Friday, August 30, 2013

Cauliflower with Scallions and Ham

I guess I am on a vegetable kick. I've been craving them and cooking them a lot since I've  gotten home from LA. I realized tonight that I've made this dish many times and never posted it so I am rectifying that oversight. Cauliflower is a favorite vegetable of mine. I like how it can change so easily based on how you cook it. I've mashed it like potatoes and chopped it up to make a salad. I roast it and stir fry it. Cauliflower is another brassica that contains anti cancer properties and in Chinese Medicine, it is said to strengthen the spleen and lubricate the intestines. So like most vegetables, it is really healthy and I want to give you more ways to make it even more delicious.

This dish is an Asian and an American Southern fusion. In China, they eat a lot of ham that tastes a lot like Virginia Ham.  And that's the ham of choice for Chinese cooks in America.  It's a very dry and salty ham and I like it and use it, especially in soups. But a number of years ago, I discovered Country Ham from Tennessee and it is has since become my favorite. It has a softer texture and is also very salty and just has a taste that I can't resist. To be honest, I like it better than bacon. So, I substitute Country Ham in this classic Chinese dish and in almost every other Chinese dish that requires a bit of ham. If you can't find Country Ham, you can replace it with any really salty ham, but I would recommend either using the more traditional Virginia Ham or any unsmoked bacon - even salt pork or pancetta can be used. This dish starts as a simple stir fry that requires some chicken broth to braise steam the cauliflower.  It takes only minutes to make and I've been known to eat only this for lunch because I love it so much.  

Cauliflower with Scallions and Ham

1 large head of cauliflower, florets cut off the stalk and cut into bite sized pieces
5 green onions/scallions, root end cut off and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of diced Country Ham
1/2 cup diluted chicken broth (3/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup water)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Heat oil in a wok and add in green onions and Country Ham. Cook until the green onions just start to brown and the Country Ham changes to a more opaque color.  Add in the Cauliflower and stir to coat with oil. Pour in chicken broth and keep tossing cauliflower. Cook until the chicken broth is nearly evaporated and the cauliflower is tender but still crunchy.  If you like softer cauliflower, add a bit more chicken broth and cook longer.

Five Element Analysis

Cauliflower is a white vegetable so it belongs to the Metal Element. The green onions/scallions add even more metal so this is a primarily Metal dish. The Country ham brings in the Water Element and the Chicken Broth contributes the Wood Element.  So, serve this dish in a meal that needs more Metal and with other foods that cover the missing Earth and Fire Elements.  

No comments:

Post a Comment