Ray gardner, sr




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Mexican "Egg Rolls" - ☺♥


This recipe is a bit of crazy serendipity. I happened to make and thoroughly enjoy a pulled pork taco and later in the same afternoon make and enjoy some of my great French fries. Seeing some leftover ingredients from the tacos along with the deep skillet of peanut oil that I used for the fries gave me a wild idea. Why not make a rolled up taco and fry it like a Chinese egg roll?

Yes, the idea is off the wall, but I proceeded to make one as described in this Food Nirvana recipe, and it turned out to be delicious. Go figure!

The ingredients I used when making the normal taco were juicy shredded pork, an 8" diameter soft flour taco/tortilla shell, thin slices of Pepper Jack cheese, halved pimento stuffed green Manzanilla olives, diced onion, diced tomato, Sriracha pepper sauce and chopped lettuce. That makes a yummy taco. Now, what would I put into a taco that I would fry like a Chinese egg roll? Well, it is pretty obvious that the tomato and lettuce and olives would not do well, so I limited the content to the pork, the onions, and the cheese, for they go together naturally.

One thing I didn't use was any egg. Thus, to keep a rolled up taco with the ends folded in to seal the moist meat, onions and cheese, I decided to use three wood toothpicks to keep the rolled up flour shell intact. So I guess I am guilty of a misnomer for calling this creation an egg roll. Ah, well ... I was trying to get you to visualize the product by using the egg roll description as an example.

As it all turned out the end product was very much like an egg roll ... crisp on the outside and filled with warm tasty ingredients on the inside. I simply used Sriracha sauce as a dip/condiment instead of the traditional Chinese Duck Sauce or Hot Mustard.

You can have a lot of fun with this recipe, both in surprising people when you serve the food and in thinking about all the ingredient variations you might try. Best of all, soft flour taco shells/tortillas are easy to buy and easy to handle when making this dish. There simply isn't anything complicated or any steps that require special techniques or knowledge. In short, it is easy.

Ingredients: (makes four fried tacos/Mexican egg rolls, or, two servings)

4, 8" diameter soft flour taco shells/tortillas

3 cups of moist Mexican pulled pork (taken from a container that has broth in it from the making of the pork. See the Food Nirvana recipe for Mexican Pulled Pork.)

1 cup of diced sweet onion

8 ounces (or more) of Pepper Jack cheese, sliced thinly or grated

12 plain wooden toothpicks (I use the rounded ones with sharp points on both ends)

2 quarts of peanut oil in a large, deep skillet, yielding oil about one inch deep

1 bottle of Sriracha Hot Chile Sauce as a condiment for dipping

Directions:

Heat the oil in the skillet to 350 degrees F. Use a quick or instant read thermometer to be accurate. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain that temperature.

While the oil is heating cut or grate the cheese and dice the onion. Check the oil temperature periodically and adjust or maintain the heat as necessary.

Lay out the four taco shells on a counter and divide the filling ingredients evenly, making a six inch long straight line of ingredients towards one side of each shell, and leaving an unused border of dough about one inch wide on each side at the largest diameter at the center of the shell.

Roll up each taco from the ingredient side while folding in the extra dough on each end to seal the ingredients inside, then use three toothpicks to puncture all the way through each taco, one in the middle and one about an inch from each end. You should notice a small amount of moisture on each end from compressing the juicy pork and other ingredients during the roll up. This is desirable as it helps to seal the taco dough and protect the inner ingredients from the hot oil during frying.

At this point you should have four rolled up tacos that look like uncooked egg rolls with toothpicks sticking through them and sticking out evenly on both sides. Each rolled up taco should be five and one half to six inches long and about an inch and a quarter to one and one half inches thick.

Fry the tacos two at a time in the hot oil, allowing no more than two minutes on the first side. Note that the toothpicks should be made to stick out relatively horizontal. Then turn the tacos over with tongs to fry the second side, again limiting the frying time to no more than two minutes.

Put the fried tacos on a paper towel to drain any oil from them. Then immediately fry the other two tacos.

Be sure to turn off the heat under the skillet.

Serve the hot tacos immediately along with a bottle of Sriracha Hot Chile Sauce for dipping.

A small salad goes very well with this meal ... So why not use the lettuce, tomatoes and other ingredients that you would have used in making a regular taco? You might want a cool Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing with the salad.

Ice cold Corona® beer in a frozen mug is a great drink for this meal.

Enjoy!

Mexican Pulled Pork - ☺♥


I had some terrific tacos at a Mexican Grill restaurant recently. One of them contained shredded/pulled pork and it was fabulous. While I can't precisely identify all of the ingredients they used in preparing that pork I am providing a recipe for making it that turns out to be just fine. You can experiment with various fresh ingredients and sauces later to make the taco of your choice if that idea appeals to you. Lots of people love shredded pork tacos.

Actually, I just made some fabulous shredded pork tacos using 8" diameter soft flour taco shells, the pork, thin slices of Monterrey Pepper Jack cheese, halved green pimento stuffed manzanilla olives, diced onion, diced tomato, Sriracha pepper sauce and chopped lettuce. They beat the normal seasoned browned ground beef tacos to pieces! All I did was warm the taco shell with the shredded pork on it on a paper plate in the microwave oven and then build the taco with the other ingredients. Yummy! I quickly made and consumed a second one!

