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Volume 25

Dinner This Week: Revamping Beef Stroganoff

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Marsala, and Spaghetti Carbonara 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: Classic Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans

For our Classic Beef Stroganoff, we cut ultratender beef tenderloin into meaty chunks. To build flavor, we brown the beef and mushrooms and use beef broth to deglaze the pan. We then add chicken broth, tomato paste, onion, brown sugar, and wine to create depth; a little flour thickens the sauce; and sour cream adds richness and tang. For Green Beans with Sautéed Shallots and Vermouth we first blanch the beans until they are tender-crisp. Then, to flavor the beans, we sauté thinly sliced shallots in butter until golden brown and finish with a splash of herbal vermouth.

Printable Shopping ListsClassic Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans with Sautéed Shallots and Vermouth

Equipment Review Kitchen Tongs

Which pair offers the best precision and comfort?

Dinner 2: Chicken Marsala and Roast Potatoes

We start our Chicken Marsala by salting cutlets to boost their ability to retain moisture. A light coating of flour accelerates browning and helps prevent the meat from overcooking. Our sauce includes dry Marsala, chicken broth, and cremini and dried porcini mushrooms for rich flavor; gelatin contributes silkiness. Roast Potatoes should be crisp and deep golden brown on the exterior, with moist, velvety, dense interiors. To achieve this, we start with waxy Red Bliss potatoes. Covering the potatoes with foil for part of their roasting time helps keep them moist.

Printable Shopping ListsBetter Chicken Marsala and Roast Potatoes

Equipment Review Slotted Spoons

We rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.

Dinner 3: Spaghetti Carbonara and Insalata Mista

For our Spaghetti Carbonara, we reduce the usual amount of water used to boil the pasta by half. This gives us a concentrated starchy liquid to use in the sauce. The extra starch coats the proteins and fats in the cheese and prevents them from separating or clumping together. The starch also works in concert with the egg white proteins to lend viscosity. Egg yolks introduce a pleasant custardy richness. Insalta Mista uses a mix of mild lettuces along with smaller amounts of spicy greens (watercress and arugula) and bitter greens (radicchio and endive). For color and textural contrast, we add grated carrot and slices of cucumber and red onion. In the dressing, we use two types of vinegar: Red wine provides assertive acidity while balsamic vinegar brings sweet, caramel-like notes.

Printable Shopping ListsSpaghetti Carbonara and Insalata Mista


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.