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Volume 133

Dinner This Week: Pasta with Beans

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pasta with Beans, Chard, and Rosemary, Pan-Seared Shrimp with Pistachio, Cumin, and Parsley, and Bò Lúc Lắc (Shaking Beef) 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: Pasta with Beans and Chard with Insalata Mista

Pasta with Beans, Chard, and Rosemary provides a great combination of flavors and textures. In addition to the usual creamy cannellini beans, we add pinto beans for meatiness, while Swiss chard provides an appealing twofer for the greens component. We sauté the chopped chard stems at the outset of cooking but wait until the end to sprinkle the tender leaves on top, and then we cover the pot and let the leaves steam gently off heat. Insalta Mista uses a mix of mild lettuces along with smaller amounts of spicy greens (watercress and arugula) and bitter greens (radicchio and endive). For color and textural contrast, we add grated carrot and slices of cucumber and red onion. In the dressing, we use two types of vinegar: Red wine provides assertive acidity while balsamic vinegar brings sweet, caramel-like notes.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta with Beans and Chard with Insalata Mista

Equipment Review Rasp-Style Graters

We love the Microplane Classic, but it’s not the only rasp around anymore. Can any of the newcomers top our old favorite?

Dinner 2: Pan-Seared Shrimp with Couscous

To keep Pan-Seared Shrimp with Pistachio, Cumin, and Parsley from overcooking, we start them in a cold skillet and heat them gradually so they don’t buckle and thus brown uniformly. Once the shrimp are spotty brown and pink at the edges on the first side, we remove them from the heat and quickly turn each one, letting residual heat gently cook them the rest of the way. For Basic Couscous, we use the “pilaf method,” which allows the couscous to brown gently and uniformly, and cook up fluffy and separate. We bump up the flavor by using a combination of chicken broth and water.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pan-Seared Shrimp with Couscous

Equipment Review Large Saucepans

Most of us use a large saucepan daily, so it’s important to own one that performs flawlessly and will last for years. But how much does high quality have to cost?

Dinner 3: Bò Lúc Lắc (Shaking Beef) and Com Do (Red Rice)

Bò Lúc Lắc (Shaking Beef) pairs savory stir-fried beef with a crisp, peppery watercress salad. We use sirloin steak tips (aka flap meat) for their beefy flavor and pleasant chewy texture. We marinate the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, and molasses, then reserve the marinade to make a glaze. True to the dish's name, we shake and stir the beef as it cooks to develop good browning. Once combined with the sauce, the meat is placed atop a bed of watercress which has been lightly dressed with a mixture of lime juice and pepper. Com Do (Vietnamese Red Rice) is an ultrasavory Vietnamese side dish. It's normally made by stir-frying precooked rice, but we made ours from scratch in one pot. To re-create the slightly drier texture of fried rice, we held back a bit on the water when steaming. 

Printable Shopping Lists:  Bò Lúc Lắc (Shaking Beef) with Com Do (Vietnamese Red Rice)  


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.