Note that the shredded pork and broth from this recipe can be used in many different dishes as the meat component. Note also that you can easily scale up this recipe to use an entire eight or nine pound pork shoulder without significantly increasing the other ingredients. Simply use a little more chicken broth or water. You may also want to cut the whole pork shoulder into two pieces prior to cooking for later easy handling at shredding time.

Ingredients:

1, 4 to 5 lb pork butt (otherwise known as pork shoulder)

2, 32 oz. cartons of chicken broth

2, 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes or equivalent diced fresh tomatoes

20 whole garlic cloves, chopped

4 whole fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced (do not remove the seeds) or four chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1, 4 ounce can of diced green chiles or green chile sauce

2 teaspoons of oregano (dry leaf, or, two Tbsp. of fresh oregano, pressed tightly into the measuring spoon)

1 tsp. of sea salt

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a two gallon pot and simmer, covered, until fork tender. This can take from 3 to 4 hours. If the meat is not fully covered with liquid I recommend turning the meat over to expose the submerged part once every 30 minutes.

When the pork is tender (it falls apart if you stick a fork in it), remove the pot from the heat and remove the pork to a wood cutting board.

Shred (or "pull") the pork with two forks, discarding all fat, cartilage and bone. This turns out to be very easy. If not, then the pork was not cooked long enough.

Discard the melted, liquified fat on the surface of the broth by skimming it with a ladle.

If you are planning to eat all of the pork right away you can skip this step. Okay, let's suppose you are making this food well in advance of needing it at a meal. Return the shredded pork to the pot, cover it, and return the contents to a boil. Let it boil gently for about five minutes, then turn off the heat and let the contents cool to room temperature, covered. Then put the covered pot in a cold place, like a refrigerator, for four to eight hours. The purpose for chilling the mixture is to get all or almost all of the remaining fat to aggregate into clumps on the surface of the broth. Thus, you can skim off the fat and discard it, keeping only the meat, vegetables and broth. At that point you can vacuum seal and refrigerate or freeze the mixture in as many vacuum seal bags as are appropriate for the amount of meat and broth you want to use at a meal. You can now skip the remaining steps shown below.

Place the shredded pork in a storage container and add a pint or more of the broth and vegetables to keep it moist. Save some or all of the remaining broth in a separate container, because you may want to add some of it to foods like red beans and rice and chipotle pepper at serving time.

Refrigerate the shredded pork and the extra container of broth until they are needed.

Reheat the amount of pork needed either in a microwave oven or in a saucepan, using a little of the broth to keep it moist.

The pork can be used very nicely in tacos or as an ingredient in other Mexican dishes.

Enjoy!

Sweet Italian Sausage Seasoning - ?



This modified recipe comes originally from AllRecipes.com®. The seasoning is enough to add to three pounds of ground pork. I eliminated the red pepper flakes from the recipe provided, as that ingredient does not belong in a sweet sausage recipe! Conversely, the sugar does not belong in a hot sausage recipe.

Have fun making it and eating it.
Ingredients:
3 pounds of ground pork (with 20 percent fat content)

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper

1 1/4 tablespoons of dried parsley

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of dried basil

2 teaspoons of paprika

3/4 teaspoon of ground fennel seed

1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon of dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon of dried thyme
Directions:
Put the ground pork and the red wine vinegar into a mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the pork with the salt, black pepper, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, paprika, fennel seed, brown sugar, oregano, and thyme.
Knead the mixture until the flecks of spice are evenly distributed through the sausage. Alternatively, you can use your electric mixer to do the mixing.
Divide the sausage into thirds, and form each piece into a log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap.
Place the wrapped sausage into a freezer bag before freezing, or store it in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours before cooking.

Ray’s Scrapple - ☺♥



One of the great tasty products whose origin is the Pennsylvania Dutch (Germans) is scrapple. As you might guess the name gives away the fact that the meat components of scrapple were/are those parts of the pig that we really don’t want to discuss, and the making of scrapple was/is quite an ordeal if done at home from scratch using traditional recipes (But I am not traditional!). I always liked scrapple but most areas where I have lived do not sell it. It tends to be a regional favorite rather than national or international.
Some time ago I researched the making of scrapple, looking at many different recipes, all of them complex and time consuming, and I thought … There simply has to be a better way to make this delightful stuff at home. Well, that is what Food Nirvana is all about, making great stuff at home, easily and inexpensively.
One morning I had seven pounds of ground pork that I had made from an 11 lb. pork shoulder roast. I planned to make breakfast sausage with all of it, but then my memories of scrapple came to the foreground. Without belaboring the subject I got the ingredients list from my earlier research and I modified them to suit what I had for pork and liver and what made the most sense to me regarding seasonings. I then got creative about how to process the ingredients to make scrapple easily. My first batch was really good but I made more modifications to achieve taste perfection and further simplify the process of making the scrapple.
The results of my experiments are this recipe. It is so damn good I’m angry with myself for waiting so many years to try making scrapple. Even better, it is a snap to make and I limit the fat content to make it more healthy to eat.
Ingredients: (makes about 8 pounds of scrapple)
3 lbs. of finely ground pork shoulder with some fat included (limit the fat to 10 percent by weight for the meat and fat combination). Wimps can simply buy ground pork at the supermarket!

