Skip to main content
Volume 123

Dinner This Week: Cacio e Pepe

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper, Cider-Glazed Pork Chops, and Tortilla Soup 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: Cacio e Pepe and Brussels Sprout Salad

For Cacio e Pepe that is creamy and smooth, we swap butter for heavy cream, which contains more emulsifying proteins that encourage the water and fat to form a saucy consistency rather than separate. Our Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Browned Butter Vinaigrette uses a warm vinaigrette to gently tenderize the shredded sprouts while allowing them to retain their fresh, mustardy taste. Manchego cheese, chopped toasted hazelnuts, and baby arugula add richness, flavor, and peppery zing.

Printable Shopping Lists: Cacio e Pepe and Brussels Sprout Salad

Equipment Review Large Dutch Ovens

Dutch ovens do it all. But which pot makes “it all” easiest?

Dinner 2: Glazed Pork Chops and Skillet-Roasted Carrots

Cider-Glazed Pork Chops are quick, juicy, and full of flavor—and require just a handful of ingredients to make. If apple cider or juice is unavailable, orange or pineapple juice can be substituted. Another alternative is to make a quick barbecue glaze by thinning 1 cup of store-bought barbecue sauce with 1/4 cup of water. Skillet-Roasted Carrots develop deep roasted flavor in a fraction of the time that it would take in the oven. To ensure even browning, make sure to press the carrots gently against the skillet as they cook. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Glazed Pork Chops and Skillet-Roasted Carrots

 

Equipment Review Traditional Skillets

A 12-inch skillet should last a lifetime and cook almost anything. But does quality construction have to cost top dollar?

Dinner 3: Tortilla Soup and Corn Muffins

To achieve maximum flavor in our Tortilla Soup, we make a puree of chipotle chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeños, and epazote, and then fry the puree in oil over high heat. We then add chicken broth, which we strain after poaching chicken in it and infusing it with onions, garlic, cilantro, and oregano. For a Savory Corn Muffin with great cornmeal flavor, we use a ratio of 2 parts cornmeal to 1 part flour and ditch the copious amount of sugar found in most recipes. To keep the muffins from becoming dry, we precook a portion of the cornmeal with milk to make a polenta-like porridge. This hydrates and gels the starch in the cornmeal and traps free water to produce a supermoist muffin.

Printable Shopping Lists: Tortilla Soup and Corn Muffins


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

Leave a comment and join the conversation!

0 Comments
Read & post comments with a free account
Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors.
First Name is Required
Last Name is Required
Email Address is Required
How we use your email?
Password is Required
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.