Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cauliflower Puree

Just finished dinner. It was awesome. 

Pan Roasted Pork Chop with Caramelized Fennel and Blanched Brussels Sprout Leaves over Cauliflower Puree topped with Fresh Fennel Fronds

This delicious (yet so simple) pork chop was first quick-brined in blood orange juice, fresh thyme, garlic, honey, and salt and then patted dry and pan roasted in a bit of olive oil.  I popped some fennel into the oven at 400 degrees with salt, pepper, and olive oil and roasted the wedges for 15-20 minutes until caramelized.  The brussels sprout leaves were blanched - I love cooking them this way because they stay bright and green and the blanching removes any bitterness. My favorite part of the dish was the cauliflower puree. The puree was rich and creamy but left me feeling light not heavy the way mashed potatoes make you feel.  I want to try this recipe with purple cauliflower next for sure. 

Cauliflower Puree

half a head of cauliflower (about 2.5 cups)
1 quart of milk
3 T good parmesan cheese 
pinch nutmeg
1/4 t white pepper
1/2 t salt 

1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a pot. Pour milk over. Bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 minutes until fork tender

2. Place cauliflower in blender or food processor and slowly add milk until desired thickness is reached.
 3. Season and add cheese. Blend thoroughly.
4. Serve immediately or place in a double boiler to keep warm until service.

*Note: I am on a bit of a health kick so I kept things light by using 2% milk but the French chef in me would have used whole milk or heavy cream and a bit of butter at the end to make the puree uber rich and indulgent otherwise. I will be honest and say that it was pretty amazing with only the 2% milk and no butter...but to each his own. 

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