It’s that time of the year when I reflect back on the vast quantities of fudge, cake and other treats we’ve been enjoying in the build up to xmas. The cold weather in the northern hemisphere doesn’t help the comfort food cravings. While I usually do my best to eat healthily all year long I do find in January I really just want to eat a big plate of vegetables. Anyone else?
For Christmas my sister gave me a copy of Sarah Wilson’s book “I Quit Sugar”, I’ve been enjoying reading it and salivating over all the food porn. Tonight I’m going to make her whipped carrot cake porridge (it’s not actually cake) in preparation for tomorrow’s breakfast. I’ve also been reading the recipes with interest to see which ones I can knock together in the whizzy machine. So stay tuned for a couple of recipe conversions.
In the meantime, in line with my “eat more vegetables” campaign I finally got around to trying out my Sweet & Sour Pork recipe in the Thermomix. Sweet & Sour is a standard in any Chinese restaurant, though it is usually chock full of sugar and red colouring poured over the top of tiny pieces of pork encased in huge amounts of batter which have been deep fried. Not at all a healthy option. Luckily my version is and, oh my, the meat was so tender you wouldn’t believe it.
Sweet & Sour Pork
(Serves 4, about 30 minutes)
- 300 grams White Rice (Basmati or Jasmine) (Optional)
- 400 grams Pork cut into stir-fry strips (I used loin fillet steaks)
- 4 Cups of mixed colourful Vegetables, cut into similar sized pieces. Choose from:
- Red Capsicum/Peppers
- Green Beans
- SnowPeas/Mange Tout
- Baby Corn,
- Water Chestnuts
- Cabbage (Savoy or Chinese)
- Bok Choy
- Tinned pineapple chopped ( I used about 6 rings cut into pieces, reserve juice)
- 2 small Tomatoes, quartered OR 8 baby/cherry tomatoes
- Fresh Coriander, chopped
- 30 grams Soy Sauce
- 15 grams (3 tsp) Fish Sauce
- 30 grams Tomato Sauce/Ketchup
- 40 grams White Vinegar
- 25 grams Brown Sugar
- 40 grams reserved Pineapple Juice
- 180 grams Water
- 1 1/2 Tbl (30ml) Corn Flour
- Place a small bowl (min 400ml capacity) on top of the Thermomix lid, weigh into the bowl the sauces, vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice and water and add about 2 Tbl of the chopped coriander. Set aside.
- Insert simmering basket, add water until it has reached about 1cm deep into the base of the simmering basket.
- Weigh in Rice, cook ~18 minutes, Varoma temp, Sp 2 1/2 (TM31) or Sp 4 (TM5). (Adjust timing to suit your preferred brand of rice).
If not cooking rice, bring Thermomix to Varoma temp with 1L of water.
- While rice is cooking prepare pork and vegetables:
- Place separated porks strips into the Varoma bowl.
- Place hard vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, peppers, baby corn, beans) onto the Varoma tray, place in Varoma and put on the lid.
- When only 6 minutes of rice cooking time remains remove the measuring cup and place the Varoma on top of the cooking bowl to steam for the remaining 6 minutes.
- Set aside Varoma, remove rice and keep warm. Empty water from cooking bowl.
- Add cornflour to sauce mix, stir to combine then pour into cooking bowl. Cook 4 minutes, Varoma Temp, Sp 2.
- Add pineapple pieces. Cook 2 mins, Varoma Temp, REVERSE Sp 1/2
- Add tomatoes, remaining uncooked vegetables, pork and steamed vegetables. Cook 2 1/2 mins, Varoma Temp, REVERSE Sp 1/2
- Serve with rice and more chopped coriander