Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An unlikely pair

In my world and presumably the natural order of the universe, cauliflower and lamb aren't two items that go together. But when I finally sat down to dinner last night, ravenous after a small-ish lunch and one glass of red wine at happy hour, the two made quite an unbeatable combo.

Mike, Stella and I went to Austin's newest farmer's market (Open Sundays! And not until 11:00am!), and the first thing I spotted was purple cauliflower. We grabbed a head of purple and a head of white. (Future note to self: the purple is lovely, but the white won the flavor contest.) That same day, we purchased a couple of lamb shoulder chops at Central Market, and both the cauliflower and the lamb needed to be cooked soon. Together it would have to be.

Sticking with my traditional roasting methods, I drizzed the cauliflower with olive oil and a little salt. No other herbs or spices, not even pepper. They needed a good 20-25 minutes at 500 degrees. They were perfectly caramelized, crunchy in spots, tender without being mushy.

I'd asked Mike to throw the lamb in a baggie with rosemary, olive oil, salt and garlic while he was home for lunch. He forgot the rosemary, but we didn't miss it terribly. (Ideally, there'd have been rosemary and fresh lemon juice. Next time.) I seared the lamb in a cast iron skillet on high, until the garlic chips were crispy (read: burned).

The resulting dish was good -- and gone in a few short minutes. This unlikely duo will be seeing more of each other in the future, I'm sure of it.

*Photo courtesy of Mike.

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