10 oz. fresh beef liver (I normally don't like liver but it is important to use it when making scrapple, so I simply limited the amount.)

1 cup of flour

3 cups of stone ground cornmeal

2 tbsp. of sea salt

5 tsp. of ground black pepper

3 tsp. of dried sage

1 1/2 tsp. of ground mace

3 tbsp. of agar agar powder (you can buy this versatile thickening agent inexpensively at www.bulkfoods.com)

1 1/2 tsp. of ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp. of dried marjoram

3 quarts of water

Directions:
Set the oven to 200ºF on a convection setting.
If you process pork shoulder as I do, separate the meat from the fat, without worrying about a small bit of the fat that is difficult to remove. Then weigh the meat and the fat separately. Add enough fat to the meat to produce the combination that is ten percent fat.
Grind small pieces of the pork and the fat with your meat grinder, first with the large holes attachment and then a second time with the small holes attachment.
Use your meat grinder to process small cut up pieces of the liver, adding them to the pork and fat mixture.
Use your electric mixer with the regular beater on medium speed to pulverize the ground pork/fat/liver mixture and turn it into a homogenous paste. That takes about five minutes.
Add the water gradually to the mixing bowl while continuing to mix.
Add the agar agar a little at a time and mix well. Then add the flour and the cornmeal gradually.
Add all the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix for five minutes, scraping down the sides every few minutes to assure complete mixing.
Pour/spoon the scrapple mixture into four 9" by 4" by 3" glass baking dishes, the type you would use to bake bread.
Cover the baking dishes tightly with aluminum foil and place them on a cookie tray.
Bake for two hours on a convection setting at 200ºF. I use the convection setting on my oven to assure getting uniform heat everywhere.
Remove the baking dishes from the oven and place them on a wooden cutting board.

Let the scrapple cool to room temperature, covered.
Refrigerate the finished scrapple overnight or for a minimum of four to six hours to allow it to chill completely and set.
Remove the aluminum foil from a chilled container of scrapple and use a kitchen table knife to loosen the scrapple where it touches the interior sides and ends of the glass baking dishes.
Invert the baking dish and shake it gently to extract the scrapple onto a wooden cutting board.
Cut the scrapple into slices about 5/8" thick, putting the slices on waxed paper on a cookie tray, then put the cookie tray into the deep freeze. Repeat this for the remaining baking dishes of scrapple.
Package and vacuum seal the frozen scrapple in two to four piece amounts. Return the vacuum sealed frozen scrapple to the deep freeze.
Repeat the above processing for the remaining baking dishes of scrapple.
Keep the scrapple frozen until you are ready to use it.
Take some scrapple from the freezer and let it partially thaw so you can easily remove it from the vacuum sealed package.
To fry the scrapple, heat two tablespoons of cooking oil or bacon grease in a large skillet and place four pieces of partially thawed frozen scrapple onto the hot oil. Fry them on medium heat until the scrapple is crisp on one side, about three to four minutes.
Carefully slide a spatula under each piece and flip it over onto the hot oil or bacon grease and fry the second side until it is crisp, another three to four minutes.
If you are making multiple packets of scrapple keep the ones you fried on a plate in a 160ºF warming oven.
Serve the scrapple either plain or with ketchup or maple syrup. It is a fine accompaniment to fried eggs and toast, along with a nice hot cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Enjoy!

Scrapple - ?


I provided the recipe below only so you could see some of the traditional ingredients and processing methods used to make scrapple at home. Use the recipe for Ray’s Scrapple if you decide to make scrapple.
This recipe is one I found on the Internet that was the only practical, sensible recipe I saw in terms of easily available ingredients for the home cook and reasonably limited labor in making the scrapple. I have modified it based on important missing ingredients, for instance, gelatin that is normally obtained naturally in pork processing for scrapple that helps it set. I also reduced the amount of liver by half and changed it from regular beef liver to baby beef liver or chicken livers as I believe the recipe as found would be too strong in liver taste. I made up the difference with additional pork.
The recipe called for lean ground pork but I believe pork shoulder with about a 10% fat content will work much better. I also made substantial changes to the directions as what we typically find on the Internet is woefully deficient in detail and in advanced processing techniques. My final concern is that I have no way at this time to gauge the proper amounts of herbs/spices so the recommended amounts may be changed by me after the initial batch is made and tasted. I will try the modified recipe/directions and report back with results.
Ingredients:


  • 2 1/2 pounds of finely ground pork shoulder including enough shoulder fat to be 10% by weight

  • 1/2 pound of baby beef liver or chicken livers

  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour or regular flour

  • 3 cups of yellow corn meal (stone ground is best but regular corn meal will work well too)

  • 4 tablespoons of salt (I am very doubtful about this large amount of salt. I will cut it in half.)

