Friday, May 07, 2010

Recipe Five - Sweet & Sour Pork

I have not really been keeping up with the cooking from the book this week. On Wednesday I just HAD to have a chimichanga for Cinco de Mayo. What? I'm Mexican and I don't drink, so I had to celebrate my heritage somehow, right? It was GOOOOOOD , too, with lots of sour cream.

I know. I suck.

Anyway, the next recipe to try was the Sweet and Sour Pork on page 65.

The recipe calls for a red chile, but I skipped it, of course. It says you can either use a red pepper or a yellow one (or half of each), but the grocery store didn't have any yellow ones. I didn't want to only use half of the pork tenderloin that I bought (and besides, I had a friend over for dinner so we needed more food anyway) so I used the whole thing instead of just the 1/2 lb he called for. I also used two peppers, a very large red onion instead of a small one, and three times as much garlic and ginger as the recipe said I needed because I like those.

However, I stuck with the recommended 8 oz can of pineapple chunks because I hate pineapple.

Just so you know, not only is pineapple not my favorite, I don't particularly care for red peppers either. I guess I got a wild hair after all my bravery last weekend at the Iron Chef party and decided to work outside of my comfort zone. I was rewarded too because this dish was darn tasty. It's not like the typical sweet and sour pork that you pick up at the local take out joint. Instead of being battered, fried pork nuggets bathed in a sickly sweet red syrup (did I mention that I don't like Sweet and Sour Pork either? Uh huh.) this is stir-fried bites of pork tenderloin in a mildly sweet, yet tangy sauce that is the perfect consistency. It's not heavy or cloying at all.

I was really worried as I was cooking this dish that I was not going to like it and had visions of myself eating a bowl of plain steamed rice for dinner, but I shouldn't have worried. All of the flavors of the ingredients melded together perfectly in a way that I wouldn't have expected, and it worked. Bubba ate it all up too, especially the pineapple that I picked out of my bowl and added to his.

Baby steps, people. :)

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