Pork fillets are pounded thin, then rolled around a vegetable melange sparked with ginger. They are served on a garnish of tropical fruit, peppers, and onions, simply dressed with lemon-herb vinaigrette. Chef Ramos offers tips working with ginger: he suggests peeling fresh ginger with a spoon to take off all the skin while leaving all the ginger in one piece, and blanches it three times to tame its zest so that it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the vegetables. He suggests using an electric knife to slice the roulades because they are delicate.
- Plantain - 1
- Oil - for deep-fat frying
- Vegetable Melange
- Eggplant - 1
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded and deribbed
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1, seeded and deribbed
- Star Fruit - 1
- Ginger - 2 inches, fresh
- Clarified Butter - 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Garlic Clove - 1 large, minced
- Onion - 1/2, minced
- Pork Fillet - eight, 3- to 4-ounce, about 1/2-inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Clarified Butter - 1/2 cup
- Pineapple - 1, diced small
- Bananas - 2, diced small
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and diced small
- Onion - 1, diced small
- Lemon Juice - 4 lemons
- Virgin olive oil - 1/2 cup
- Cilantro - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Thyme - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Tomato - 1 large, peeled, seeded, and diced small
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
To prepare the plantain garnish: Peel the plantain and slice lengthwise into thin strips on a mandoline or V-slicer. You will need 4 large fried plantain slices for garnish. Pat dry with paper towels. Put 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or deep pan and heat to 350 F. With a flat spatula, place a piece of plantain flat in the oil. Fry until it floats and turns golden brown; remove and lay flat on paper towels. Repeat. Set aside; let cool.
To prepare the vegetable melange: Cut the ends off the eggplant and cut into 1/4-inch-thick (or even thinner) slices on a mandoline or V-slicer. Cut the discs into long matchstick julienne. Cut the peppers and star fruit into long matchstick julienne. Peel the ginger with a spoon, then cut into long matchstick julienne. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and add the ginger; cook 30 seconds. Drain. Bring fresh water to a boil and repeat with the ginger. Do this a third time. Heat the 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook the garlic and onion until just softened. Add the bell pepper strips and saute 30 seconds. Add the eggplant strips and saute for 1 minute. Add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Add the star fruit and cook just long enough to soften; add more butter during the saute process if necessary. Toss the vegetables together and set aside to cool slightly.
To prepare the pork: Lay the pork slices between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or similar heavy blunt object until the loins are about 1/4-inch thick and rectangular in shape. Season with salt and pepper. Put 2 spoonfuls of the vegetable melange along the center of each. Working with one at a time, fold in a short way from the ends to hold the filling, then roll in the other direction, sealing in the filling. Tie closed with cotton string.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat the clarified butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and brown the roulades on all sides in the butter. Work in batches if necessary; do not crowd the pan. When all are browned, put all roulades in the pan and put in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meat is done through. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.
To prepare the garnish: Toss the pineapple, banana, bell pepper, and onion dice in a non-aluminum bowl. Strain the lemon juice into the mixture, then add the olive oil; the amounts may be increased or decreased, but should remain in a ratio of 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part oil. Add the cilantro and thyme and toss. Add the tomato, season with salt and pepper, and toss once. Set aside.
To serve: Cut the strings from the roulades. Trim off the ends. Spoon a circle of garnish in the center of each serving plate, then make a light circle of garnish around the plate. Using an electric knife, cut each roulade in half lengthwise. Cross two halves in the center of each circle of garnish; stand two more halves, points up, across the first ones, leaning them against one another. Drizzle with any remaining garnish. Stand a deep-fried plantain on each plate, anchoring it against the roulade slices.