Thursday, September 22, 2011

Picadillo filled Eggplant Boats

Picadillo filled eggplant boats

The Monkey Scientist and his roommate came over to my apartment for dinner this week and I wanted to make something that had a great presentation and was super flavorful.  I stumbled across this recipe and it peaked my interest - I'm on a huge eggplant kick lately, and ground pork is just loaded with flavor.  Plus the spice combination was so different than my usual Asian palate that I use for pork.

Picadillo seasoningPicadillo seasoning

I had just never seen such a flavor combo! Allspice cinnamon, and molasses are usually reserved for baking.  Oregano and garlic powder I'd throw on pizza.  Well, red pepper flakes I put in everything (of course I doubled the proportion in this recipe) so maybe that was a given.  It was incredible how well these spices worked together and were sweetened by the raisins.

Picadillo flavor

I also just adore the adorableness of these eggplant boats.  How cute are these?  You can serve up all kinds of fillings in eggplant, squash, or any other oblong veggie.  A big thanks to my handsome boyfriend for buying me a paring knife to make these boats.

Eggplant boats

Of course, I had all this eggplant leftover from hollowing out the boats.  I covered it in salt, pepper, and a little olive oil and roasted at 425 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes, then ate it for lunch the next day.  yumyumyum  I love finding ways to add some veggie to my now usual lunch of homemade PB and jelly.

Picadillo - not cooked yet!Picadillo, pre-evaporationPicadilloPicadillo filled eggplant boats- pre-baking

So, did I mention this recipe was awesome?  It totally filled my eggplant craving (which is endless) while filling me up with flavor.  I tried to eat only 2 halves and give each of the boys 3 halves, but I could not stop picking at the filling off of the Monkey Scientist's plate.  Ok and his roommate's plate too.  It's warm and hearty, just delicious.  Plus the presentation is really pretty.  I'd definitely recommend making this next time you want to impress a new date or a dinner party (it would be easy to multiply!)

Picadillo filled eggplant boat

Picadillo filled Eggplant Boats
slightly adjusted from Healthy Delish on tablespoon

1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground pork
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 c water
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp molasses (it helps to spray the measuring spoon with Pam)
1/4 c raisins
3 small graffiti/Japanese eggplants

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until just softened, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the ground pork and spices.  Mix well and break up the pork with the side of your wooden spoon.  Cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.

3. Add the water, tomato paste, vinegar, molasses, and raisins.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid has evaporated (you may need to turn it back up to medium) and the flavors come together, about 5 minutes.

4. Cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise.  Use a sharp pairing knife to carefully hollow out the center of each eggplant half, creating the boats. (Save the extra eggplant to roast for lunch!)  Fill each eggplant half with picadillo (the meat filling).  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-30 minutes, or until eggplant is cooked through.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I believe I need to make this. ASAP. Hopefully I'll have some eggplant in my box tonight! (Thanks again for linking over to this!)