Sweet Toppings & Salty Sides…

pork-w-datesI’m pretty much obsessed with Figs & Dates…if they weren’t so expensive, I would buy a pound a week, but between that and my weekly intake of almonds, cashews, and berries, I have to cut my losses somewhere. Last night however, I decided to make fresh dates the focus (they were cheaper than the figs), while bringing back the usual seared pork chops (boneless this time), with a new twist on our usual roasted cauliflower. I tossed the cauliflower in a easy mustard mix beforehand, and I have to say, I don’t think I will ever look back; it’s mustard from here on out! This dish was great, because the entree was very sweet, but it was paired with a tangy salty vegetable, adding a nice zing! Overall, a fast dish to make, as Char was down by 7pm, and dinner was served by 7:20pm (we put the veggies in to roast around 6:40- and started the pork at 7-to help you plan).

Below are a few pics of our NY Orchard adventure yesterday. Our original intent was to pick apples, but they were sold out. We did, however, bring back some beautiful pumpkins, to use for a delicious soup. That recipe is to coming soon! Char had a fantastic time touching literally every pumpkin she could get her hands on…

Caramelized Dates Over Pork Chops with Mustard Roasted Cauliflower:

Ingredients: serves 2

  • 2 boneless pork chops (about 1lb each)
  • 4 garlic cloves; chopped
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (used through out)
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of dates; chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of cauliflower; chopped
  • spices for pork chop: 1 table spoon of salt, pepper, and Ras Al Hanout.
  • spices for mustard cauliflower: 2 table spoons each of salt, pepper, spicy mustard, honey mustard, and Dijon mustard


For the cauliflower: start with this, since it has to bake

  1. In a mixing bowl add 2 table spoons of olive oil and mustard spice mix. I tend to pull what ever expensive mustard we have in the fridge at the moment-the stronger the better).
  2. Toss chopped cauliflower in bowl with mustard mix. Add to baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and more olive oil.
  3. Bake in over on 450F, for 40 minutes.

For the Dates Topping:

  1. On low heat in sauce pan simmer olive oil and garlic for a few minutes until tender.
  2. Add balsamic dressing and dates, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock and spice mix and let simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before serving.

For the Pork Chops:

  1. Generously season pork chops on both sides with salt, pepper, and Ras Al Hanout.
  2. Heat oven-proof frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add 1 tsp of butter + 1 tsp olive oil, spreading to cover the pan Add pork chops, allowing to sear ~3 mins (make sure a nice crust has formed). Flip pork chops and sear other side, ~ 3 mins.
  3. Put the pork in the oven, allowing to roast for ~10 mins, or until inside of the pork is cooked to medium. Remove from heat, and allow to rest for 5 mins.
  4. Add date toppings over pork chops and serve.



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