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Volume 47

Dinner This Week: Chicken Piccata

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Chicken Piccata, Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, and Oven-Steamed Fish with Scallions and Ginger 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: Chicken Piccata and Pan-Roasted Pear Salad

For Chicken Piccata with tender chicken and a rich, flavorful lemon sauce, we start by briefly salting the cutlets to boost their ability to retain moisture and then lightly coat them in flour, which helps with browning. We sear the cutlets quickly on both sides and set them aside while making the sauce, which includes both lemon juice and lemon slices for complexity and textural appeal. A hearty amount of briny capers and a few tablespoons of butter finish the dish. For Pan-Roasted Pear Salad with Watercress, Parmesan, and Pecans, we toss quartered pears with a little sugar and cook them in a skillet until golden brown and softened. Adding a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the hot pan yields a sweet/tart glaze. Spicy watercress balances the sweet pears and shaved Parmesan and toasted pecans add richness and texture. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Chicken Piccata with Pan-Roasted Pear Salad

Equipment Review Fruit/Vegetable Peelers

Why do some peelers skin produce with ease while others barely make the cut?

Dinner 2: Oven-Steamed Fish and Steamed White Rice

Oven-Steamed Fish with Scallions and Ginger employs both classic Chinese and French methods for cooking fish. We start by swapping the steamer for a tightly covered baking pan and the stovetop for a hot oven. Placing the skinless fillets on a foil sling allows the fish to flavor the cooking liquid and made it easy to transfer the fish to a serving platter without the fillets falling apart. Removing the fish from the oven before it is fully cooked prevents it from overcooking when finished with sizzling ginger-infused oil. Steamed White Rice is soft enough to soak up the savory sauce, yet sticky enough to pick up with chopsticks. Rinsing the grains removes some of their surface starch, and starting the rice in boiling water provides enough agitation to release the remaining starch, resulting in just the right amount of stickiness.

Printable Shopping Lists: Oven-Steamed Fish and Steamed White Rice

Equipment Review 13 by 9-Inch Baking Pans/Dishes

Could it possibly make much difference which metal 13 by 9-inch pan you use? Several dozen rounds of baking later, the answer was an unequivocal yes.

Dinner 3: 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 three 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 Bacon and Caraway Seeds, 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 Lists: Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Sautéed Cabbage


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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