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Volume 139

Dinner This Week: Pesce All'Acqua Pazza

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pesce All'Acqua Pazza (Southern Italian Poached Fish), Juicy Pub-Style Burgers, and Eggs Pipérade 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: Pesce All'Acqua Pazza (Southern Italian Poached Fish) and Broccoli Rabe

Pesce All'Acqua Pazza refers to the southern Italian tradition of cooking the day's catch in seawater. Modern recipes feature longer ingredient lists: Parsley, tomato, white wine, and garlic are common. For the fish, we chose skin-on haddock fillets. The flesh held up nicely during poaching, and the abundant collagen in the skin suffused the broth with rich flavor and body. Halved cherry tomatoes provided sweetness and pops of color. For Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes that delivers less bitterness and a round, balanced flavor, we start by blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water to tame its harsh edge. We then sauté the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, ingredients that complement its bold taste.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pesce All'Acqua Pazza (Southern Italian Poached Fish) and Broccoli Rabe

Equipment Review Liquid Measuring Cups

Many versions of this simple tool are surprisingly flawed: drippy, hard to read, or inaccurate. Which models are reliable?

Dinner 2: Pub-Style Burgers and German Potato Salad

Our Juicy Pub-Style Burgers start with flavorful sirloin tips that we coarsely grind in a food processor. Melted butter ensures juiciness and encourages browning. Loosely mixing the beef and gently forming the patties helps prevent overworking the meat, which can toughen burgers. Searing in a superhot skillet and then finishing in a low-heat oven yields a crispy, well-browned crust and a juicy center. To flavor our warm German Potato Salad, we fry up plenty of bacon, then use just part of the rendered fat in the vinaigrette, along with white vinegar, whole-grain mustard, sugar, and some of the potato cooking water, which adds body to the dressing.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pub-Style Burgers and German Potato Salad

Equipment Review Food Processors

How much do you need to spend to get a machine that makes light work of chopping, slicing, shredding, and mixing?

Dinner 3: Eggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf

Eggs Pipérade, a Basque classic, features rich, tender scrambled eggs paired with a mix of tomatoes and sautéed peppers. We use a combination of red bell peppers and pale green Cubanelle peppers, which offer sweetness and delicate fresh flavor, respectively. To prevent the vegetables from turning the eggs stringy and wet, we precook them to evaporate excess moisture, and we also keep the pipérade and the eggs separate until they hit the plate. Our Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon uses an almost equal ratio of quinoa to water (about half that of other recipes) to ensure tender grains with a satisfying bite. We toast the quinoa in a dry skillet to develop its natural nutty flavor and finish our pilaf with fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice. 

Printable Shopping ListsEggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon


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.