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Nothing elevates the humble eggplant like a rich filling of ground pork and a coating of egg. This recipe can also be used for stuffed bell peppers.
Pork torta filling for stuffed eggplant
Yield: filling for 6 eggplants
3 cloves (15 g) garlic
1 (40 g) small onion
1 (50 g) potato
1 (50 g) carrot
1 (50 g) bell pepper
200 g ground pork
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil
1/4 cup (30 g) raisins (optional)
1/4 cup (50 g) cooked peas
1/2 cup (120 ml) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
1. Crush, peel and chop the garlic.
2. Peel and chop the onion.
3. Peel the potato and cut into 1/4-inch small cubes.
4. Peel and cut the carrot into 1/4-inch small cubes.
5. Trim off the bell pepper stem. Slice in half and remove seeds. Cut into small 1/4-inch cubes.
6. Slice calamansi in half and extract juice.
1. Place the ground pork in a pot. Add the water and calamansi juice.
2. Cook until the meat is almost dry. Set aside.
3. In a preheated pan, add oil. Saute the garlic, onion, potato, carrot and bell pepper.
4. Add ground pork, raisins and peas. Stir.
5. Add the tomato sauce and soy sauce. Stir well.
6. Simmer, taste, then adjust seasoning.
For each stuffed eggplant
1 six-inch long eggplant
¼ teaspoon (1 g) salt
¼ cup (60 g) pork torta
2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil
Grill the eggplant directly on the stovetop flame until skin is charred. Allow to cool and then peel. Place on a plate and slit down the center lengthwise, keeping the stem. Flatten eggplant with a fork forming an oval-shaped “boat.”
Just when ready to serve,
Crack the egg and beat. Add salt.
Spread the pork torta evenly on the flattened eggplant.
In a preheated, nonstick pan, add oil. Slide in the stuffed eggplant. Fry until done, turning once to cook the other side.
Pour the beaten egg over the stuffed eggplant.
Fry until done, turning once to cook the other side.
The best size eggplant for this dish, perfect for an individual serving, is a 100 g eggplant, about six inches long. Grill the eggplants and put a paper bag for ten minutes to make them sweat and thus easier to peel.
While pork can be purchased already ground, the traditional Filipino way is to mince the pork pieces by hand. This allows one to be more selective with the parts of the pork to be used. Hand mincing also gives the ground pork a more interesting texture when cooked.
The potato, carrot, and bell pepper, on the other hand, should be cut into cubes of equal sizes for best presentation.
The ground pork mix, or torta, can also be used to stuff whole bell peppers, ampalaya (bitter gourd), empanada and croquetas. It is also used as topping for halved pan de sal, and arroz a la Cubana. Shelled crabmeat can be used as a healthier substitute for pork.
From Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2013)