Adam Dolge, recipe tester and developer
Adam Dolge, recipe tester and developer

Adam Dolge

Adam Dolge has spent his professional life creating the recipes that feed millions of Americans. For nearly two years, Adam worked for the Meredith Food Studio (now the Dotdash Meredith Food Studios) in Birmingham, Alabama, testing and developing recipes for Real Simple and other brands, including Cooking Light, Southern Living, Food & Wine, People, and Health. He currently works as the lead recipe developer for EatingWell.
It’s hard to find fault with a Philly cheese steak sandwich. What’s not to love about juicy steak, caramelized onions and peppers, and bubbly melted provolone all piled on top of a soft baguette? And, thankfully, there’s no need to plan a trip to Philadelphia to eat this classic combo. In fact, it’s surprisingly easy to achieve that authentic steak-pepper-cheese combo in the comfort of your home. Shopping tip: If you can’t find flank steak, top sirloin or skirt steak will both work well.
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Are you searching for a recipe for a flavorful, healthy chicken dinner? Look no further than this simple, summery number. The Aleppo pepper-rubbed chicken packs just enough heat, and is paired with a lemony-marinated zucchini salad, all of which gets drizzled with a garlic and herb dressing. To make this recipe even more filling, add some grilled bread or pita. Shopping tip: If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, which is imported from Syria, you can use regular chili flakes.
This vibrant, delicious dinner packs so many flavors, textures, and colors, it might be hard to believe it’s so healthy. The caraway-spiced marinated beets are a new twist on a classic salad bar staple, and the crispy chickpeas are borderline addictive. This recipe lends itself to serving family style, and is pretty enough for a relaxed summer dinner party. Shopping tip: You can find pre-made baba ghanoush in the refrigerated or deli section of your supermarket, usual near the hummus. P.S. If you’re a strict vegan, skip the honey.
A bowl of mussels is so striking with the purply blue shells and orange meat—it’s a wonder that something so elegant can come together in just ten minutes. This version sticks close to the classics, with a base of butter, shallot, and white wine, plus some fresh tarragon at the end. Serve with toasted bread and more butter, if you want. To make this meal even more filling, you could serve with buttered pasta and steamed asparagus. Pair with a crisp white wine like muscadet or vinho verde.
Caramelized shallots are delicious, that’s a fact. But shallots caramelized in chicken drippings? That’s just next level. Here, they’re served with crispy chicken thighs, a rosemary-garlic sauce, and green beans, for a dinner that is rich and satisfying, yet balanced. If you want to make this even heartier, serve with buttered, toasted bread. Some grocery stores sell pre-peeled shallots, so if you’re willing to spend a bit more cash, they’ll speed prep up quite a bit. Serve this with a light, peppery red wine or a medium bodied white.
Polenta is a great ingredient for easy, back-pocket cooking. It’s plain enough to be malleable to many directions, and it takes easily to rich, salty flavors like Parmesan, like in this simple dinner. Topped with a saucy mushroom-tomato-thyme mixture and the combination is reminiscent of pizza, but in an elevated way. If you want to turn this into a bigger dinner for a crowd, spread the polenta out on a greased baking sheet and top with the mushroom mixture to serve family style. Add on some fresh bread and a peppery arugula salad and you’ve got an elegant dinner party in less than an hour.
This is the kind of dinner that proves that vegan food doesn’t fit neatly into any one box. Here, a richly flavored coconut rice gets topped with spicy, crispy tofu cubes, and soy-infused sautéed vegetables. Nothing boring about that. Don’t be shy when pressing the tofu with the paper towels. The extra-firm kind can stand up to a fair amount of pressure, and drying it will make for a crispier exterior once cooked. Serve any leftover coconut rice for breakfast, topped with mango and cashews or pineapple and toasted coconut flakes.
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Turkey burgers get a bad rap, but it doesn’t have to be that way when you make them in your own kitchen. This is because you get to control the seasoning—since turkey is a blank canvas, the spices and level of salt can make or break the taste of the final burger. Here, chili powder adds tons of flavor, since it’s a blend of several different spices including garlic powder, dried oregano, and of course, dried chilis. Add some chopped onion and the patty is flavorful, not bland or dry. Topped with a lime mayo and ripe avocado and you might never go back to beef burgers.
When you think of pork tenderloin, all too often what comes to mind is a dry, round slice of unappetizing meat. Here the opposite is the case. A pound of tenderloin is braised in a brown sugar and soy-spiked beef stock in a slow cooker until the meat is meltingly tender. So tender, in fact, that you can shred it easily with forks. Served with fresh cucumber and carrots over hot rice, this meal is both comforting and fresh—a balance that’s often difficult to find. Leftovers would be delicious in as a fried rice, or tossed with fresh cilantro and greens for a filing salad.
This is the kind of dinner that proves that vegan food doesn’t fit neatly into any one box. Here, a richly flavored coconut rice gets topped with spicy, crispy tofu cubes, and soy-infused sautéed vegetables. Nothing boring about that. Don’t be shy when pressing the tofu with the paper towels. The extra-firm kind can stand up to a fair amount of pressure, and drying it will make for a crispier exterior once cooked. Serve any leftover coconut rice for breakfast, topped with mango and cashews or pineapple and toasted coconut flakes.
