Grilled eggplants are peeled, flattened and stuffed with sauteed ground pork and bacon. Beaten egg is poured in, mozzarella slices are added and everything is cooked together until the egg is set and the cheese melts.
It is Filipino tortang talong. But, with the addition of bacon and cheese, this humble dish takes on a new life.
Why add bacon and cheese? We’ve added cheese to tortang talong for years. But, in the past, the cheese strips were embedded in the ground pork mixture. You don’t see or feel it until you cut through the torta and the melted cheese oozes out.
Alex decided that the cheese should go on top and be visible in its full glory. And, to add texture and flavor, there’s bacon.
Yes, Alex cooked this dish. While Sam has loved eggplants forever, Alex didn’t touch them until about a year ago. She used to cringe at the sliminess. And what appears to be small seeds embedded in the flesh turned her off even more.
Then, I cooked mixed vegetables agebitashi and Alex’s perspective took a sharp turn. Today, Alex loves eggplant like it’s her best friend. And this is one of the ways she likes to enjoy them.
Eggplant Torta with Bacon and Cheese
- 3 medium Asian eggplants
- 100 grams belly bacon roughly chopped
- 250 grams ground pork
- 1 shallot peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs
- mozzarella slices
- Grill (can also be steamed, broiled or boiled) the eggplants until soft. Cool.
- Heat and frying pan and spread the bacon in it. Cook until crisp and fat has been rendered. Scoop out the bacon and set aside.
- In the rendered bacon fat, saute the ground pork until no longer pink. Add the shallot and garlic, sprinkle in salt and pepper, and cook until the shallot pieces are translucent. Scoop everything out and transfer to a plate. Cool.
- While the ground pork mixture cools, peel the eggplants. Discard the skins; lightly flatten the flesh (the back of a fork is useful for this purpose).
- Beat the eggs in a bowl. Stir in the bacon and ground pork mixture.
- Set the stove to medium and reheat the remaining fat in the frying pan.
- Lay the eggplants in the pan. If your frying pan is not large enough to hold all three side by side, you will have to cook the eggplant torta one by one.
- Spoon the bacon and ground pork mixture over the eggplants. Top with mozzarella slices. Cover the pan and cook the torta until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted.
- Serve the eggplant torta at once.