Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Art of Cooking Pineapple

The Art of Chinese Cooking by the Benedictine Sisters of Peking, Sister M. Francetta and Sister Regia, illustrations by M. Kuwata,1962 USA and Japan

Visualise a long, narrow room, one end a demonstration kitchen, the other end with chairs for students. At the stove stand two smiling-faced nuns, clad in voluminous white aprons over flowing black robes. Their own obvious enjoyment in their task, as they stir and taste and answer questions, enhances the gay atmosphere, and from the stove exotic odors waft across the room.
These two delightful and courageous American women came to Japan from war-ravaged China with little else than their skill in Chinese cooking. To earn their living they started to teach, and as their celestial cuisine won fame in the city of Tokyo they could not keep up the demand. For the benefit of those who were unable to attend their classes, they have written THE ART OF CHINESE COOKING, which describes the tempting variety of Chinese cooking in concise, easy-to-follow style. Here are their secrets. Use them – and good eating!” (From the back cover of the book)
Sweet-sour beef balls with pineapple and peppers:
Suan T'ien Niu Jou Po Lo La Tzu
Mix 450g ground beef, 1 egg, 1 tblspn cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, 2 tblspn onion chopped, and a few grains of pepper; form into 18 balls or more. Brown them in a small amount of oil; drain
To 1 tblspn oil add 1 cup pineapple juice and cook over low heat a few minutes. Add mixture of 3 tblspn cornstarch, 1 tblspn soy sauce, 3 tblspn vinegar, 6 tblspn water, and ½ cup sugar. Cook until juice thickens, stirring constantly.*
Add meat balls, 4 slices pineapple, cut in pieces, and 3 large green peppers, each cut into 12 to 15 strips lengthwise. Heat thoroughly. Serve hot. Serves 6 to 8.
* May be made in advance to this point

Pineapple chicken: Po Lo Chi
Dredge 450g uncooked chicken meat, cut in 3cm pieces, with a mixture of 1 tblspn cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, 2 tspn cold water, and 1 tblspn soy sauce. Sauté 1 ½ cup onions, sliced lengthwise, in 1 tblspn oil for 2 minutes and remove from pan. Sauté 1 cup celery, cut diagonally, and 10 water chestnuts, sliced lengthwise, in 1tblspn oil for 2 minutes or less and remove from pan. Sauté the dredged chicken in 2 tblspn oil until brown.*
Add the vegetables, 4 large slices of canned pineapple, cut in wedges, and finally 4 tblspn pineapple juice to the chicken and simmer until thoroughly heated. Serve hot with rice. Serves 6.
* Beef or pork may be substituted for the chicken. The vegetables should be crisp and not cooked soft.
I was pleased to find this book on my mother's shelf recently
as it brought back memories of my introduction to Chinese food as a child, Anne.

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