  • 4 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons of sage

  • 2 teaspoons of ground mace

  • 1 packet of Knox® unflavored gelatin

  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons of ground thyme

  • 2 teaspoons of whole sweet marjoram

  • 3 quarts of water


Directions:
Process the pork shoulder as you would when making sausage. That means remove all skin and discard it. Cut the meat and the fat away from the bone and discard the bone. Cut the meat into pieces that will easily fit into your meat grinder, first removing as much fat as possible and setting the fat aside. Cut the fat separately for later processing in the meat grinder.
Weigh the lean meat and put 36 ounces of it into a bowl. Weigh out 4 ounces of fat and add that to the bowl. Process the mixture through the meat grinder. Then process the ground meat and fat with a high quality electric mixer on medium speed for three to five minutes to reduce the ground meat and fat into a homogeneous paste.
Bring the water to a boil in a two gallon pot.
Add the liver and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Remove the liver, cut it to fit the meat grinder and then process it through the meat grinder.
Add the liver to the pork and use the electric mixer for two minutes on medium speed.
Return the processed meats to the pot gradually while stirring.
Add the gelatin and stir well. Simmer the mixture on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
Mix the flour, corn meal, salt, pepper and other herbs/spices in a large bowl.

Add the dry mixture to the pot slowly, in 1/2 cup amounts, stirring constantly to avoid clumping, on very low heat.
Simmer gently for one hour, covered, stirring every one to two minutes. Use the lowest practical heat setting, as the mixture will otherwise scorch on the bottom of the pot and ruin the taste of all the scrapple. It is nice to enlist the help of older children or a willing friend or even your spouse to share in the stirring task as it is tiring and boring. As a labor saving alternative see the next paragraph.
One of the recipes I saw suggested doing the simmering process in an oven. I find that very interesting as done right it eliminates the possibility of scorching and also the labor of stirring. I may use this approach by putting the well mixed scrapple mixture from the pot into the loaf pans before the simmering, then putting the pans, covered with a very flat cookie sheet or aluminum foil, in a boiling water bath in a 250ºF oven, and allowing about one hour for the corn meal and flour to absorb most of the water/stock. A 13"x9"x2" oblong baking dish is one way to make the boiling water bath, but given the amount of the ingredients in this recipe I think the bottoms of two broiling pans will be more suitable, provided the boiling water is topped off periodically with more boiling water to compensate evaporation (broiling pans are relatively shallow).
At the end of the oven simmering process I suggest mixing the contents of each pan thoroughly to assure a homogenous mixture of the meats with the cornmeal and flour and seasonings. This is done easily by returning the loaf pan contents to the original pot and doing a final thorough stirring.
Pour/ladle the scrapple into two or more greased large loaf pans, filling each to very near the top. Bounce the filled loaf pans against a flat counter top lightly a few times so that the scrapple settles and any air pockets are eliminated. Let the scrapple cool to room temperature, covered with wax paper.
Put the scrapple into the refrigerator, covered, overnight, so that it will set.
Remove the scrapple from the refrigerator, carefully remove it from the loaf pans (either with a brief hot water faucet flow over the bottom of the inverted pans while holding them, or, by using a knife to cut around the inside perimeter of each loaf pan) and cut it into 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch thick slices.
To cook some of the scrapple first dust each slice lightly with flour. Then fry the slices in about 1/8th to 3/16th inch deep melted bacon fat on medium to medium high heat (keep the fat temperature close to but below the smoking point) until the scrapple side exposed to the hot fat is medium tan to golden brown on the exterior. The idea is to let each piece develop a crisp crust on the side that is in the hot fat before turning the pieces over to fry the second side. If you try to turn the pieces over too soon they will fall apart. Do not over fry, for the inside of the scrapple should remain soft.
Do not use any cooking oil spray product like Pam® as that will ruin the scrapple. Many years ago Marie used to deep fat fry commercially made scrapple for an earlier significant other, but I have no experience with that method and no idea how it would work with this home made scrapple.
Serve the scrapple with eggs and toast, keeping the scrapple warm in a 200ºF warming oven while preparing the eggs and toast. Some people prefer to eat scrapple plain while others like to pour maple syrup over it, and yet others like it with ketchup. Be sure to have a fresh pot of good coffee to go along with this tasty meal. A fresh fruit cup is also a nice accompaniment.
To store scrapple for future use it is best to freeze it after slicing. To freeze the scrapple put small pieces of waxed paper between the scrapple slices, then place them in freezer bags.
Freeze them in a deep freeze overnight and then process them with a vacuum sealer in suitable portions and return the vacuum sealed scrapple to the freezer. Due to the vacuum sealing the scrapple will store well in the freezer for at least three months.
Poor Man’s Schnitzel - ☺♥
I have always loved the wiener schnitzel served in good German restaurants. The buttery taste of the thin, pounded breaded veal is delightful, as is the hot German potato salad, or spatzle (German noodles), and the sweet and tart braised red cabbage, and sometimes cinnamon seasoned warm applesauce.
Marie used to make stacked platters of wiener schnitzel for our kids, along with lots of buttered noodles and home made applesauce. They absolutely loved it and devoured it in quantity. In fact, Marie and I enjoyed lots of it at a great German restaurant named Max’s® in Pittsburgh PA very close to the Allegheny General Hospital where my mother was undergoing a triple bypass operation for clogged arteries. Go figure.
Various folks I know will not eat veal for personal reasons, and yet others will not eat breaded meats fried in butter for health reasons. Ah well, to each his own …
Veal is fairly expensive when purchased as scaloppini slices, raw, which is the best form of veal to use for making wiener schnitzel. In 2010 the price, even in Costco®, was around $10 per pound.
I decided some years ago to try to duplicate wiener schnitzel, with pork. Let me tell you the taste and texture are so good using lean pork that I have trouble telling the difference. In fact, the pork is more tender than the veal. Most of all, it only costs about $3 per pound, purchased as a boneless pork loin roast.
Thus, Poor Man’s Schnitzel was born in my kitchen, and I have had little interest in veal ever since. Now you too can clog your arteries as I have mine, with a smile and a great sense of satisfaction from eating excellent food inexpensively. And Elmer’s kid won’t get abused and then slaughtered.
Ingredients:
2 lbs. of boneless pork loin

