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Volume 38

Dinner This Week: Grilled Scallops

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Grilled Scallops, Pasta Frittata with Sausage and Hot Peppers, and Deviled Pork Chops for dinner in about an hour.

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: Grilled Scallops and Italian Bread Salad

We look for untreated "dry" scallops for our Grilled Scallops to avoid the soapy flavor that affects "wet" scallops that have been treated with chemicals. To enhance browning and make flipping easier, we lightly coat the scallops with a slurry of vegetable oil, flour, cornstarch, and sugar and thread them onto a pair of metal skewers. Italian Bread Salad (Panzanella) benefits from the liquid exuded by the tomatoes, so we toss garden fresh tomatoes with salt and let them drain in a colander until they shed a good bit of juice. Using that juice in the dressing boosts its fresh flavor. Drying the bread in the oven until it turns golden brown gives our panzanella nutty depth. We allow the dressing to lightly saturate the bread before we stir in the tomatoes.

Printable Shopping Lists: Grilled Scallops and Italian Bread Salad

Equipment Review Rimmed Baking Sheets

A rimmed baking sheet is essential for sheet cakes and handy for cookies. But if yours is flimsy or you use it only for baking, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Dinner 2: Pasta Frittata and Wilted Spinach Salad

For a Pasta Frittata with Sausage and Hot Peppers that showcases the 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 boil the pasta in just 3 cups of water in the same 10-inch nonstick skillet that we then use to cook the frittata. In our brightly flavored Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing, the dressing does the work of wilting the greens. Simply heat the dressing ingredients in a skillet and pour it over the spinach, then add hard-cooked eggs and crisp bacon pieces. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta Frittata and Wilted Spinach Salad

Equipment Review 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

We demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.

Dinner 3: Deviled Pork Chops and Corn Fritters

Our Deviled Pork Chops are slow-roasted in a low oven in order to keep the lean meat as juicy as possible. We “devil” the chops by painting them with a bold, balanced mix of sharp Dijon mustard combined with dry mustard (for an extra jolt of heat), minced garlic, and cayenne and black peppers. For textural contrast and visual appeal, we coat the tops of the chops with crispy toasted panko bread crumbs. To maximize the corn flavor in our Corn Fritters, we use a corn puree as a thickener rather than flour or cornmeal. Cooking the corn puree in a skillet gets rid of excess moisture and deepens the flavor even more. Adding cayenne, nutty Parmesan cheese, and oniony chives balances the natural sweetness of the corn, and a touch of cornstarch gives the fritters a crispy exterior. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Deviled Pork Chops and Corn Fritters


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.