For my dish, I drew inspiration from one of the best meals I've ever had - the Chinese feast at Grace Garden, which I wrote about earlier this month. In particular, I wanted to pay homage to the Phoenix Purses:
For the meatballs, I used Michael Ruhlman's proportions from his book Ratio as a rough guide: 1 part fat to 3 parts meat, and 1.5 tsp of salt for every pound of meat. Using my eyeballs as an unscientific fat content measuring device, this translated to roughly 1/4 pound of chopped bacon to 1 pound of ground pork, and 2 tsp salt. I also added a few grinds of black pepper, 1 small finely chopped onion, and 5 cloves of minced garlic. I formed the mixture into 1 inch balls, and seared them in a skillet on all sides over medium high heat in 1 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp peanut oil. Once seared, I added a cup of water and covered the pan, allowing them to steam for about 10-12 minutes. (You will likely need to use two pans for this, or work in 2 batches.) I had extra meatballs which made for a very tasty sandwich the next day!
To make ties for your purses, cut very thin strips of leek (the green part) and blanch for 10 seconds, and immediately remove to an ice bath.
For the broth, for every 4 cups of chicken broth add 4 whole star anise, one leek, a large knob of peeled ginger, and a healthy pinch of white pepper. Heat on low, allowing the broth to become infused with the aromatics. When finished, strain and salt to taste. Add the purses to the soup with the broth is still piping hot, and garnish with leek, scallion, and leftover strips of egg crepe.
Natasha and Lazaro will be posting a round up of all the creative bacon and egg dishes on their blogs on Friday, February 25 - you can follow the links in the graphic below, and make sure to check them out!