Skip to main content

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
By 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.

Jump to a Section

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

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.

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

Equipment Review

The Best Rice Cookers

With so many options on the market, which one is best? We cooked 50 batches of rice to find out.
Read Our Review

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.


0 Comments

Try All-Access Membership to Unlock the Comments
Don't miss the conversation. Our test cooks and editors jump in to answer your questions, and our members are curious, opinionated, and respectful.
Membership includes instant access to everything on our sites:
  • 10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work
  • Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients
  • Equipment Reviews save you money and time
  • Videos including full episodes and clips
  • Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Start Free Trial
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

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.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

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!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

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.