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Volume 32

Dinner This Week: Pan-Seared Salmon

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pan-Seared Salmon, Grilled Tuscan Steak, and Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce 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: Pan-Seared Salmon and Couscous with Carrots, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

For our Pan-Seared Salmon, we brine the fillets to season them and keep them moist as they cook. We then place the fish skin side down in a cold, dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. The skin protects the fish from drying out during cooking and releases fat that helps to brown and crisp the flesh side once the fillets are flipped. Couscous with Carrots, Raisins, and Pine Nuts calls for the pilaf method to keep the grains of pasta fluffy and separate: We first brown the couscous in butter, then add liquid, cover the pot, and let it stand until the grains are tender. We bump up the flavor and add textural contrast with sweet raisins and rich pine nuts.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pan-Seared Salmon and Couscous with Carrots, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

Equipment Review 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

We demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.

Dinner 2: Weeknight Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce and Pan-Roasted Broccoli

Weeknight Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce rivals the depth and richness of long-cooked versions. Ground pancetta and deeply browned aromatic vegetables form a flavorful base. Tomato paste contributes brightness, while reduced beef broth and Parmesan cheese add umami richness. For Pan-Roasted Broccoli, we start with a whole head of broccoli and trim the florets into small pieces and the stalks into oblong coins. We then layer the stalk pieces in a hot, lightly oiled skillet. Once they begin to brown, we add the florets along with seasoned water and allow the mixture to steam until all of the broccoli is tender-crisp.

Printable Shopping Lists: Weeknight Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce and Pan-Roasted Broccoli

Equipment Review Large Dutch Ovens

Dutch ovens do it all. But which pot makes “it all” easiest?

Dinner 3: Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic and Caesar Salad

Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic is a simple dish that consists of a beautifully grilled steak lightly dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The grassy oil complements the beef, while the acidic lemon juice sharpens the flavors. For heady— but not overpowering—garlic flavor in our Caesar Salad, we use a rasp-style grater to turn garlic cloves to a paste and then steep the paste in lemon juice to temper its bite. To emulsify the dressing, we beat egg yolks, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce into the lemon juice and garlic and then slowly drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese. For tender-crisp croutons, we sprinkle cubes of ciabatta bread with a little water to preserve their moistness even after they are toasted.

Printable Shopping Lists: Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic and Caesar Salad


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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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.