Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Five Spice Minced Pork Cattails with Sweet Chile Lotus Root and Seared Radicchio

     Tasty Ground Pork Skewers!
     Today's ground pork skewer recipe is street vender style food that is jazzed up a little bit, so it can be served as an appetizer.  Fancy presentations of street food have been trendy restaurant items in recent years.  All it takes is a little imagination to make something like minced pork skewers look good on a plate.      
     In a descriptive sense, the minced pork on the skewer does resemble a cattail reed plant.  As one can imagine, calling minced pork skewers by the name "Cattails" might send a mixed message when reading a menu.  On the other hand, the modern dining public has become somewhat accustomed to weird food names in eccentric noodle house style restaurants.  So, "Cattails" it is!

     Daikon Radish Thread Salad:
     This recipe yields 1 garnishing portion. 
     Step 1:  Use a zester or fluter tool to cut about 2/3 cup of long thin threads of peeled fresh daikon radish.
     Step 2:  Place the thin daikon radish threads in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of pure sesame oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 6 to 8 whole cilantro leaves.
     Step 3:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Place the salad in a container and chill till it is needed.

     Sweet Chile Lotus Root:
     This recipe yields 1 garnishing portion.
     Step 1:  Boil 10 to 12 thin slices of peeled lotus root in a sauce pot over high heat.
     When the lotus slices are cooked al dente, remove them from the pot and set them aside.
     Step 2:  Drain the water out of the pot.
     Place the sauce pot over low heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Add the blanched lotus root slices.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of Korean style Red Serrano Chile Pepper Paste.  (sambal)
     Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
     Stir the ingredients.
     Step 3:  Gently simmer and reduce till the chile sauce clings to the lotus root slices.  
     Keep the sweet chile lotus root slices warm on a stove top.  

     Five Spice Minced Pork Cattails:
     This recipe yields 2 skewers.
     The minced pork skewers can be roasted in an oven or grilled on a cast iron griddle.
     Step 1:  Soak 2 long bamboo skewers in water.
     Step 2:  Place 6 ounces of ground pork in a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of Chinese Hot Chile Powder.
     Add 2 pinches of 5 spice powder.
     Add 2 pinches of ground ginger.
     Add 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of flour.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Step 3:  Thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
     Refrigerate the minced pork mixture to 41ºF, so it becomes firm.
     Step 4:  Divide the minced pork mixture into 2 equal size portion.
     Roll each pork portion on a counter top to create a long thick cylinder shape that is about 1/2" thick.
     Step 5:  Press a bamboo skewer lengthwise into the minced pork.
     Roll the ground pork and skewer back and forth with your hands, till the skewers are sealed in the center of the minced meat.
     Even the edges of the minced pork, so the pork skewers look like a cattails.
     Refrigerate the skewers till they become firm again.
     Step 6:  Place the minced pork skewers on a roasting pan that is brushed with vegetable oil.
     Roast the skewers in a 350ºF oven.
     Turn the skewers occasionally, so they cook evenly.  (Use a spatula to free the pork if it sticks to the pan, so the skewers are not ripped out of place.)
     Roast till the pork is fully cooked and lightly browned.
     Keep the five spice pork cattails warm on a stove top.

     Seared Radicchio:
     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion.
     Step 1:  Cut a thick slice of radicchio from top to bottom, through the radicchio core.
     Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil on the radicchio slice.
     Sprinkle a few drops of pure sesame oil on the radicchio.
     Season with sea salt.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan or griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Pan sear the radicchio on both sides till it is wilted and lightly caramelized.
     Five Spice Minced Pork Cattails with Sweet Chile Lotus and Seared Radicchio:  
     This recipe describes 1 appetizer presentation that can be shared by 2 guests.
     Step 1:  Place the seared radicchio on the center of a plate.
     Surround the braised radicchio with the sweet chile glazed lotus root slices.
     Set the daikon radish threads next to the braised radicchio.
     Step 2:  Place the Five Spice Minced Pork Cattails on top of the radicchio and the daikon radish salad.
     Place a few decorative dabs of Thai Peanut Sauce on the plate.  (Pre made bottled Thai Peanut Sauce is fine for this recipe.)  

     This is a tasty fun noodle house style appetizer!

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