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 that dinner comes together quicker.
Dinner 1: Chorizo and Potato Frittata with Pan-Steamed Broccolini
Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes and then start the frittata. While the frittata is in the oven, steam the broccolini.
Our Chorizo and Potato Frittata combines a well-seasoned filling of garlicky sausage and tender potatoes with a dozen eggs to make a substantial dinner. To help the eggs stay tender even when cooked to a relatively high temperature, we add milk and salt. The liquid dilutes the proteins, making it harder for them to coagulate and turn the eggs rubbery, and the salt weakens the interactions between proteins, producing a softer curd. For Pan-Steamed Broccolini with Lemon and Capers, we split any thicker stems lengthwise so that they are the same size as the thinner ones, allowing for even cooking along the length of the vegetable.
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Dinner 2: Pan-Seared Salmon Steaks and Green Bean Salad
Game Plan: Brine the salmon. While the salmon brines, prep and cook the green beans (steps 1 and 2). Prep and sear the salmon steaks and then toss the green beans with the vinaigrette right before serving.
Pan-Seared Salmon Steaks start with deboning and tying each steak into a round parcel that is easy to sear and cooks through evenly. A light coating of cornstarch enhances the crispness of the crust. To ensure that the beans in Green Bean Salad with Shallot, Mustard, and Tarragon are tender, bright green, and deeply flavored, we boil them in highly concentrated salt water (¼ cup of salt to 2 quarts of water). This quickly softens the pectin in the beans' skins so that they become tender before losing their vibrant color; it also seasons them inside and out.
Printable Shopping Lists: Pan-Seared Salmon Steaks and Green Bean Salad with Shallot, Mustard, and Tarragon
The Best 12-Inch Carbon-Steel SkilletsWhat if one pan could do everything the best traditional stainless-steel, cast-iron, and nonstick pans can do—and, in some cases, even do it a little better?
Dinner 3: Roasted Cornish Hens and Brussels Sprout Salad
Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes. While the hens roast, make the salad dressing (step 1). Once the hens are broiled, let them rest while preparing the salad (step 2).
To achieve crisp skin on our Oregano-Anise Roasted Cornish Hens, we rub the birds with baking powder and salt, air-dry them, and poke holes in the skin to allow fat to drain away. We then roast them on a hot baking sheet to jump-start the cooking before broiling them for great browning. Our Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette uses a warm dressing to gently tenderize the shredded sprouts while allowing them to retain their fresh, mustardy taste. Quick-pickled shallots add pops of flavor and pistachios contribute crunch.
Printable Shopping Lists: Oregano-Anise Roasted Cornish Hens and Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette