Monday, November 21, 2011

Give Thanks to Those Cooking your Thanksgiving Meal.

I love Chinese food; I could go to a Chinese restaurant for days and never order the same thing twice.  One dish I enjoy is Sweet and Sour, but I always have trouble deciding between chicken, pork or shrimp; so I end up ordering the combination.  It's like getting a little surprise in every bite; ok, after a while you can tell what is what, but it's still fun to pretend.

Preparing for Thanksgiving entails a lot of work; cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing the shopping for groceries, baking the pies, and a few odds and ends.  Roy's mom and brother come up from Moab to eat with us, so I want everything as perfect as humanly possible.

So what in the world does Chinese food have to do with Thanksgiving Day?  I get worn out, so to spoil me, Roy decided to make dinner and he made me Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice.  All I had to do was sit on the kitchen stool and supervise, but he did all the work; and he did a damned great job!!! So for those of you busting a gut trying to get heaven and earth organized for Thanksgiving; step back and let a loved one cook a meal for you as their way of giving you thanks for being so wonderful.

Sweet and Sour – Chicken, Pork or Shrimp

¼ cup canola or peanut oil
1 cup each chopped red and green bell peppers, onions and drained pineapple chucks
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 egg
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups of water
2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes; or medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined; or a combination equally up to 2 lbs.
1 qt of canola or peanut oil for frying
2 cups homemade sweet and sour sauce; kept warm.

In a large skillet or Wok, heat oil on medium-high heat; sauté peppers, onion and pineapple until the edges just begin to caramelize. Remove from oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 Tbsp oil, cornstarch, salt, white pepper and egg; gradually add water until a thick batter forms. Add chicken, pork, shrimp or combination into batter making sure to thoroughly coat each piece. Heat the 1 qt of oil in the skillet or Wok over medium-high heat; when temperature reaches 360F, drop several pieces of battered pieces into the oil, but do not overcrowd. Pieces will be done when they are golden brown and float to top of oil; remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all battered pieces are done.

Combine sautéed vegetables and pineapple with battered pieces and warm sauce; serve over white, brown or fried rice.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour

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