½ lb. of butter

2 to 3 cups of cracker crumbs

1 tsp. of ground black pepper

1 tsp. of Sea salt (fine)

1 extra large or jumbo egg

2 oz. of water
Directions:
Make whatever side dishes you plan to make for this meal before cooking the pork. Buttered noodles or hot German potato salad are naturals, as are hot applesauce and/or sweet and tart braised red cabbage. There is a recipe for the braised cabbage in the Pork Tenderloin recipe in this recipe book. I do not yet have a recipe for the hot German potato salad. Keep the hot side dishes covered in plastic wrap in a warm oven. See below.
Turn on your oven to 200º F and put a large dinner plate or small meat platter into it that will be used to hold the cooked pork. Put your prepared side dishes, covered, into the oven.
Remove any layer of fat on the pork loin and discard it. Slice the pork loin crossways into slices about 3/8 inch thick.
Use a kitchen mallet with a metal knurled or indented wood surface used to pound meat. Pound each slice of pork on a hard surface like the kitchen counter until it is between 1/8 and ¼ inches thick. Pound gently from one side to the other and over the entire first surface to do about half of the reduction in thickness. Then turn the slice over and repeat the process on the second side until the right thickness is obtained.
Repeat the above pounding process for all the pork slices, placing and then stacking the individual thinned pieces of pork onto a large dinner plate.
Use a one gallon Ziploc® freezer bag to hold enough Keebler Club® Crackers to make three cups of finely ground cracker crumbs. Close the bag leaving as little air inside as possible. Crush the crackers using the heel of your hand and then open the bag and eliminate as much air as you can and then reseal the bag.
Use your rolling pin to finish the process of crushing the crackers into very fine cracker crumbs. Add the salt and the pepper to the bag and mix well by shaking it.
Make an egg wash. Break the raw egg into a wide shallow bowl and whisk it for about 30 seconds. Add the water and again whisk for 30 seconds.
Pour half of the cracker crumb mixture onto a large dinner plate, to a depth of about ½ inch. Spread it evenly.
Dip a slice of pounded pork into the egg wash, coating both sides. Let the excess egg wash run off back into the egg wash bowl.
Lay the pork slice on top of the cracker crumb mixture, then put a generous coating of the cracker crumbs on top of the pork slice, then press down with your hand to cause cracker crumbs to adhere to the pork slice on both sides.
Remove the pork slice, holding it above and shaking it gently to get excess cracker crumbs to fall back onto the cracker crumb plate.
Put the breaded pork slice onto a separate large plate.
Spread the cracker crumbs that are on the plate evenly and repeat the above process starting with dipping a pork slice into the egg wash, until all the pork slices have been breaded and placed on top of each other on a plate. Add cracker crumb mixture as necessary to keep a generous layer of cracker crumbs on the plate used to bread the pork slices.
Use a large non-stick skillet and heat it on medium heat with ½ stick of butter.
When the butter has melted and is starting to bubble, place as many pieces of the breaded pork into the skillet as you can, only one deep, but do not let the slices touch each other. After two minutes turn the slices over with a wide spatula. Remove the warming plate/platter from the oven. Cook the pork for two minutes on the second side and remove the finished pork/schnitzel pieces to the warmed plate or small meat platter, and then return the plate/platter to the warming oven.
Clean the skillet quickly with hot water to remove crumb residue, and wipe it dry with a paper towel. Return it to the stove. Add ½ stick of butter and repeat the above cooking process until all of the slices of raw breaded pork have been cooked and placed on the warming plate/platter.
Discard any unused egg wash or cracker crumb mixture. Do not reuse them.
Serve the schnitzel and the side dishes you prepared earlier.
Your guests will be very happy.

