Roasted Eggplant with Sichuan-Style Pork
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
From Food Network Kitchens
Our Chopped Dinner Challenge this week was ground pork. We wanted to infuse it with as much flavor as possible so we cooked it Sichuan-style[ and paired it with Japanese eggplant. Chopped Basket Ingredient: ground pork]
- 6 medium Japanese eggplants (about 1 pound), tops trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- One 2-inch knob ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 2 to 4 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce or sambal oelek
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Steamed white rice, warm, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with a rack set on the middle shelf.
Use a sharp paring knife to lightly score the flesh of each eggplant 6 to 8 times. Place the on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant, cut-side down, and bake until the eggplant starts to soften and the skin starts to brown, about 15 minutes. Use a large offset spatula to gently flip the eggplant over and bake until the flesh is completely softened and light golden brown, about 15 more minutes.
Meanwhile, make the pork: Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add the pork and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking up the meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the scallion whites, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, 1/2 cup water and half of the scallion greens. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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