredients that add sweetness, richness, and crunch. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta All'Amatriciana and Bibb and Arugula Salad

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


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