Monday, August 30, 2010

recipe for T'ien-suan-ku-lao-jou

I recently received a note requesting the recipe for T"ien-suan-ku-lao-jou (sweet and sour pork) pictured at the following link:  sweet sour pork  The dish was made last March or April as a part of our International Cuisine class.  I thought since someone wanted it I would just go ahead and post it so anyone who might want it could use it.
Hope you enjoy.
Until next time.
Happy eating.
Chef Bartosh

T’ien-suan-ku-lao-jou (Sweet and Sour Pork)
Yield: 2 – 4 main course servings or 4 – 6 servings as part of a larger meal

1 pound lean boneless pork, preferably butt or shoulder
1 each egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup flour
¼ cup chicken stock
3 cups peanut oil or flavorless vegetable oil

1 tablespoon peanut oil or flavorless oil
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, ½” squares
1 medium carrot, cut 2”x1/4”x1/4”
½  cup chicken stock
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water


  1. Trim the pork of any excess fat and cut the meat into 1” cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the egg, ¼ cup cornstarch, ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup chicken stock and salt.  Set aside.
  3. For the sauce, have the oil, garlic, green pepper, carrot, chicken stock, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch mixture within easy reach.
  4. Just before cooking, add the pork cubes to the egg and flour mixture, and stir until each piece is well coated.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250-degrees.
  6. Pour the 3 cups of oil into a wok and set over high heat.  When the oil almost begins to smoke or reaches 375 degrees, drop in half of the coated pork cubes one by one.  Fry for 5-6 minutes, regulating the heat so that the pork turns a crisp golden brown in that period without burning.  Remove the pork with a strainer or slotted spoon to a baking dish and keep it warm in the oven.  Fry the other half and add to the first batch.
  7. To make the sauce, pour off any oil remaining in the wok, or use a 10” skillet.  Set the pan over high heat for about 30 seconds.  Pour in the tablespoons of oil and swirl it about the pan; heat for 30 seconds turning the heat down if the oil begins to smoke.  Add the garlic, then the green pepper and the carrot, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the pepper and the carrot darken somewhat in color.  Be careful not to burn them.  Pour in the ½ cup of chicken stock, the sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce and bring to a boil.  Boil rapidly for 1 minute or until the sugar has thoroughly dissolved.  Immediately give the cornstarch mixture a quick stir to recombine it and add it to the pan.  Cook a moment longer, stirring constantly.  When the stock is thick and clear, pour the entire contents of the pan over the fried pork and serve immediately.

* Variation:  Sweet and sour shrimp is made in precisely the same way – with identical batter and sauce.  Shell and devein 1½ pounds of fresh or defrosted frozen shrimp and substitute them for the pork in this recipe.  Chicken would also be a good substitute.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

southwestern cuisine

Last night I was on a southwestern cuisine kick. I have been working real hard at my summer job and at home after work. I wanted food that I consider to be tasty, satisfying and somewhat in the category of comfort food.

So the menu came out to be caramelized chipotle chicken with southwestern style; creamed corn and macaroni and cheese.

To make the creamed corn I cooked frozen sweet corn in heavy cream and half and half with salt and black pepper and pureed it in a blender. At service I stirred in sliced green onion and chopped cilantro. I was unable to find queso fresco at the store but would have really liked to top the creamed corn with some crumbled cheese. The result was really good even without the cheese. I am thinking about adding a squeeze of lime next time.

Many cream corn recipes call for a thickener such as corn starch to be added to the pureed corn.  By using the bare minimal amount of cream and half and half possible you can make creamed corn without having to go the thickening process.

For the southwestern style macaroni and cheese I made bechamel sauce, and flavored it with a four cheese Mexican cheese mixture and diced roasted green peppers.  A simple concept that directly relates to classical sauce making.  That is, to change a mother sauce into a small or leading sauce we do one or two things to it:  We flavor it, we enrichen it or both.

The macaroni sauce mixture was topped with panko bread crumbs and more cheese before going into the oven.  When it came out of the oven it was a bubbling mixture of goodness with a nicely crunchy top that provided great textural contrast.
I am thinking about combining this combination of flavors and textures with a precooked protein of some sort to create an "all in one dish".  I will post the information when I do this.

Sorry that there is not a photo of the chicken.  When it came out of the oven photos were the last thing I was thinking of.  :-)

Until next time
Happy Eating
Chef Bartosh