Monday, August 27, 2012
Pork /Eggplant Lettuce Wraps
It's pretty rare when I cook with pork. I can't pinpoint why I have a stigma about it. But, you soon get over it after you've had a good bolognese sauce or tagliatelle with wild boar. That's in the "pig family", right? Occasionally I may fix a stuffed pork loin roast, but I'm not into the "baconator craze". As a matter of fact, I don't think I've had bacon in years! How un-American! When a recipe calls for bacon, I usually substitute pancetta. Oh wait, that's just Italian bacon!
While practicing to make a perfect bolognese sauce (the best I've eaten was in Costa Rica, go figure!) I had ground pork that's been in the freezer. I also had some Japanese eggplant from the farmer's market. Lettuce wraps it would be! This was not a planned meal where you go to the store to buy certain ingredients. I do things backwards. I create meals from what I have most of the time. It's more fun that way. My hubby doesn't seem to mind me experimenting on him!
Pork/Eggplant Lettuce Wraps
3/4 - 1 lb. of ground pork
about 3 small - medium size Japanese eggplants, cubed
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup broth (I used chicken)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Chinese stir fry sauce (I would have used Hoisin, but alas, I had none)
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sriracha hot chili sauce
6-8 dried prunes, chopped (optional, but adds a sweetness)
1 tsp dried cilantro
In a large skillet, brown the pork. Then add the eggplant, onions and water. Cook on medium heat until eggplant starts to soften, stirring often. Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover (not tightly). Stir every 5 minutes, watching the liquid. You may need to add more water or broth to keep from sticking. Cook for about 30 minutes. Eggplant should be a bit mushy, but the flavors are more saturated.
Have some romaine or butter lettuce leaves ready. This recipe makes about 5-6 wraps with 2 Tbsp of filling per wrap. Garnish with sesame seeds if you wish. I would have added chopped peanuts for a garnish but I didn't have any.
NOTE: You could also try with ground chicken or turkey. Might not be too bad!