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Dinner This Week: Cooking from the Pantry - Vol. 1

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Garlicky Pasta, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon, and Crispy Chicken Cutlets for dinner in about an hour.

Even with the best-laid plans, cooking during these strange times can be a challenge. So we've put together three recipe pairings, each with an entree and a side, that call for ingredients you may already have on hand. But if you don't have a particular ingredient or the supermarket is out of stock, don't worry; we've also provided ideas for subsitutions. 

Dinner 1: Garlicky Spaghetti with Lemon and Leafy Green Salad

Both of the recipes in this pairing are customizable. For Garlicky Spaghetti with Lemon and Pine Nuts, the only two flavorings that we consider absolutely necessary are the garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. With those ingredients alone, you can produce a great pasta dish. The recipe works best with a long strand pasta, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. The Parmesan and pine nuts add richness and texture, but other cheeses (try Pecorino Romano) and nuts (we like slivered almonds), are good, too. The Leafy Green Salad  can also be adapted. Feel free to use any type of vinegar in the dressing, but make sure to stick with a 4:1 ratio of oil to acid. 

Shopping Lists: Garlicky Spaghetti with Lemon and Leafy Green Salad


 

Dinner 2: Scrambled Eggs with Bacon

There are few meals that are easier or more comforting than breakfast for dinner. Perfect Scrambled Eggs are great plain, but it's easy to toss in a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs or 1/2 cup of grated cheese (or both) to dress them up. Don't have half-and-half? Not to worry: Milk is a fine substitute (even chicken broth will work). And what is breakfast without Oven-Fried Bacon? Cooking bacon in the oven is easy and mess-free. It also means you can throw a couple of extra slices onto the the baking sheet to use in BLTs later in the week. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Scrambled Eggs and Bacon


 

Dinner 3: Crispy Chicken Cutlets and Sautéed Peas

This menu features two ingredients that many cooks keep in their freezers: boneless, skinless chicken breasts and peas. The panko breadcrumbs in Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets are the key to a crispy texture, but if you don't have them on hand, you can make your own. To do so, feed crustless sandwich bread (white is best, but other varieties will work) through the largest grating disk of a food processor, then bake the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet at 300 degrees until dry but not toasted, about 6 minutes. Sautéed Peas with Shallot and Mint can be made without the shallot and almost any fresh herb can be used instead of the mint. It is also really good with double the amount of garlic!

Printable Shopping Lists: Crispy Chicken Cutlets and Sautéed Peas

 


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.