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Volume 103

Dinner This Week: Grilled Steak Tacos

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Easy Grilled Steak Tacos (Tacos al Carbón), Thai-Style Chicken with Basil, and Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets 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 Steak Tacos and Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

For flavorful Tacos al Carbón (Grilled Steak Tacos) we start by leaving some of the fat on the steak. On the grill, the fat melts and drips onto the fire, vaporizing and creating smoky, meaty compounds that envelope the steak with grill flavor. To achieve maximum browning on our Mexican-Style Grilled Corn without drying out the kernels, we quickly cook husked corn on a hot grill. A coating of chili powder and oil gives the corn spice and helps prevent sticking. A mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise is a good substitute for crema in the sauce used to coat the grilled corn.

Printable Shopping Lists: Grilled Steak Tacos and Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

Equipment Review Gas Grills Under $500

It doesn’t matter how powerful a grill is. If it can’t distribute and hold the heat where you want it, your food will suffer.

Dinner 2: Thai-Style Chicken with Basil and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy

For Thai-Style Chicken with Basil, we start by infusing aromatics and basil into the cooking oil. Grinding the chicken in a food processor along with some fish sauce produces coarse-textured meat that retains moisture when it is stir-fried. A combination of oyster sauce and white vinegar adds a rich but bright flavor to the sauce. Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Shallot and Fish Sauce calls for lightly steaming the vegetable to soften its stems before it is quickly sautéed. A mix of fish sauce, shallots, and garlic forms the base of a salty, aromatic sauce.

Printable Shopping Lists: Thai-Style Chicken with Basil and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy

Equipment Review 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

We demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.

Dinner 3: Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets and Pita Bread Salad

For evenly cooked Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets, we sear the fish in a hot pan, flip it over, then transfer it to a hot oven to finish cooking. A sprinkle of sugar mixes with moisture on the surface of the fish, accelerating browning and giving the fillets a rich color and deep flavor that’s anything but sweet. Fattoush (Pita Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumber) is at its best when it combines fresh, flavorful produce with crisp pita chips and bright herbs. To make the pita moisture-repellent, we brush its craggy sides with plenty of olive oil before baking. The oil prevents the chips from absorbing too much moisture from the salad and becoming soggy. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets and Pita Bread Salad


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.