Pork medallions with crispy zucchini and cauliflower puree

You know it had to be a good restaurant experience when some years later you are still thinking about that meal, moreover, replicating it at home.  On a business trip to Ottawa, Canada a few years back I had dinner at a little restaurant called, ‘ei8hteen’.  I thought their ‘logo’ using an 8 for the ‘h’ in Restaurant 18 was novel… it grabbed me, and I went in.  http://restaurant18.com/en/default.aspx

The waiter suggested the special, an ostrich with zucchini and potatoes.  I want to say the ostrich tasted like chicken, but it didn’t… it tasted more like a rich red meat.

But it wasn’t the ostrich that wow’d me so much.  While it was good, it was the texture and combination of flavors on the plate that got me.  I loved the crunchy zucchini with the creamy potatoes, and the meaty ostrich.

Today, I make this dish at home, and would have any one of the dishes within this meal by itself.

pork caul puree_Ssi

I use pork tenderloin, with is simply dry rubbed with a flavorful seasoning, then seared and finished in the oven.

The zucchini is the star.  I cut it lengthwise and dip it in an egg wash of egg & water, then flour, back in egg wash, and in a seasoned panko (bread crumb)… then I fry it until golden brown.  The crispy crunch of it is divine… particularly with the creaminess of the side.

Instead of potatoes, I love the lightness of cauliflower puree.  I cut up the cauliflower into florets and boil in salted water until easily pierced with a knife.  I puree the cauliflower in a food processor with a little butter, cream, garlic, and salt.

Together it makes a texturally exciting meal.  Love it.

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