Turkey burgers get a bad rap, but it doesn’t have to be that way when you make them in your own kitchen. This is because you get to control the seasoning—since turkey is a blank canvas, the spices and level of salt can make or break the taste of the final burger. Here, chili powder adds tons of flavor, since it’s a blend of several different spices including garlic powder, dried oregano, and of course, dried chilis. Add some chopped onion and the patty is flavorful, not bland or dry. Topped with a lime mayo and ripe avocado and you might never go back to beef burgers.
When you think of pork tenderloin, all too often what comes to mind is a dry, round slice of unappetizing meat. Here the opposite is the case. A pound of tenderloin is braised in a brown sugar and soy-spiked beef stock in a slow cooker until the meat is meltingly tender. So tender, in fact, that you can shred it easily with forks. Served with fresh cucumber and carrots over hot rice, this meal is both comforting and fresh—a balance that’s often difficult to find. Leftovers would be delicious in as a fried rice, or tossed with fresh cilantro and greens for a filing salad.
One of the main challenges with vegetarian food is making sure a dinner feels hearty enough. Here, you've got an entire half of an acorn squash per serving, stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, bread cubes, and goat cheese. In other words, it’s not shy on flavor, and the portion feels, well, like dinner. Pro tip: If the squash halves seem unsteady on the baking sheet, you can slice off a little of the outside skin to make a flat base. Serve with a crisp white wine like dry Riesling or Vinho Verde.
Molasses-Spiced Spiked Cider
Rating: Unrated
New!
If you’ve ever wondered what fall would taste like in a glass, then here’s your answer. Molasses adds dark-sweet undertones to apple cider, and fresh ginger adds a spicy heat. You might see molasses labeled “unsulphured” or “blackstrap” at the grocery store. Either will work well here, but blackstrap tends to be more bitter. Rum is a perfect pairing since it’s made from sugarcane—just like molasses. Adding the rum at the end ensures the alcohol doesn’t burn off during cooking.
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Earthy molasses is an ideal partner for naturally sugary sweet potatoes while spicy jalapeño and mustard add balance. When you toss the sweet potatoes, make sure to reserve the molasses mixture—you’ll drizzle that over the sweet potatoes once they’re roasted. Stone-ground mustard refers to the method of using a stone to pulverize mustard seeds. But, if you can’t find it, a sharp mustard like Dijon will work, too.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
Sure you could make a grilled pasta salad with the usual suspects: zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers. But why not change it up with crunchy bitter broccoli rabe and a bright and sweet tomato vinaigrette? Fresh mozzarella and the sweetness of grilled red onions helps to balance the tangy dressing. Pasta salads can often be overdressed, so we recommend tossing half the vinaigrette with the pasta mixture and adding a little bit more at a time, tasting as you go, until it’s dressed just to your liking. Wagon wheels are fun but you can use any short pasta shape you like.
Moroccan Couscous Salad
Rating: Unrated
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Pasta salad is a great way to make lunch (or dinner) for the week ahead. We like to use unexpected shapes and sizes to make ours feel new again. Here we employed Israeli couscous, lentil-sized balls of chewy pasta, but you could use orzo, ditalini or even Fregola, a toasted couscous, similar in size to the Israeli kind. We’ve used golden raisins and pistachios here (because they’re pretty) but you could use chopped dried apricots and roasted almonds in their place. Use about half the dressing to coat the salad then give it a taste, adding more, a tablespoon or two at a time, until it's dressed to your liking.
Southwestern Pasta Salad
Rating: Unrated
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Say goodbye to gloopy mayonnaise-covered pasta salads. We put an avocado to work to create an irresistibly creamy dressing, that won’t have any of the mayonnaise-haters running for the dusky hills. The only drawback is that the dressing will oxidize after a little while and go gray. Don’t worry, the salad will be no less delicious, but plan on serving this within an hour or two of making it. For a little heat, add thinly sliced fresh jalapeños or even some drained pickled ones. Or if you really want to turn up the temperature, add a can of chopped green chilies to the dressing before blending.
Tapas-Style Pasta Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
Did you know that if you rearrange the letters in the word “pasta” you get “tapas”? If we had only thought of that sooner! We tossed one of our favorite pasta shapes with all of our favorite tapas bar ingredients—dried chorizo, salty Manchego cheese, and herby olives (you can find those at the olive bar at the supermarket)—but the best part is the fried almonds. This technique is a smart and fast way to toast nuts on the stove without waiting for the oven to preheat. But if you’re not up for frying you can substitute Marcona almonds.
Spicy Thai Shrimp Soba Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
Another smart trick from the test kitchen: We cooked the shrimp and soba noodles right in the same pot. Cooking shrimp in their shells keeps them firm and meaty, plus it adds a little briny flavor to the noodles. Just don’t walk away after you add the noodles. If you time it right, the soba will be tender just as the shrimp turn pink and opaque. If you can’t find Thai basil you can use Italian. Thai chilies can be hard to find and VERY hot, but if you still want to add a bit of heat, you can substitute a chopped serrano in its place.