Friday, February 12, 2010

Rosie Makes Sweet And Sour Pork.

I was in the mood for stir fry yesterday. Went down to my freezer in the utility room, gave it a quick once-over, and pulled out a pork tenderloin. Sweet and sour pork is looming on our horizon. I Googled "Sweet and Sour Pork" and found this recipe which looked pretty darn good. If you read nothing else of this post, go to that recipe link above. Looks like a lot of good recipes. Naturally, I can't follow a recipe to save my life. Sometimes this is my downfall. I really will try to do it again spot on. Mine was very good. But it was nowhere near as pretty as Rasa's.
My veggies: broccoli Been in the fridge for a while. Needed to be eaten. Not in Rasa's recipe. peppers celery Not in Rasa's recipe. onion Not in Rasa's recipe. carrot Not in Rasa's recipe.
Chop veggies in uniform pieces so they'll cook at the same time.
I trimmed the fat and silverskin off most of the tenderloin and cubed the meat into uniform pieces.
Here's the marinade suggested by RasaMalaysia. Soy sauce, rice vinegar, and corn flour.
I'm not sure what the corn flour was for but I'm liking the soy and rice vinegar.
Ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce: oyster sauce plum sauce rice vinegar Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce ketchup cornstarch sugar water
Mix all together.
The recipe called for pineapple pieces and I could not for the life of me throw out the pineapple juice, so I poured the juice into the sweet and sour sauce (approximately 3/4 cup) and I added about 1/8 cup cornstarch, mixed with an equal amount of juice. Whisk in.
Chopped pineapples and garlic. I would've liked more garlic.
Everything's ready. From right to left. Large glass bowl with tempura batter box behind and marinated pork to the immediate left. I eschewed the idea of making my own batter because I was just plain tired and wanted to get this meal on the table. So I Semi-Ho'd it with the tempura. Next time, I'll do RasaMalaysia's batter recipe. Back to my CounterScape. We were at the pork. On the cutting board with the pork is the rice to the immediate left and the chopped veggies and pan of sweet and sour sauce. Far left is the pineapple and garlic. And Rosie's ready to go.
Except. You know what? Rosie didn't want to go. I love a good stopping point. And I just got one. I have everything prepared and ready to go and I wanted to take a breather. Mr. Hawthorne had been stressing me out about this meal and he was really starting to piss me off with non-helpful "suggestions." I'd scrambled and strained and juggled, putting everything together, consulting my computer screen for the recipe which I can't in good faith say I followed, and at the same time, I'm cleaning and taking the trash out and opening the doors for Dixie and Junior and vacuuming and sweeping up all the dog hairs which are highly visible on hardwood floors and helping Youngest Hawthorne with homework issues and just doing everything Mr. Hawthorne isn't doing which is nothin' much of anything 'cept breathin'. Once again, I need a wife. What he is doing is watching TV and being oblivious to everything around him. I hate that he can do that. I can't. I hate that I can't. But like I said, I wanted to take a break. Everything was in line, ready and waiting for me. I wanted a reprieve. I deserved it. And the reprieve came in the form of Good Neighbor Bobby and Buster.
Buster is Dixie's boyfriend, sorta. I mean, if she were to have a boyfriend, Buster would be it. They give each other Christmas presents. And they play nicely together. They enjoy each other's company.
Buster and Junior have become great friends also. They're the same size. They seem to appreciate their "sameness." They love to run. They're both like running backs with all the spurts and twists and fakes and reverses. They were playing with a ball yesterday. One would capture it and the other would be intent on capturing it back. Both were quite clever at this game. Back and forth. Forth and back. For about 20 minutes until they wore themselves out. They were actually doing body slams and it was pretty fun watching them. Wish I could have videoed it but I was in the moment. Had I gone in to get my camera, it would have been over and I would have missed it. Note to self: Self, take camera with you when you take out garbage. Never know what will happen.
Buster and Bobby.
After a short visit, Buster and Bobby left and I was ready to cook.
My batter: McCormick's Tempura Batter Mix ginger ale for my liquid because it was there McCormick's calls for ice water. My ginger ale was cold. Plus I like the bubbly.
I put the marinated pork into my batter.
Heat oil in wok or skillet and fry in batches. My Mantra: DO NOT CROWD PAN
Pork in air.
Next I started on the rest.
I heated a few tablespoons of oil in my wok to near smokin' and tossed in the garlic, pineapple, broccoli, carrots, celery, peppers, and onions . And STIR-fried.
Everything is ready in under 2 minutes (You want this undercooked since it will be cooking more.) and I added in my Sweet and Sour sauce. Slowly. Stirring to thicken.
Here's Mr. Hawthorne's plate.
Rice and sweet and sour pork. And on the top right is a soy, sesame, ginger, garlic sauce I made for the California/Vietnamese/Spring/? rolls. And it's dark. And I have to shoot with flash. I hate that. And the plate looks messy. The plate is messy. I got a handful of messy.
A little better. Shit. This is what it's supposed to look like. I freakin' suck. But to RasaMalaysia's credit, I didn't follow their recipe to a T. OK. So I kinda made up my own. Perhaps if I hadn't poured the pineapple juice I didn't want to waste and the extra bit of cornstarch into the mix, my Sweet and Sour Pork would have looked like the above. One can only hope. It was still very good, but then I'm partial to Chinese.
I did something tonight I never do. I left it. The pots, pans, plates, glasses, wok, and ware.
I am truly trying to release and relinquish some of my old ways. I thought it would be uplifting and an admission of I can get past this. I can let go. I can't get past it. I can't let go.
It's not uplifting. It's not self affirming. It's crap. I do not like it. I wanted to come down to a clean kitchen the next morning and this wasn't it. Was I expecting the kitchen elf to come in and clean this during the night? Damn elf seems to work for other people in this household, why not for me?
I'm an old dog and I already know all the tricks.


Marilyn said...

Uh, Rosie? The reason the kitchen didn't clean itself is that you are the magic elf that cleans up after others.

I know, I've tried that tactic, but the morning after regrets always get me.

BTW, do you suppose Rasa meant corn starch instead of corn flour?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Marilyn, DINGDINGDINGDING ... We have a winner.

I made the sweet and sour pork again for lunch today and did the exact measurements for the marinade, batter, and sweet and sour sauce.

It's a post in draft.

And yes, Ms. Smartie, I looked in the comments on her blog, and she answered one. She acknowledged a "typo" and said she meant
corn Starch instead of corn Flour.