It’s a weeknight, and you need dinner on the table. One solution: planning. One option is doing your preparation ahead of time, such as making your mirepoix and freezing it for dishes you can make throughout the week. Here, we use the prepared mirepoix to put the dish together on Sunday evening. Come home on Monday, and all one has to do is pop the skillet into the oven.
2 celery stalks
Dice each ingredient then toss together. Make more or less of the mixture in the same ration (2 onions to 1 celery to 1 carrot). Use immediately or place in a plastic bag and freeze to use as needed.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 cups mirepoix
10 fingerling potatoes, halved
Juice of one lemon
3 chicken quarters
Directions – The Night Before:
In a cast iron skillet, coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. Add the mirepox and spread evenly.
Toss the potatoes with salt and paprika, then place on top of the mirepoix.
Season the chicken with salt and sumac (approximately 2 tbsp over all three chicken quarters). Squeeze the lemon over the entire mxiture.
Place the chicken on top of the potatoes. Cover the skillet with foil then refrigerate.
Directions – Day of Cooking:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let oven stand at 20 minutes at temperature. While preheating the oven, remove the skillet from the fridge to come to temperature.
Place skillet in oven and cook for approximately 55-60 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Comfort food can encompass all measures of ideas and concepts. Of course, most of us gravitate to the usual stars of the show. Macaroni and cheese. Pot roast dinners. Steak and potatoes. These are, of course, all great items full of memories from childhood of home cooked meals, but not always attainable in our adult lives for various reasons.
I recently got some bad medical news requiring me to change my diet, and while it is certainly disappointing that steak and potato dinners will be greatly reduced in my near future, there are other ways to get those same feelings of nostalgia and comfort. Enter: pan seared cauliflower. With its steak-like shape, beautifully colored florets, and tender texture, one can still be satisfied with a great meal.
First, we trimmed the head to make a steak. One head can usually produce two steaks, but as we were in experiment stage, we only made one steak so as to use the rest of the cauliflower for other dishes.
Next, we seasoned the cauliflower before we pan-seared it.
After we pan seared it on both sides (we used a cast iron to give it more of a grilled feel and because the heat is evenly distributed), we drizzled some vinaigrette on with it. We also served it with some roasted watermelon radishes (coming soon!) and a lemon slice.
This recipe is quick, easy, and great for weeknight cooking. Plus side, it’s extremely healthy so you won’t have to feel guilty for going back for seconds!
Pan Seared Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower (white, purple, or other
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Parsley (for garnish)
Cut the cauliflower to make two “steaks” out of
the head (see picture), and trim off any greens.
Coat each side of the cauliflower using one tbsp
of the olive oil in total, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika (we went heavy
handed on paprika because we love it so much)
Heat a cast iron pan on medium high heat with
the remaining olive oil. Once the pan is hot, sear the steaks on each side for
approximately 4-5 minutes or until a knife pierces through easily with no
resistance. Work in batches if needed.
While the cauliflower rests, make the lemon
Plate the cauliflower, drizzle the vinaigrette
on top and garnish with chopped parsley and a lemon wedge if desired. Serve
Juice of one lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Place the lemon juice in a small bowl with a
pinch of salt and pepper.
While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil
so as to emulsify the mixture.
Once emulsified and incorporated, the dressing
is ready to use. You can add shallots, or lemon zest in the first step to vamp
up some new flavors. If the vinaigrette is too bitter for your liking, try
adding a teaspoon of honey with the lemon juice.