Monday, November 10, 2014

Cauliflower-Potato Mashers, Roasted Asparagus and Peach-glazed Pork Tenderloin

We had a nice, light type of dinner tonight: mashed cauliflower & potatoes with garlic and brown gravy, roasted asparagus spears, and peach-glazed pork tenderloin. It hit on all the right notes without feeling too heavy or rich.
We get our SLO Veg box delivered every other week now, and it works out about right for us most of the time. I have to supplement my vegies from the grocery store somewhat to meet all my needs, like salad greens and more onions, but I try to plan our meals around what comes in the box. I wanted to cook the wonderful fresh asparagus before the tips went mushy, so that was high on tonight's list. Since I had a pork tenderloin to cook, I could also roast the asparagus in the oven. The weather had turned a bit cold lately, so an oven-prepared meal was in perfect order. I coated the pork tenderloin in my homemade rub and drenched it with a peach barbecue glaze. That needed 35 minutes in a 325 degree oven. I put the asparagus in about 10 minutes after to roast alongside. 
Then there was the cauliflower: I had steamed a whole head of beautiful snowy-white cauliflower the other night and had about one-third of it leftover. It wasn't over cooked, still crispy, so I figured with a little more steaming it might be good for mashing. A good cauliflower mash is all the rage now for lightening up the old standby mashed potatoes. There are dozens of mashed cauliflower recipes out there calling for almond milk, ghee, garlic and other add-ins, but I happen to love traditional mashed potatoes with garlic and butter. Maybe a half-and-half version would satisfy? So I halved four small red potatoes and put them into a pot of water to boil. When the 'taters were almost done, and added in the leftover cauliflower to cook it thoroughly. Then I called in the Hub with his big guns to mash it all up. He added roasted garlic, sour cream, salt and pepper, and milk for a creamy, savory mash. I made a light gravy using water and a packaged mix for a non-fat brown gravy topper. 
The cauliflower made the mash slightly lumpy, and I had left the peels on the potatoes, so we had a rustic type of mashers that was pretty good. Our son noticed the texture was different, but he liked it. The asparagus was tender and buttery with a very light crunch.  The pork was so tender and flavorful, it completed this comforting meal with an elevating touch.

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