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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Floating Pig in a Cucumber Blanket: Cucumber Series #2

8.10.10

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Previously on the cucumber series, the idea of trying to get rid of leftover cucumbers resulted in cucumbers that were incorporated into a menu. Last week the fried egg Thai salad was featured here. Seemed like everyone loved the eggs! Well, what's not to love right? Especially melted egg yolks are good on anything (pretty much). I also wanted to thank my awesome friends in this blogosphere who have been a good support on what I've done -blog, articles on IE, Facebook page, and personal life. The friendship is growing and I very much appreciate to get to know you all. I'm blessed! You know who you are!

Cooking with the ingredients you have on-hand is more challenging than following a recipe and getting ingredients that you need. Have you watched the show "Chopped"on Food Network? With limited ingredients and time, they have to create their 3 course dishes and compete against one another. It's very interesting to see what they come up with. Thank God I had a lot of time to think of how to get rid of my cucumbers!

Today's dish is the second dish I made. It's ground pork mixed with roasted sesame seeds, chinese mushroom, glass noodle, cilantro, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, and shichimi (Japanese 7 spice powder), and stuffed in cucumbers floating around in savory soup. It's a little of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese. For short, let's just say it's Asian - hahaha. The flavor is full from the pork mix and also from the soup. Cucumber adds a great flavor to it. Even though it's cooked, I still think it freshens the dish.

With the leftover pork mixture, I formed it in mini burger patties and deep fried them. They were so good by themselves! Too bad, I forgot to take a picture of them as I was too excited to try. What a bummer. You could serve those as a side dish or keep it in the fridge for the next meals.

I hope you enjoy piggy in a cucumber blanket!

Floating Pig in a Cucumber Blanket
Yield: 1 cucumber can generate 2 dishes (you can double up as the number of guests you have)

Ingredients:

Pork Mixture -> with the leftover for deep fry. If you don't plan on deep frying, please cut the quantity by half

1 lb ground pork
1 bundle glass noodle
2 tbs dry Chinese mushroom
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp shichimi
1 English cucumber, quartered, peeled, and seeded

Soup: for 2
2 cups vegetable stock or any stock you have on hand
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp mirin
1 tbs sake
salt to taste


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Directions:
  • Steep Chinese mushroom and glass noodle in warm water in a seperate bowl for at least half hour to an hour. Make sure murshroom is rehydrated and glass noodle is soft.
  • Mix ground pork with sesame seeds, mushroom, noodle, cilantro, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, shichimi. Use hands to mix the ingredients.
  • Cut cucumber into 2" long, peel, and use small spoon and knife to remove seeds and meat. The ideal is to create a big hole and make cucumber not too thick (please see photo).
  • Stuff pork mixture into prepared cucumbers as much as you can. Make sure it's stuffed tight and let it hang out top and end tips a bit.
  • Heat up a medium sauce pan with vegetable stock or any stock you have on hands. When it boils, add mirin, sake, and black pepper. Bring it to boil.
  • Add stuffed cucumber, and let it cook for 10-15 mins until the pork is cooked
  • Divide into 2 bowls, and pour stock into just a quarter of the bowl. It's not a soup, so you don't need to add a lot to it.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

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Shredded Chinese mushroom after rehydrated

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Pork mixture

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Getting ready for a hot tub

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Ahh...

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Yum!

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33 comments:

Subterfuge Diva said...

Just for the title alone, I would click on this post. But after reading it, wow, I'm blown away by your presentation! So totally creative, love it.

Lazaro Cooks! said...

T,

Smart, creative, inspired, and tasty. My kind of pork dish.

Using up leftovers can be the trickiest part of cooking. Especially when you are of the nothing goes to waste mentality. You've done it here with style.

Bravo!

Liv Wan said...

Love the title of this dish! lol...floaing pig.

Joanne said...

I love this play on the appetizer classic. Way better.

FOODalogue said...

Thanks for visiting FOODalogue and thereby introducing your blog...which I think is very good. Your photography is super. P.S. You've got a new subscriber. :)

Stella said...

Cucumber Series #2! Yeah!
Hey Tanantha, these floating cucumbers look delicious. I'm really curious about cooking cucumbers the way you did here. I'm so accustomed to eating them raw, but I've seen a few dishes now with cooked cukes and they all look really good!
I still need to try your salad though. I was going to make it the other day, as I had everything. I came home from exercising and the cucumber was gone. Cauldron Boy ate most of it! I suppose that's what I get for not buying snack foods...
p.s. I was wondering if the dressing for the cucumber salad can be used for green papaya too? If you know. There is a papaya tree near my house with so many green papayas on it, so I was wondering;)

ravienomnoms said...

