Monday, January 24, 2011

roasted cauliflower and pork chops with soy ginger sauce

I found this recipe in an issue of Cooks Illustrated, which is my favorite cooking magazine. I'm always interested in different ways to cook veggies, so I was excited to give this a try. The recipe also gave an alternate sauce option, curry-yogurt, which I'm looking forward to trying as well.

The cauliflower itself was super easy:

Adjust rack to lowest position and heat oven to 475. Trim outer leaves of the cauliflower and cut the stem flush with the bottom. Cut the head into 8 equal wedges so that the core and florets remain intact. Place wedges cut side down on a foil or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper; gently rub to distribute oil and seasonings evenly. Flip the cauliflower and season the other cut side with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to roast until the bottoms of the cauliflower pieces are golden brown, 8-12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, using a spatula, carefully flip the wedges. Return sheet to the oven and continue to roast the cauliflower is golden brown all over, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Drizzle with sauce and serve.

The sauce is as follows:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use lower-sodium soy sauce)
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 medium scallion, sliced thin

Heat vegetable oil in a small skillet until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger, cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium low, add soy, mirin, vinegar and water. Simmer until slightly syrupy, 4 to 6 minutes. Drizzle the sauce and sesame oil over the roasted cauliflower and garnish with the scallion.

In order to fulfill my husband's "it's not a meal unless it has meat" requirements, I pan-fried a couple of thick-cut boneless pork chops for about 2 minutes per side, then removed them from the pan and made the sauce in the pan. I put the pork chops back in the pan with the sauce and spooned it over the chops while it reduced. By the time the sauce was ready, the chops were done. When the cauliflower was done, I put it all together, garnished it with the scallions and it looked like this:

It was pretty good. I didn't actually have the mirin that the recipe called for so I skipped it, and I think it the sauce really needed that little hint of sweetness. The cauliflower itself came out nicely nutty and roasty, and I'm looking forward to trying it with the yogurt curry sauce soon.