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Volume 9

Dinner This Week

By Keith Dresser Published

In a rut with your weeknight dinners? You're in luck. Every week Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser picks 3 pairings and gives you a game plan to get them on the table in an hour or less.

Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup-Brown Sugar Glaze and Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs

Substituting store-bought ground turkey for beef can lead to a dense, mushy  Turkey Meatloaf. To avoid this, we stir in quick oats, which add just the right amount of chew and help to open up the texture of the dense turkey. To avoid overwhelming the mild flavor of the turkey with too many add-ins, we stir in a modest amount of onion, as well as garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and Dijon mustard. Finally, we coat the meatloaf in a ketchup-based glaze, which we add in two stages to ensure that it sticks to the exterior. For Sautéed Green Beans that are tender, lightly browned, and fresh tasting, we sauté the beans first, then add water to the pan and cover it so the beans finish cooking in steam. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup-Brown Sugar Glaze and Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs

Equipment Review Slicing/Carving Knives

Want perfect slices at your holiday table? Lose the chef’s knife.

Pasta Frittata with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola and Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette

For a Pasta Frittata that showcases egg and pasta in equal measure, we opt for superthin angel hair pasta. The strands of angel hair form a delicate network throughout the eggy interior. For convenience, we cook the pasta in just 3 cups of water in the same 10-inch nonstick skillet that we then use to cook the frittata. For flavor and textural contrast, we include in assertive add-ins like gorgonzola cheese and mushrooms. We pair the rich frittata with Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette. This bold salad uses a mix of greens, like arugula and watercress, that are dressed with a pungent vinaigrette.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta Frittata with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola and Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Equipment Review Large Saucepans

Most of us use a large saucepan daily, so it’s important to own one that performs flawlessly and will last for years. But how much does high quality have to cost?

Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar and Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar is a great example of the affinity that pork and fruit have for each other. Taking inspiration from a potsticker cooking method, we use a combination of sautéing and steaming to produce sausages that are nicely browned while still moist and juicy. For the sauce, we cook down seedless red grapes and thinly sliced onion until caramelized to create a sweet but complex base. White wine, in addition to balsamic vinegar, lends the dish acidity and complements the grapes. Oregano and pepper contribute earthiness and a touch of spice, while a finish of fresh mint adds brightness. For our Creamy Parmesan Polenta, we use coarse-ground, degerminated cornmeal, which provides a soft but hearty texture and nutty flavor. A pinch of baking soda cuts the cooking time in half and eliminates the need for stirring.

Printable Shopping Lists: Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar and Creamy Parmesan Polenta

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