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Volume 63

Dinner This Week: Spicy Sichuan Noodles

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Spicy Sichuan Noodles, Oven-Roasted Salmon, and Split Pea and Ham Soup 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: Spicy Sichuan Noodles and Pai Huang Gua (Smashed Cucumbers)

Spicy Sichuan Noodles is a flavorful dish that comes together quickly. Fresh or dried Chinese noodles work best in this recipe, but linguine can be substituted in a pinch. We pair the noodles with a cooling dish of Pai Huang Gua (Smashed Cucumbers). English cucumbers, which are nearly seedless and have thin, crisp skins, are placed in a zipper-lock bag and smashed into large, irregular pieces. Salting the cucumbers helps them expel excess water and breaking them into craggy pieces allows them to hold on to the dressing.

Printable Shopping Lists: Spicy Sichuan Noodles and Pai Huang Gua

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: Oven-Roasted Salmon and Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oven-Roasted Salmon starts in a 500-degree oven to achieve a nicely browned exterior. We then lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees and cook the fish slowly to retain a silky, moist interior. Starting in a cold skillet and using plenty of olive oil produces Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pecorino Romano that are deeply browned and crisp-tender in less than 10 minutes.

Printable Shopping Lists: Oven-Roasted Salmon and Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Equipment Review Large Dutch Ovens

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

Dinner 3: Split Pea and Ham Soup and Drop Biscuits

Split Pea and Ham Soup eschews the traditional hambone and instead uses a ham steak. Simmering the ham in water along with some bacon makes the soup smoky and meaty. Unsoaked green split peas absorb the pork-enriched broth so that every layer of the soup is deeply flavored. Our Drop Biscuits offer an easy-to-make alternative to traditional rolled biscuits, with the same tenderness and buttery flavor. The key is to let the melted butter clump in the cold buttermilk. These pockets of butter expand during baking, creating a light, airy crumb.

Printable Shopping Lists: Split Pea and Ham Soup and Drop Biscuits


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.