Pork and Shrimp Egg Foo Yung Soufflé - ☺♥


One of the neatest things about cooking Chinese food is that there are so many alternative recipes/ingredients for different dishes and alternative ways of cooking them. The various versions of Egg Foo Yung are many and they can be Wok Stir Fried then skillet fried or deep fried. Even the sauces used with that dish vary.
The result of all the variation is to stimulate the chef to think about and to select and create variants of the basic dishes to achieve particular results. As I have tasted many variations in different restaurants over many years I have developed my own set of standards. I started making pork egg foo yung in the 1970’s as a result of learning so much from my wonderful friend Dora Clark who was Chinese and a great cook.
My early success was nice but there was a hiatus from Chinese cooking of twenty years as I was learning about different cuisines. A few years ago I again made pork egg foo yung and I was pleased with the result. Alas, my wife Marie did not care for any kind of Chinese food so I did not repeat my success. Then about a year ago I tried making it for my present wife, Janet, and it was a failure. Worse, I couldn’t initially figure out what went wrong. All I knew was that the puffy pancake effect didn’t happen and I wound up with scrambled eggs and too many other ingredients.
It is obvious that balance is necessary across all the ingredients for the egg to hold the mixture together. But recently I decided to make a pork and shrimp egg foo yung using my new (at least to me) Chinese cookbook. The recipes and variety of possible ingredients really piqued my interest. Beyond that I remembered my recent failure and I went into think mode to figure out how to make a truly superior egg foo yung with lots of filling ingredients and with a resulting attractive presentation.
This recipe is the result of my musings and an example of cooking creativity. My recipe is even healthier than those found in my new Chinese cookbook as I use less peanut oil than required for frying egg foo yung. What I did was realize that the dish could be made like miniature soufflés simply by adding some half and half to the raw beaten eggs. This is atypical of Chinese cooking as dairy products, especially milk products, are seldom used, for Chinese people often have difficulty digesting milk products. Then I used a non-stick mini bundt tray with six openings that each hold between a cup to a cup and a half of product in volume. I am grateful that Marie acquired the tray sometime in the past. Do note that cupcake trays could also be used.
Eureka! No longer did I have to create the pancakes of typical egg foo yung or worry about them holding together during frying. If fact, the frying of the egg mixture was eliminated entirely. All I did was lightly spray the non-stick mini bundt openings with Pam®. Then I simply ladled the egg and other ingredients mixture into the pan openings and baked them at 350º F for fifteen minutes. They came out totally perfect, they were attractive, and the bundt opening in the center of each serving was ideal for holding some of the sauce I made to pour over the egg foo yung. Now I am most pleased to offer this recipe to you as I know it is very superior.
Oh, before I forget, white rice is a perfect accompaniment for this dish. You may want to cook the rice first. 
Ingredients:
Sauce:
1 tsp. of sesame oil

1 cup of chicken broth

1 ½ tsp. of cornstarch

1 tsp. of soy sauce
Egg, meat, shrimp and vegetable mixture:
½ lb. of raw lean pork (one thick pork chop), shaved and chopped, all fat removed

½ lb. of raw deveined shelled medium size shrimp cut into slivers

1 baby bok choy, chopped fine with green areas removed (about ½ cup)

1 small stalk of celery, diced

¼ cup of sweet onion, shaved thin

1/3 cup of canned bean sprouts

1/3 cup of canned bamboo shoots, chopped

1 cup of fresh oyster mushrooms, chopped fine

2 scallions, finely diced, green areas included

8 jumbo eggs (or 10 extra large or 12 large)

¼ cup of half and half

¼ tsp. of black pepper

½ tsp. of sea salt

2 tbsp. of soy sauce

3 tbsp. of peanut oil
Directions:
Turn one oven on and set it at 350º F. Turn a second oven on and set it at 200º F. Put a serving plate into the second oven.
Make the sauce by putting all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and heating it to boiling on medium heat while stirring. When the sauce clarifies and thickens it is done and it can be poured into a one and one half cup serving bowl, which should be placed on a saucer and put into the warm 200º F oven.
Prepare the pork and the shrimp as described above in the ingredients list. Use a wooden cutting board and a very sharp knife. Set them aside.
Prepare all of the vegetables as described in the list of ingredients and put them into a one quart bowl. Add the salt and pepper and soy sauce to the bowl.
Mix the eggs using an electric mixer on medium high speed for two to three minutes. Add the half and half and continue mixing for one minute. Set the mixture aside.
Put the peanut oil into a large Wok and heat the Wok on high heat until the oil is very hot. You can test how hot the oil is by putting a tiny piece of pork in it and seeing if it fries instantly. I much prefer doing that as an alternative to waiting for the oil to smoke, which I consider to be pointless and potentially dangerous. Put all of the pork into the oil and stir fry it rapidly with a thin hard polymer slotted spoon until it is no longer pink.
Add the shrimp to the pork and stir fry the mixture rapidly until the shrimp is pink.
Add all of the vegetables/seasonings and mix them well with the pork and shrimp and stir fry the mixture for one minute. Cover the Wok with a lid and adjust the heat to medium and let the mixture steam for three minutes.
Pour the stir fried mixture onto a large plate and let it cool to close to room temperature. Mix it gently a few times during the cooling period of about ten minutes to get the warmer parts exposed to air to aid the cooling process.
Add the cooled stir fried mixture to the egg and half and half mixture and stir well.
Spray a small amount of Pam® onto the surface of six mini bundt pan openings.
Stir the egg foo yung mixture to assure even distribution of the ingredients and ladle equal amounts of the mixture into the bundt pan openings.
Bake the egg foo yung for 15 minutes at 350º F.
Invert the mini bundt pan above the warmed serving plate and shake it gently. The finished pieces of egg foo yung will fall out easily.
Serve the completed pork and shrimp egg foo yung along with the sauce.
Ladle about 1 ½ oz. of sauce over each portion of the egg foo yung.
Enjoy!

