Friday, January 4, 2013

Rosie Stir Fries. Sweet And Sour Pork.

Rosie has the pleasure of Middle Hawthorne's company.
Today, he requested Sweet and Sour Pork for dinner.

I turned to one of my trusted Chinese cookbooks,
by the Changs and the Kutschers,
for inspiration. 
(I can see the Changs,
but I have a problem with the Kutschers.)
Tonight's Sweet and Sour Pork is adapted from 
several of their recipes for Sweet and Sour Pork,
along with my own spin.

The reason I even bring up the cookbook
is because it's weird in its instructions.
Each listed ingredient is bulleted with a letter of the alphabet.
The directions, each step of which is bulleted with a Roman numeral,
 run something like this:
Cut A into 1-inch cubes.
Mix B, C, D, E.
Beat F, G until a smooth paste is formed.
Add to B-E mixture.
Cut K, L into bite-sized pieces.
Deep-fry B-G.
Mix H, I, J thoroughly in saucepan.
Add K, L. 
Bring to boil.
Add M.
When H-M is thick, add B-G.

Do you find this as confusing as I do?
And have you ever seen directions like this?

We bought this pork loin on sale the other day at FoodLion.
In addition to the savings here,
we saved another $3.00 with a coupon.

For those of you who might not be aware of this,
there's a blue machine right inside the door at FoodLion.
Scan your MVP card and it spits out coupons for you.
We found a $3.00 coupon for 6 pounds of pork loin.
We got 6.11 pounds for $12.21,
roughly $2.00/pound.

I trimmed most of the fat on the left side,
and sliced the loin into 1-inch thick pieces.

I cubed my pork.
In the background,
I have chopped onion, broccoli, 
carrot, and pepper.

For the pork marinade:
3 TB sherry
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt

Mix well.

Add pork and toss to coat.
Marinate at least 15 minutes.

Next, I made a paste
out of 1 egg white and 2 TB cornstarch.

Whisk until you have a smooth paste.

The pork is still marinating.
Before I stir-fry it,
I'll add the egg white and corn starch paste.

The rest of my stir-fry ingredients:

In case you want to know how I get carrot crinkles,
that's how.

Ingredients for my Sweet and Sour Sauce:
big chunk of ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 TB vinegar
4 TB sugar
2 TB Tamari
1 cup chicken broth
2 TB cornstarch
some pineapple and juice
some Maraschino cherries and juice

When I buy ginger,
I cut it into 1-inch chunks and freeze.
That way, I always have ginger on hand.
Also, I've found the only way to juice ginger
is to nuke a frozen chunk for about 20 seconds.
Then you can easily squeeze the juice out.

After juicing,
I ran the ginger through my garlic press.

Combine ginger and minced garlic.
Set aside.

Mix 4 TB each sugar and cider vinegar.
Stir to dissolve.

Add in 2 TB Tamari.
Mix well.
Set aside.

In a small cup,
combine 2 TB cornstarch with ...

... 1 cup chicken broth.

Ingredients ready to make the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
garlic and ginger
vinegar, sugar, soy mixture
cornstarch in broth
pineapples and cherries

I heated a tablespoon of peanut oil in a sauce pan.
I added the ginger and garlic and stir-fried for about 30 seconds.

Add in the vinegar/Tamari/sugar mixture.

Stir well.

 I liked the light here.

Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. 

I added in about 1/4 cup pineapple juice.

Add in some cherry juice.


I chunked up 3 pineapple slices and ...

... added them to the pot.

Give it a little Maraschino lovin'.


Slowly add in cornstarch and broth mixture.
Stir until thickened.
Keep Sweet and Sour Sauce warm.

Now, I'm ready to stir-fry.
I have my marinated pork,
egg white and cornstarch mixture,
and assorted veggies -
broccoli, onion, carrot, and pepper.

I heated a little peanut oil in my wok over high heat.
Add in veggies and stir-fry about 2-3 minutes.

Turn into a bowl and cover.

Pour the cornstarch/egg white paste over the marinated pork.

Toss to coat thoroughly.

Heat oil in wok over high heat.
Fry pork about 6-7 pieces at a time.
You don't want to crowd the pan
which lowers the temperature of the oil
and gives you a greasy product,
not a crisp one.

Fry in batches until nicely browned,
about 4-5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels.

Return pork and veggies to wok.

Add sweet and sour sauce.

Coat thoroughly.

Turn out into bowl.

Next, Middle Hawthorne has the honors
of preparing the rice.
Hot skillet,
tablespoon of oil.
Rice in.

A few shakes of soy sauce and stir.

Add in an egg.

Chop. Chop.

Stir fry.

And serve.