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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Recipe for Spiced Coffee Rubbed Pork with Cauliflower and Bean Puree-Daring Cooks

Once a month I join a group of adventurous cooks online in cooking up something new.  It might be preparing an unusual or unfamiliar recipe from around the world or trying out a specific cooking technique.

Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!  The challenge was to cook using 1 ingredient from each list:

List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas

This was a fun little exercise and many very creative meals were developed-check them out at the Daring Cooks website.

This meal is pretty simple.  I like mixing up rubs for pork and we love cauliflower mash, so I really didn't overextend myself here!

Time:  45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 center cut boneless pork chops (bone in would work too)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP ground coffee beans, cinnamon flavor
  • 1 TBSP ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with back of knife
  • 2 TBSP light coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper

  • Mix coffee, cardamom, chipotle, and kosher salt together.
  • Very lightly sprinkle a drop or two of olive oil on both sides of pork chops, then generously rub the spice mixture all over both sides (save a small amount for garnish).  Let meat rest at room temperature.
  • Bring water to a boil and add cauliflower and garlic.
  • Cook cauliflower until very soft, about 30  minutes; throw beans in last 2 minutes to heat, then drain and add cauliflower, garlic and beans to food processor with coconut milk, salt and pepper.
  • Process veggies until very smooth.
  • About 15 minutes before veggies are finished cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees and heat a heavy oven proof pan (I used my cast iron skillet) over medium-high on the stove top.
  • When pan is hot, sear pork chops 1 minute each side then place pan carefully in to the oven.
  • Cook for 5-8 additional minutes in the oven, depending on thickness of chops.  
  • Finish cooking, drain, and prepare cauliflower while pork chops are in oven.
  • Slice chops and serve over pureed cauliflower/bean mixture.  Garnish with a few sprinkles of the left over rub.

The hint of coconut in the puree complemented the chipotle and cardamom flavors of the pork.  The coffee was a background nuance.  I might actually add some additional cinnamon next time as that flavor didn't really come through (so if you don't have flavored coffee don't worry!).

Other Daring Cook's Challenges I've participated in:
Indian flavored squash patties
Beef braised in Rooibos tea
Char sui bao
Braised scallops