Now this is just so creative! I just have to try this. I had to check out the post after seeing the title and man, I am glad I did!

Mo said...

This is so creative and unique! I love it!

Chef Dennis said...

what a creative dish! I love the filling in those little cucumber blankets! I bet it would be good in a spring roll!
I love reading your blog with all the imaginative recipes you come up with!
We are all blessed to have met you!

roxan said...

T, so creative! it's like a dumpling but inside of a cucumber! please have me over for dinner?:)

Pacheco Patty said...

I love the name of this dish! I can see a little pink pig floating on a cloud in the sky:-) This is so creative and tasty looking, like all of your recipes! I have a question though, why did you end up with so many cucumbers?? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you did. Congratulations on this wonderful recipe!

Joy said...

What an interesting way to use cucumbers.

~Lisa~ said...

Looks light and flavorful. I love all your idea's and recipes. I have those days when I need to clean out the fridge and make from what ingredients I have. So good job on this one!

Magic of Spice said...

Oh wow those are just stunning...I love the title, had to read it 3 times though (It's still early:). I don't think I have ever had glass noodles, love the look. Beautiful dish - amazing!

Marisa said...

What a creative way to use those leftover cucumbers! Pork and cucumber are two of my favs--put them together, and how can you go wrong?? That pork mixture sounds so so good! I love seeing all of the interesting dishes that you come up with, Tanantha.

Monet said...

You are so creative...and you are completely correct (it takes a lot more work to create something with what you have on hand than starting from a recipe and buying the ingredients you need) These look great!

lequan@luvtoeat said...

Hey Tanantha!

That's quite the interesting dish. "Let's just call it Asian" haha, you're so cute. I've never cooked with cucumbers before. Usually it's mixed into some kind of a salad with fish sauce (what else haha). I love the presentation as well! Thank you for sharing Tanantha!

whatsfordinneracrossstateslines said...

I love the photo and I'm sure it tasted amazing! Loving the recipes can't wait to try some!
-Gina-

May Ling Wu said...

Loved the idea. I don't eat pigs in a blanket much becuase of the health factor. Never thought to substitute the blanket.

Jennifer said...

Hi Tanantha,
this looks so lovely and summery. The Japanese have 7 spice powder? Crazy!
And I'd have to agree with Dennis, the innards would be great in a spring roll.

brilliant ;)

Ed (Weekend Food Projects) said...

Innovative and lovely pictures! Nice Job!

baking.serendipity said...

You do a great job cooking with what you have. I don't think I could have ever come up with something this creative. It's definitely the fanciest pig in a blanket I have ever seen :) Delicious!

Julie M. said...

Tanatha, this looks delicious! What a great way to use cucumbers Love it!

Emily said...

I love the creativity of the name and the recipe. When I thought you can't do much with cucumber, you have enlighten me with such a wonderful recipe. :)

Margaret Chen Doughney said...

Love the title, so clever and the food as usual looks great!

Z-Tawan said...

Oh mind, I'm loving this cucumber series and the name of this dish is just so cute. You have done an outstanding job Tanantha!

Spicie Foodie said...

Oh I love the name , that is so cute! I think your recipe would be called Asian Fusion, and it sounds delicious. I love cucumbers especially in interesting and yummy looking recipes like yours.

Foodessa said...

Well, Tanantha...this certainly constitutes a great idea...I've never thought of cooking cucumbers before. Something for me to think about. Interesting ingredients.

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Juliana said...

So funny and interesting at the same time...love the idea of "stuffing" cucumber...in a way refreshing :-)

Evan @swEEts said...

How different- I love it! It reminds me of the sushi you can get that's wrapped in cucumber instead of seaweed or rice.. so creative!

Biren said...

Cute name for a dish and creative way to use up your cucumbers.

Judy said...

Hi Friend, WOW! I missed a lot while I was away. Well, not really 'away' as in I've been anywhere, just mentally 'away'. :) This dish looks great and so creative too! Your previous post of the egg Thai salad looked amazing too! Cheers!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Love the presentation and the flavours here. Most of all, I love the name LOLOLOL

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