Stir Fried Pork Lo Mein -


I tried this recipe by combining different recipes, with a few of my own variations, and the dish is yummy. The recipe is a bit light on soy sauce, which I chose to add individually after serving it as personal seasoning likes and dislikes matter most. Also, I decided to add oyster mushrooms, sherry and chicken broth. It was very nice.
While I use this dish as a complete meal, it is typically just one of three or four foods served in a typical Chinese meal. The recipe below is thus shown to have a variable number of servings depending on what else you may plan to serve with the pork lo mein.
Ingredients: (Two large or four medium servings)
1/2 lb. of shaved lean raw pork (one thick boneless lean pork chop)

1/2 lb. of Chinese cabbage (or Napa, which is referred to as Chinese lettuce in some recipes. Note that Chinese cabbage and Napa are actually different, but the Napa is very much like mild cabbage anyway so I used that instead of Chinese cabbage.)

1/2 cup of canned bean sprouts

1/2 lb. of Lo Mein noodles (1/3 lb. would be better for the best ratio with the other ingredients)

3 tbsp. of peanut oil

1 scallion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tbsp. of soy sauce

½ cup of chicken broth

2 tbsp. of very dry sherry wine



1/2 tsp. of salt

1 8 oz. can of boiled oysters, ¼ cup water and two tbsp. soy sauce to make oyster sauce

1 cup of oyster or black mushrooms
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 200º F and put shallow serving bowls in the oven to keep them warm.
Make the oyster sauce by combining the oysters, liquid from the can, ¼ cup of water and 2 tbsp. of soy sauce in a small saucepan. Heat it on low heat to simmering and simmer it covered for twenty minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the lid and allow the contents to cool. Put the contents into a blender and blend at high speed for two minutes. Pour the mixture through a large fine mesh sieve into a small bowl, using a soupspoon to stir the mixture to get all of the liquid through the sieve. Discard the solids left in the sieve. Set aside the oyster sauce.
Slice/shave the lean pork chop very thinly into pieces about 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick. Remove and discard any fat. It is easiest to do the very thin slicing/shaving if the pork chop is partially frozen.

Wash and then shred the Chinese cabbage (Napa).


Rinse and chop one cup of oyster or, if you have them, black mushrooms.


Add the lo mein noodles to a pot of boiling salted (1/2 tsp. salt) water (about 2 quarts) and boil for about two to three minutes.


Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water. Mix them with 1 tbsp. of peanut oil and set them aside.


Heat 2 tbsp. of peanut oil in a wok over high heat until it is fragrant/almost smoking.


Stir fry the raw pork over high heat until it is no longer pink. That should take about two minutes, stirring quickly and continuously.


Add the scallion and stir fry for an additional minute.

Add the Chinese cabbage, mushrooms and bean sprouts; mix well with the pork and scallion.


Add the chicken broth, turn the heat to medium, cover the wok with a lid and let the mixture simmer for five minutes.

Spread the noodles on top of the wok contents. Cover again with the lid and cook on low heat for five minutes.


Sprinkle the soy sauce, salt, sherry and 2 tbsp. of the oyster sauce on the pork lo mein. We mixed those ingredients together in a small cup before adding them. Store the extra oyster sauce for later use in a small jar, refrigerated.


Mix the pork lo mein and toss it over high heat for two minutes.


Serve the pork lo mein hot in the preheated shallow bowls with some soy sauce in small dishes on the side.
Sweet and Sour Pork Recipes - ☺♥ & ?

I have provided two very different recipes for sweet and sour pork, the traditional Cantonese version and a Thai version that uses oriental noodles instead of rice. I know you will enjoy both of them. Have fun!

Cantonese Sweet and Sour Pork - ☺♥

I really enjoy making and eating the traditional Cantonese version of Sweet and Sour Pork. It is easy to make and very tasty, and it is a complete one dish meal. I realized that I never followed any given recipe, but instead created my version. I was attempting to clone what was served to my great friend, Dora Clark, and me when we would eat lunch in local Chinese restaurants in Wilmington, DE back in the 1970’s. I succeeded … well at least I was close. Recently I realized my recipe was missing from Food Nirvana and I decided to provide it … modified to some extent by reviewing various recipes from the Internet. Thus, the recipe below is a composite of my recipe and what I discovered from the Internet. I can guarantee that if you like Chinese food you will love this dish.

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

1 pound of pork tenderloin (you can use either raw pork or previously roasted pork)

2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tsp. of cornstarch

1 cup of raw rice (medium or long grain white rice)

2 cups of water brought to a boil in a small covered saucepan

Sauce:

1/2 cup of sugar

4 tablespoons of ketchup

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of reserved pineapple juice from a 20 ounce can of pineapple tidbits or chunks

1 cup of duck sauce (buy it in one quart quantity at an Asian market or at your supermarket)

1/3 cup of rice vinegar

1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed in ¼ cup of water (determines the final thickness of the sauce)

½ cup of maraschino cherry syrup and/or ½ tsp. of red food coloring (I use both)

Batter:

3/4 cup of flour

3/4 cup of cornstarch

2 to 3 egg whites, lightly beaten with a whisk (two if the eggs are jumbo, otherwise use three eggs)

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 cup of warm water, as needed

Other:

1 carrot

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

10 maraschino cherries cut into quarters

2 cups of canned pineapple chunks or tidbits

3 cups of vegetable oil for deep-frying

Directions:

Mix the one cup of raw white rice into the two cups of boiling water in a small saucepan. Then simmer the rice on very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes (15 if the rice is parboiled, otherwise 20 or up to 22) with the saucepan covered. Turn off the heat, mix the rice briefly and keep the saucepan covered until serving time. Alternatively, you can put the cooked rice into a one quart bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in a 200 degrees F warming oven until it is served.

