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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sweet and Sour Pork

   Today I used the leftover pork I had from the pork roast from the other day. I made sweet and sour pork, as promised. Now this recipe can be accomplished in several different ways. Not working at a real job I elected to put a little more effort into it and used fresh carrots and fresh peppers, although you can certainly use canned or frozen carrots and frozen green pepper if you so desired. I also thought in honor of No Salt week it would be better if I used fresh, although I don't usually use canned carrots anyway, as they become mushy long before I like them to.
   So, I pulled out my trusty mandolin. If you don't have a mandolin, it is another item I wholeheartedly recommend; but I must caution you to ALWAYS use the hand protector--promise me you'll use the handle thingy to hold the vegetables. Okay, then.
  I scrubbed two carrots with a vegetable scrubber, sliced both the bottom and top off on an angle and whipped them over the mandolin. Done, and fast!

   I put the carrots in about and inch of water and simmered them for about 7 minutes. They still had a bite to them, but not crunchy. For reasons unknown to me, my family doesn't like crunchy carrots in their meals, except of course, raw carrots with dip,but that's a different blog, somewhere.
   While the carrots were cooking, I cut up a pepper into about 3/4 inch pieces, drained the juice from a can of pineapple chunks, reserving the juice in a measuring cup, and cut up the cooked pork into about 3/4 inch cubes. (I had to make sure there was no sauerkraut remnants left behind, also).
   When the carrots were done I drained them and set them aside for a bit. I beat two eggs with a fork and poured them over the pork in a small bowl. Sprinkled 1/4 cup cornstarch over the pork and, with a spoon, gently tossed the pork around in the cornstarch and egg to nicely coat it all.
   Then you heat a large skillet (10 inch will do) over high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, not olive for this application, When the oil ripples toss in the coated pork and move it around with a flat spatula. Here you are browning the coating without trying to remove it from the pork. Flip the pieces over and over until they are light golden brown. Remove the pork and keep warm nearby. 
   To the reserved pineapple juice add enough pineapple OR orange juice to measure 2 cups. Add it to the skillet, add 3/4 cup of sugar (the sweet) and 2/3 cup of cider vinegar (the sour), 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, whatever brand you like. Stir in the green pepper. Cover and simmer 3 minutes. Add the carrots, cover, and simmer while you get 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water mixed in a small cup.Remove cover and slowly stream the cornstarch-water mixture into the simmering pot, stirring to avoid lumps. (here you can use your own judgment: if you want your sauce thicker, go ahead and mix and add more cornstarch-water mixture). When you get the sauce how you like it toss in the warm pork, and the pineapple chunks from the can (unless of course, you were REALLY good and used fresh--you get the idea). Stir and heat through. Serve over white or fried rice, with additional soy sauce and Chinese noodles, which are totally optional.
   Hubby told me that I haven't lost my touch, it was perfect--AGAIN! 
   Touchdown, AGAIN! 

Hope you enjoy yours. Hey, how about telling me how yours turned out?

Sweet and Sour Pork (can also use Chicken)

  • 3 cups cooked cut up boneless pork or chicken
  • 1 cup sliced cooked carrots (or 1-2 cans drained well)
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch-separated
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 can pineapple chunks in juice
  • about 1 cup of pineapple or orange juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • Cooked rice or cooked fried rice
Heat oil in 10 inch skillet. Toss the pork or chicken with the beaten egg in a small bowl, Sprinkle with cornstarch and gently toss to coat. Add pork to the hot oil and stir it around with a spatula, browning all sides. Remove pork and keep warm. Add enough pineapple or orange juice to the reserved juice to equal 2 cups, add to skillet. Add the sugar, the vinegar, and the soy sauce, stir to mix completely. Add the green pepper, cover and simmer 3 minutes, add the carrots, cover and simmer another 2 minutes. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons water to make a medium thick slurry.  Swish it into the skillet, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. When you achieve the thickness you like, add the pork and the pineapple. Stir and heat through. Serve over rice or fried rice.

This would probably work with shrimp, as well. I would try using one pound of completely peeled and deveined shrimp, whatever size you prefer.

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