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Posts Tagged ‘ground pork’

pork ball soup

I have a Korean friend who is an amazing cook – everything she throws together is delicious! I am constantly inspired by her. Here’s a dish that was partially inspired by a spicy beef dish she shared with Test Subject Bill and I not too long ago.

KKF Spicy Pork Balls with Ginger Garlic Broth

1 lb. ground pork

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 inch piece of ginger, 1 inch minced and 1 inch left whole

1/2 T fish sauce

1/2 T soy sauce

1 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 package frozen spinach

handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted with 1 1/2 c boiling water and sliced (reserve resulting broth)

2 quarts of chicken stock

2 big spoonfuls of Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

soy sauce to taste

Bring stock to a boil with frozen spinach, 1 inch piece of whole ginger and 2 cloves of garlic. Add sliced shiitakes, gochujang and mushroom water. While stock is simmering, mix the pork, the rest of the minced garlic, minced ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Form little meatballs with a melon baller and drop one by one into simmering stock. After the last one has gone in let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so until pork balls are cooked through. Add soy sauce to taste.

This turned out so well Test Subject Bill ate it until it gave him heartburn. That’s not recommended, but please do enjoy!

*Gochujang is Korean hot chili paste. It’s good for spicing up all kind of dishes and dipping sauces. You can get it at most Asian markets or via my Amazon link if you don’t have a store in your area. If you’re really lucky you have a Korean friend who makes her own and will share with you!

Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

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Eggplant Unrolled. Note the stylish 40 year old Corelle!

Well, it happened again. I set out to follow a recipe and end up doing my own thing. I may never know how an original recipe actually tastes.

Inspired by an Eggplant Roll recipe and this marinara recipe, I came up with the following Eggplant lasagna, or non- rollatini. Rolls would have been cool, but I felt my eggplant slices were too small and it would make it more work than it was worth. The resulting bake (I hate to use the word casserole) was absolutely delicious. Not to toot my own horn, but I seriously felt it was restaurant quality. This makes a HUGE amount, so this would be a good dish to make for a crowd.

KKF Eggplant: Unrolled!

For the unrolls:
3 large eggplant, sliced ¼ inch to 3/8 inch thick
1 head of garlic, smashed and removed from skins
3/4 cup olive oil
2 cups of yogurt cheese (yogurt that has had most of the whey strained out. If you don’t have or don’t want this, you can use ricotta and have the same impact.)
1 cup of cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella plus some for topping the dish
A handful of minced fresh basil
1 pound ground pork
1 t salt
1 T Italian seasoning
Black pepper to taste

For the marinara:
3 T olive oil
6 cloves of the garlic used in the eggplant marinade, minced
26 oz canned diced tomatoes
16 oz can tomato sauce
7 oz can tomato paste
½ c diced mushrooms
¾ cup red wine
1 t salt
Pepper to taste

Steps:

Roasted eggplant slices

1. Toss eggplant rounds with smashed garlic cloves and the olive oil. Marinate for two hours, tossing half way through.
2. Cook the ground pork with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cool to room temperature.
3. Place eggplant rounds in a single layer on baking sheets and put in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
4. Sauté the garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil until the garlic starts to brown. Add all the other marinara ingredients and let simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, mix the cheeses, basil and seasoned ground pork.
6. Take a large casserole dish (I used a 9 x 11, deep dish) or two smaller dishes and put together the layers thusly: cover the bottom of the dish with marinara, then do a layer of eggplant. It’s ok if it doesn’t cover the whole bottom. Put a big dallop of the cheese/pork mix on top of each round, then press another eggplant round on top (not too hard, just flatten it out a bit). Repeat until you run out of rounds, with the cheese mix being the top layer.

Building the layers

7. Pour the rest of the marinara sauce all over the stacks of eggplant and top with the rest of the mozzarella.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly throughout.

Hot, bubbly and delicious!

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