Cut the pork into ½" by ½" by ¾" roughly rectangular pieces. Marinate the pieces in the mixture of the soy sauce and cornstarch for 20 minutes.

To prepare the sweet and sour sauce, combine and mix all the sauce ingredients in a one quart bowl. Set the mixture aside.

Peel the carrot and shave it into thin slivers about two to three inches long using a potato peeler.

Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the seeds and light membrane and cut them into thin slices about 3/8" wide and 1 ½" long. If you are using pineapple chunks then cut them in half.

To prepare the sweet and sour sauce, bring the sauce ingredients to a gentle boil in a two quart saucepan over medium heat, adding the carrot, green and red pepper and pineapple pieces before heating. Stir the sauce while it is heating to keep the mixture uniform and assure even thickening as the sauce begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring. Remove the sauce from the heat after one minute.

Adjust the sauce seasoning, adding salt and/or rice vinegar if desired.

Cover the sauce with plastic wrap and keep it in a 200 degrees F warming oven.

Heat the vegetable oil to 375 degrees F in a large wok or in a large deep skillet.

For the batter, combine the flour and the cornstarch. Add the egg whites and the vegetable oil. Add 1/2 cup of the warm water and then use a whisk to mix the batter ingredients. Add as much of the other 1/2 cup of warm water as is needed to form a batter that is not too thick or too thin. The batter should not be runny or thick. If it is too thin you will see uncoated pork areas after frying. If it is too thick the fried pork pieces will have a fried coating that is too thick, which detracts from the dish by masking the pork with too much fried coating. The idea is to test the batter by frying one or two individual pieces of coated pork and observing the results … then make any necessary adjustments to batter thickness. If it is too thin then add a tablespoon of flour and mix well. If it is too thick add two tablespoons of warm water and mix well.

Put the marinated pork pieces into the batter, mix gently, then deep-fry them in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the wok. Use tongs to remove each piece from the batter and shake it gently to eliminate excess batter and then put it into the hot oil. Deep-fry the pork pieces until they are golden (but not brown) in color. Check one or two pieces by cutting them in half to make sure the pork is cooked through if you used raw pork. No checking is necessary if you used previously roasted pork or if you used raw pork and intend to do a second frying. Adjust frying time as necessary to assure thorough cooking of the pork but do not allow the fried batter to cook to the point of becoming dark as that will ruin the dish. Remove the fried pork pieces from the wok and drain them on paper towels to remove any surface oil.

If desired you can deep-fry the pork briefly a second time just before serving it to make it extra crispy. That is what I like to do as the resulting crispness provides a perfect combination of different textures when added to the rice and sauce in the final dish. Make sure the oil is back up to 375 degrees F before you begin the second deep-frying. A very short frying time of about one minute will suffice after putting all of the pre-fried pork pieces into the oil at once. Drain the oil from the fried pork pieces by putting them on a paper towel, no more than one layer thick.

If you have to delay the meal then the pork pieces should be kept warm in a 200 degrees F warming oven.

Using individual pre-warmed serving bowls, put the pork pieces over a bed of hot white rice, then ladle the hot sauce over the pork.

Serve ... and enjoy! This is a very tasty oriental dish.

 

Thai Sweet and Sour Pork with Oriental Noodles - ?



This recipe is a Thai variation of the traditional Cantonese version of Sweet and Sour Pork. I got this one from the Internet and modified it slightly so the dish would look like the picture … a few ingredients were missing from the recipe provided. It is clearly different but it sure looks good! I want to try it soon and report back to you.

Note that as a Thai dish many varieties of oriental noodles can be used. I certainly recommend avoiding our traditional egg noodles in favor of rice noodles, ramen noodles, lo mein noodles or typical thin oriental noodles … ones made without eggs. These types of noodles are easy to find in any Asian market.

Ingredients: (Makes two servings)

8 oz. of oriental noodles

8 oz. of raw pork, sliced into thin pieces

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 oz. of canned bean sprouts

½ sweet red pepper, sliced thin

1/2 tablespoon of oyster sauce (optional)

Salt, to taste

Marinade:

1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil

3 dashes of white pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic chili sauce

1/2 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of vinegar

Garnish:

Very thinly sliced scallion top (green portion), or, very thinly sliced and cleaned small hot green pepper, like a jalapeno

Directions:

Boil the noodles until they are al dente. Rinse them quickly with cold water, drain them well and set them aside.

Marinate the pork with all the ingredients in the Marinade, for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil until it is very hot in a wok.

Add the garlic and sweet red pepper and stir fry until the garlic is aromatic.

Add the marinated pork pieces to the wok, then stir and cook until the pork pieces are almost cooked.

Add the bean sprouts, follow by the noodles. Then add the (optional) oyster sauce.

Stir the wok contents to combine them and add some salt to taste.

When the bean sprouts are slightly wilted and cooked but remain crunchy, the dish is ready to be served.

Sprinkle the pieces of the garnish over the dish and serve it.


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