Middle Eastern Pork Chops
with cauliflower rice / harissa aioli / coriander zucchini
- Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Cinnamon, ground - 1/4 tsp
- Turmeric (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped, green and white parts combined
- Pork chops, boneless or bone-in - 4
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought, paleo-friendly - 6 Tbsp
- Harissa, mild - 2 tsp , adjust to taste, especially if using a spicy harissa
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Zucchini - 1 lb , spears or chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Cauliflower rice - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Zucchini - Slice into spears or chop. (Note: Spears are great for dipping in sauce, but the zucchini will cook faster if chopped.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make aioli - Whisk together mayonnaise, harissa (note: it can be spicy, so if you're concerned about spice, start with a smaller amount than listed and increase to taste), and lemon juice (portion for aioli). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make spice mix - Combine paprika, cumin, coriander (portion for pork), salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Green onions - Chop green onions. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Pork chops - Rub on both sides with spice mix. Tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil (portion for zucchini) and then zucchini. Season zucchini with ground coriander (portion for zucchini) and some salt and pepper as it cooks. Cook zucchini on all sides until tender and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice (portion for zucchini) over top. Set zucchini aside and return skillet to heat.
Add oil (portion for pork) to heated pan and then add pork chops. Sear pork chops on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total for thin chops and 6 to 8 minutes total for thick chops. (Pork is done when it reaches 145F / 63C)
Move pork to a cutting board and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
While pork rests, if cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat it in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
Serve pork over cauliflower rice with zucchini on the side. Serve everything with harissa aioli and green onions. Enjoy!