WalMart Search

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cooking 4 Guys - Sweet and Sour Whatever

Does anyone remember when sweet and sour included onion, peppers, even pickles and pineapple? When it wasn't just tempura coated meat with a red goopy sauce? I do, and I used to make it in my wok, years ago. Here is the easiest way to make this for yourself at home.

Sweet and Sour Sauce, a third cup of white or rice vinegar (I use a mixture of vinegar and the juice from the pickles, see below) a quarter cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of ketchup, a teaspoon of soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of corn starch mixed with 4 teaspoons of water for thickening.
Veggies, white onion, bell peppers, carrots, and sweet pickles (I like to use gherkins) and of course pineapple chunks.
Your choice of meat, chicken, pork, shrimp, or a combination of all of the above.
A couple of tablespoons of corn starch.
All in one pancake mix (or a funnel cake mix)
A can of beer
Oil for deep frying and for stir frying
Garlic to taste if you want

Mix the pancake mix with the required amount of liquid being beer instead of milk or water. Let that sit for a while. You should have part of a can of beer, at least a couple of swallows left to enjoy.
The sauce, you can do it the easy way and buy a bottle or you can make it at home. It is not far off from a barbque sauce which I am sure many have done before. Mix the vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce and heat. Let it get to just before it boils. Mix the corn starch with the water and when the sauce starts to bubble, take it off the heat and add the corn starch mix, and stir to let it mix, and thicken. If it's too thick you can add the juice from the pineapple chunks for added flavor.
Cut your veggies into bite sized squares, the carrots, slice about a quarter inch thick, and the pickles either as slices or chunks if using gherkins. the pineapple is already out of the can.
Take the meat and if using chicken or pork cut it into bite sized pieces. Place the meat into a sandwich bag with corn starch in it. Close the bag and shake it to coat the pieces of meat.
Heat the fryer oil either in a fryer of some sort, or a deep pan heavy enough to fry in.
Take the meat, I like to use a toothpick, dip the meat into the pancake mix to coat, and place it into the fry oil in batches to cook.
Let the meat cook until the coating is golden brown, especially with the pork and chicken, take out a piece and cut it open to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
In a wok or fry pan, add a coating of oil, let it heat until you can feel it coming off the pan. Add the garlic if you are using it, swirl it around for 30 seconds to a minute. Add the onions, and carrots, cook them for a minute, then the add peppers, and the pickles and pineapple chunks. Let the veggies get as they say, tender crisp. You want them heated through but still crisp. Add the meat to the veggies in the pan and let them cook for a minute or two to heat everything up. The next step is your choice, either place the meat and veggies on a plate and serve the sauce on the side, or pour the sauce in the pan onto the meat and veggies. If you cook it together, let the sauce heat in the pan for only a minute so it doesn't start to soak into the coating on the meat too much.
Serve with whatever rice you like with your chinese.


My father would have been 81 years old today. He was born June 19, 1933. His name was Robert Emswiler, Bob, but he was known as Augie. The story I heard was that when he was growing up there was a jockey named Augie, who my dad looked like, being as my dad was small for his age, the name stuck with him.<p>
Augie was a very friendly guy, and growing up it seemed everyone knew him. He played in 3 sports at school, the big 3, football, basketball, and baseball. He used to say he was the 4th string quarterback on a team with 3 squads. He spent some time in Germany as part of the US Army occupation forces. My uncle Ed went to Korea to fight, but due to the fact that in WWII an entire family of boys died in battle, my father was not allowed into battle, so that there was always a son to carry on the family name. He came home, after learning how to operate heavy machinery and became a crane operator.
He also started a family with my mother SaraJane. Between 1957 and 1967, 3 boys, Robert Jr, David (that's me), and Rodger, and 2 girls, Judy, and Linda. We grew up in a sports minded family, playing little league baseball, and midget football. My dad coached, my mom worked in the refreshment stands, and coached the cheerleaders (not sure if coached is the right word here.) We played sports, we played games, in spite of the ups and downs it was a good time growing up.
Where ever my father went he probably left a friend. Between his coaching baseball, and football, and running a high-school-and-
up basketball program at our church, he was active in the community. He was a member of the Friendship Fire Company in Royersford, driving the ambulance for a time.
I had a contentious relationship with my father, he was a very strict man, and I tended to not listen as well as others. I did my own thing, and occasionally got in trouble for it. Sometimes it wasn't so much in trouble as 2 hard heads butting together. I remember in May of 1989, something happened, I forget what it was, I just know I was mad at him, and didn't want to see him or visit. Of course when his birthday came up in June, I was probably going to cook again on Father's day, the Sunday either before or after his birthday, or occasionally the day itself. He was the one who got me started cooking, and he bought me the wok, which I used to make sweet and sour pork, fried rice, and pepper steak. My brother Rodger's wife Cindi, had just given birth to a little girl, Tabitha, so that was the first time some of us would meet my new niece. Things were good.
Just over 25 years ago, on a Monday morning, my father was heading to a job, and a man in another van, I seem to remember the man was carrying mushrooms, but I may be mis-remembering, hit a dip in the road, and drove through the middle of the road and head on into my father's van. Due to the severity of his injuries, he was flown to the Chester Crozier Trauma Center in Chester, Pa. For 2 weeks, he lay there, obviously in pain. He died on the morning of his 56th birthday. June 19, 1989. 25 years ago today.
As I said, my father had left friends where ever he went, and his funeral was standing room only, filling 2 rooms and probably going out into a 3rd with all the people who came to the service. If we lived in a country or a time where wakes were more prevalent, I am sure his would have lasted for days.
When he died, the family was small, us 5 children, and Stephanie, Judy's first, and Tabitha, plus Kenny, Kelly, and Jason, Cindi's children. He missed as the family grew with Judy having 2 more, Jessica and Kaity, Linda's whole crew of John Cory, Cassie, and Logan, and my twins, Ben and Erin. He would have loved having them visit and enjoying the pool, and I'm sure they would have loved visiting him.
25 years has softened some memories, and hardened others, but I still think of Dad, and remember.