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: Spaghetti Puttanesca and Green Bean Salad
Game Plan: Bring pots of water to a boil for the pasta and green beans while prepping the ingredients for both dishes. Start cooking the pasta sauce (step 1). While the sauce simmers, blanch the green beans. While the pasta is boiling, toss the salad.
Boldly flavored Spaghetti Putanesca comes together quickly using a handful of pantry staples. Canned whole tomatoes that have been drained and chopped can be used in place of the diced tomatoes. Two teaspoons of anchovy paste can be substituted for the fillets. Basil can stand in for the parsley, but we recommend reducing the amount to 2 tablespoons. The ingredients in Green Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta can be adjusted as well. Goat cheese makes for a good substitute for the feta, and feel free to use balsamic or red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
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Dinner 2: Grilled Lemon-Parsley Chicken Breasts and Sautéed Summer Squash
Game Plan: Start by prepping and marinating the chicken. While the chicken sits, prep the squash. Grill the chicken. While the chicken is resting, sauté the squash.
Our recipe for Grilled Lemon-Parsley Chicken Breasts produces moist, tender, vibrantly flavored chicken. We marinate the breasts for 30 minutes, then start them on the cooler side of the grill, covered, so they remain moist. To finish, we quickly sear them on the hot side of the grill. Sautéed Summer Squash with Mint and Pistachios doesn’t require any knifework. We simply use a vegetable peeler to shave the squash into thin strips that cook quickly. Sautéeing the squash in a single batch over moderately high heat allows the ribbons to become crisp-tender without browning, which would mask their fresh flavor and appearance.
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Dinner 3: Fish Meunière with Browned Butter and French Potato Salad
Game Plan: Prep and make the potato salad through step 2. Prep and cook the fish, tossing the salad (step 3) right before serving.
Our Fish Meunière with Browned Butter produces delicately crisp and golden brown fillets that are moist and flavorful on the inside. To create the lightest coating, we dry the fillets, season them with salt and pepper, allow them to sit for five minutes, then dredge them in flour. We then cook the fillets in a mixture of oil and butter in a nonstick skillet to prevent sticking. To eliminate torn skins and broken potatoes in our French Potato Salad, we slice creamy red bliss potatoes before boiling them in heavily seasoned water. To flavor the slices through and through, we pour a vinaigrette flavored with mustard and garlic over the warm potatoes.
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