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Volume 21

Dinner This Week: Classic Stuffed Peppers

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Stuffed Peppers, Braised Lamb Shoulder, and Tuscan Shrimp and Beans for dinner in an hour or less.

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: Stuffed Bell Peppers and Greek Salad

For Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers that are soft and tender yet firm enough to stuff, we blanch the peppers for three minutes before stuffing them. For the filling, we augment the classic combination of rice and ground beef with sautéed onions, garlic, and plenty of melty cheese. Our Greek Salad features crisp ingredients and bold flavors, including briny olives and tangy feta, all highlighted with a bright-tasting dressing.  For balance, we use a combination of lemon juice and red wine vinegar and add olive oil, fresh oregano, and a small amount of garlic.

Printable Shopping ListsClassic Stuffed Bell Peppers and Greek Salad

Equipment Review Square Cake Pans

A square cake pan is a kitchen essential, but should you buy a glass, nonstick, or traditional metal model?

Dinner 2: Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops and Barley with Fennel

Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes and Red Wine starts with a relatively tender cut that doesn't need a long cooking time. In about 20 minutes, the chops reach the desired doneness after simmering in a simple yet flavorful sauce of tomatoes and red wine. Our Barley with Fennel, Dried Apricots, and Orange boasts grains with a tender chew and that don’t clump together. We cook the barley like pasta—boiled in a large volume of salted water and then drained—to rid the grains of much of their sticky starch, which would otherwise cause them to clump. Once the barley is cooked, we let it cool briefly on a rimmed baking sheet to help it dry thoroughly and then toss it with an acid-heavy dressing (a 1:1 ratio of oil to acid instead of the typical 3:1 ratio).

Printable Shopping ListsBraised Lamb Shoulder Chops and Barley with Fennel

Equipment Review Colanders

A colander is just a bowl with holes, right? Chasing loose pasta around the sink may change your mind about that.

Dinner 3: Tuscan Shrimp and Beans and Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad

To give our Tuscan Shrimp and Beans a full seafood flavor, we make a quick concentrated stock with the shrimp shells and use it to simmer the beans. To season the shrimp and keep them plump and juicy, we brine them briefly, add them late in the cooking process, and then reduce the heat so they gently simmer. Plenty of basil provides herbal freshness; lemon juice and zest contribute acidity and aroma. Our Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad uses a combination soft, mineral-y green leaf lettuce and bitter, crunchy radicchio. Sweet, peppery grapefruit and grassy fennel both counteract the bitterness of the radicchio and add brightness. Parmesan cheese contributes richness that helps round out the flavors.

Printable Shopping ListsTuscan Shrimp and Beans with Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad


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

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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.