Monday, June 8, 2009

Sweet & Sour recipe a blast from the past

I dropped by to see my parents this weekend and was greeted by looks of confusion when I told them I'd finally started the blog about Mom's cooking. Once again, I started explaining what a blog is, then they figured out what I was talking about and Mom rushed into the other room. Then she handed me a photocopy of a recipe from Charlie's days as a real estate agent.

Smart guy. Instead of offering Popsicles or whatever it is agents usually offer at open houses, the smell of freshly cooked Chinese food wafted out of the houses he was showing. And one even included a recipe for her Sweet & Sour Pork, and as a bonus featured a cute picture of Mom in her Safeway uniform (?).

It's sure a sign of the times. Besides the fact Mom's hair is now much shorter and has been for, oh, I'd say 10 years, she also doesn't really deep-fry anything anymore. Maybe some calamari or egg rolls for special occasions, but otherwise oil is very taboo these days.

Meanwhile, Charlie's been urging Mom to write a cookbook for years, so I hope he can at least be happy with this blog. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to make any of us any money, but perhaps we'll at least make some friends with it!

Here's the recipe (plus a few copy editing tweaks) just in case the jpeg isn't quite clear enough.

Sweet & Sour Pork
3/4 lb. boneless pork
2 T. dry sherry
Freshly ground black pepper
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
1 T. ketchup
5 T. sugar
1 T. soy sauce
2 t. red wine vinegar
Oil for deep frying
3 T. oil
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced *
1/2 onion, sliced into rings *

2 egg yolks
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. tablespoons water

3-4 lemon slices
Sliced carrots
Onion rings *

Cut pork into strips. Sprinkle with half of the sherry and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix the cornstarch with a little of the water, then stir in the remainder together with the ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, remaining sherry, vinegar and 1 t. of the salt.

Beat together the egg yolks, flour and water to make a smooth batter. Heat oil to 350 F. Dip pork into batter then deep-fry until golden brown. Drain and keep hot.

Heat 3 T. oil in pan. Add the green pepper and onion. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the deep-fried pork strips and mix well.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the lemon slices, topped with carrot slices and onion rings. SERVE HOT!!!

* Note from she who ruins Mom's recipes: This is an old recipe, so I don't know if Mom just cooks differently now or if she was trying to make the recipe easier to make. But now she would probably cut the onions into julienne strips and peppers into bite-size chunks, so about 2 inches. Also, I've never seen her garnish anything with onion slices, but feel free to do so if you like! Here's my attempt and Bryan and I both were not impressed with the raw onions on top. But everything underneath was fabulous!

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