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Volume 10

Dinner This Week: Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas, and Spanish-Style Pasta with Shrimp for dinner in an hour or less.

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: Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Sautéed Cabbage

Our Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin recipe employs a stovetop-to-oven method that yields a well-browned crust and a succulent, tender interior. For a maple glaze that will adhere to the meat we have several tricks. First, we mix the syrup with molasses and mustard to create a thicker glaze. Second, we coat the tenderloin with cornstarch so the glaze will bond to it. Third, we add a second coat of glaze when the meat is nearly done. In our recipe for Sautéed Cabbage with Fennel and Garlic, we mitigate the pungent flavors and sulfurous odors that can plague overcooked cabbage. Instead of boiling or braising, we pan-steam and sauté the cabbage over relatively high heat to cook it quickly and add an extra layer of flavor from browning. Soaking the cabbage before cooking reduces bitterness while providing extra moisture to help the cabbage steam.

Printable Shopping ListsMaple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Sautéed Cabbage with Fennel and Garlic

Equipment Review Silicone Spatulas

A spatula should feel like an extension of your arm, nimbly stirring, scraping, and folding any food you put in its path. Why is a good one so hard to find?

Dinner 2: Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous Pilaf

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas and Apricots offers the depth and flavor of an authentic tagine in about one hour. A standard braising procedure builds complexity: First, we brown skin-on pieces of chicken to give the braising liquid deep flavor; next, we remove the chicken from the pot; sauté onion, strips of lemon zest, garlic, and a heady spice blend (paprika, cumin, cayenne, ginger, coriander, and cinnamon) in a little oil; add chicken broth and honey; and finally, return the chicken to the pot. We use a “pilaf method” for our Couscous with Dates and Pistachios, gently browning the pasta to add a toastiness. We further bump up the flavor by using a combination of chicken broth and water, which we add to the pan after the couscous is toasted, and by stirring in dates and pistachios for textural and flavor contrast.

Printable Shopping ListsMoroccan Chicken with Chickpeas and Apricots and Apricots and Couscous with Dates and Pistachios

Equipment Review Cutting Boards

We thought we’d picked a winner—until our favorite board warped after just a few years. This time we upped the ante: three months of test kitchen boot camp.

Dinner 3: Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta with Shrimp and Brussels Sprout Salad

Our Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta is based on a traditional Spanish recipe called fideuà. To streamline the procedure but keep the deep flavor of classic recipe, we replace the traditional slow-cooked fish stock with a quick shrimp stock made with shrimp shells, chicken broth, water, and a bay leaf. We also save time by streamlining the sofrito (the aromatic base common in Spanish cooking), by finely mincing the onion to help it soften and brown more quickly and using canned tomato instead of fresh. The final tweak to our recipe was boosting the flavor of the shrimp by quickly marinating them in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. We dress our Brussels Sprout Salad with a warm mustard vinaigrette that gently tenderizes the sprouts while letting them retain their freshness. Bites of quick-pickled shallot and dried apricots add pop, while Ricotta salata cheese, chopped toasted pistachios, and watercress contribute richness, crunch, and a touch of bitterness.

Printable Shopping ListsSpanish-Style Toasted Pasta with Shrimp and Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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