Grilled Goodness: Pork And Purple

Eggplant and pork are usually two foods most people are still intimidated by. Some have had eggplant cooked poorly so they think it requires a lot of preparation, and when it comes to pork, most have had it overcooked, so they may think it's bland and dry.

But in part II of his grilling series, The Early Show resident chef Bobby Flay shows that with a simple vinaigrette for the eggplant and an easy-to-prepare marinade for the pork, these dishes can be delicious, juicy, and easy.

Food Terminology:
Japanese eggplant: It is smaller and thinner than regular eggplant, but it has a sweet taste. Baby Japanese eggplants are a more tender variety. Their color ranges from solid purple to striated shades of purple. The skin is thin and does not have to be peeled. Japanese eggplants are available year-round. Good quality product should be firm, dark-colored with smooth and shiny skin and relatively light for its size. Use baked, sautéed, grilled and in stir-fry or casseroles.

Rice vinegar: Made from fermented rice, it has lower acidity than many other types of vinegar and is excellent for vinaigrettes.

The following are Flay's recipes from his book "Grilling for Life." click here to read an excerpt:

Grilled Asian-Style Eggplant Salad

Flay says, "Whenever I go to an Asian restaurant, whether it is Chinese, Japanese, or Thai, I always order their version of eggplant. Asian flavors have a great affinity for eggplant. Here is my take, hot off the grill!"

Serves: 4

8 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
4 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons

Method:
  1. Combine the garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, water and pepper flakes in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add 1/4 cup of the oil and blend until emulsified.

  2. Heat your grill to medium.

  3. Brush the eggplants with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the eggplants on the grill, cut-side down and cook until slightly charred, 4-5 minutes. Turn the eggplants over, close the hood of the grill, and cook until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

  4. Transfer the eggplant to a medium bowl, add the vinaigrette and basil and toss gently to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving.

Nutritional Analysis per serving

Calories: 174
Protein (gm): 2
Carbohydrates (gm): 11
Total Sugar (gm): 3.8
Total Fat (gm): 14
Saturated Fat (gm): 1
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 155
Fiber (gm): 5
  • Tatiana Morales

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