Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pork and Cauliflower Saffron Rice

-Pork cut of choice (I typically buy tenderloin sections and cut them into fourths or so)
-1 cauliflower head (I like the orange ones)
-2 C mini sweet peppers
-2-3 C diced tomato
-2 C red onion, diced
-1 pinch of saffron threads
-2 tsp dried parsley
-1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, leaves chopped
-4-6 garlic cloves
-3 tsp cumin
-Salt and pepper to taste

Get a dutch oven going on the stove at about medium heat.  Mix the parsley leaves, 4 garlic cloves, and cumin together (preferably blending or grinding together to make a paste with a little EVOO).  Use that combination plus salt and pepper to season the pork.  Add a generous dose of EVOO to the bottom of the dutch oven and put the pork in.

Add 1 C of red onions to the pork.  Let this all cook a few minutes on each side (for the pork) and then add about 3 C of water or chicken stock.  If just using water, I would suggest adding a little butter or bacon grease.  Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook for 2-3 hours or until shreddable.

About 30 or so minutes before you want to serve this, cut the cauliflower head into small pieces and add to boiling water (I used about a cup of broth from the pork and 2 or so more cups of water). Add salt and saffron.  Cook until tender, I like to cook it at a low boil.

Simultaneously, in a large skillet with a little EVOO in the bottom add your remaining vegetables and garlic cloves that are finely minced. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. Add about a half cup of water or broth.  Cook until veggies are tender.

When the cauliflower is tender, use a potato masher to break it down into rice-sized pieces.  Add to the sauteeing veggies and toss to combine.  I like to add just another half-ladle or so of broth while everything finishes cooking.  Serve the saffron "rice" and veggies topped with the pork and onions.

My favorite part of this dish is all the bright colors.  It is always really gray in the winter and boring, but the weather has finally started to get a bit better and springier.  So, all the festive colors were exactly what I needed.  Even if you have to use white cauliflower, the saffron will still give it a festive color.  But having the orange cauliflower to begin with just gives an extra advantage!

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