Weeknight Cooking

Dinner This Week: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This week’s menus include Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Medallions, Braised Halibut with Fennel and Tarragon, and Creamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta for dinner in about an hour.

Published Oct. 11, 2023.

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.

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Dinner 1: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Braised Radicchio

Game Plan: Prep and wrap the pork medallions (steps 1 and 2). Before cooking the pork, prep the radicchio. Sear the pork. While the pork rests, braise the radicchio.

For Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Medallions, we cut pork tenderloins into 1½-inch-thick medallions and wrap them with smoky bacon. Microwaving the bacon slightly before wrapping shrinks the slices and ensures that they stay snug around the pork during cooking. Braised Radicchio with Apple and Cream balances the enjoyable bitter flavor of radicchio with a sweet-tart Granny Smith apple and small amount of rich cream. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin and Braised Radicchio

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Dinner 2: Braised Halibut with Fennel and Warm Farro with Lemon

Game Plan: Start by boiling the farro. As the farro cooks, prep the halibut ingredients. Once the farro is tender, it can be drained and held in a covered saucepan. While the fish is cooking in step 2, soften the onion for the farro. As the sauce for the fish reduces (step 3), finish the farro.

Braised Halibut with Fennel and Tarragon features moist, succulent fish; tender pieces of fennel; and a sauce with balanced flavor and just the right amount of brightness. We like halibut for its sweet, delicate taste and firm texture. Because the bottom of the fillets are submerged in liquid and will cook more quickly than the upper halves that cook via steam, we start by sautéing the fillets for a few minutes on just one side before we start braising. For Warm Farro with Lemon and Herbs, we prefer whole farro, which has a pleasant chewiness and a nutty flavor. The simplest cooking method is best: Just boil the farro in salted water for about 20 minutes until tender. After the grains are drained, we combine them with sautéed onions, a copious amount of fresh herbs, and a sprinkling of lemon.

Printable Shopping Lists: Braised Halibut with Fennel and Warm Farro with Lemon

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Dinner 3: Creamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta with Arugula Salad

Game Plan: For this pairing, start by browning the prosciutto and making the dressing for the salad. Next, proceed with making the pasta dish. Toss the salad right before the pasta comes out of the oven.

Our Creamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta is the ultimate adult version of mac and cheese. It starts with a flavorful blend of four Italian cheeses: fontina, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, and Parmesan. Combining a hot bechamel sauce and pasta with the cheese—and not cooking the cheese in the sauce—preserves the fresh flavor of the the different cheeses. A crisp topping of bread crumbs and more Parmesan is the perfect finishing touch. To balance the rich pasta, we recommend Arugula Salad with Figs, Prosciutto, Walnuts, and Parmesan. We found that a vinaigrette made with mustard was too spicy to pair with the arugula; our surprise solution was to add a spoonful of jam, which added fruity sweetness, pulling the flavors right in line.

Printable Shopping ListsCreamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta and Arugula Salad with Figs, Prosciutto, Walnuts, and Parmesan

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


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