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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Sweet & Sour Pork

Crispy tempura pork topped with this lovely sauce. Skip the take out box and eat in tonight.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated (using Microplane grater)
  • 1 – 20 ounce can diced pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, large diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, large diced (or red, yellow, or orange bell peppers)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Place water, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, garlic, and juice from the can of pineapple (set pineapple aside for later) in a large saucepan. Whisk together until cornstarch has dissolved. Heat over medium-high heat until becomes a lovely, thick sauce. Stir in pineapple, onion, and peppers. Set aside until pork is finished cooking. Reheat if necessary before serving.

Breaded Pork

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg

Pork Tenderloin Tip

Pork tenderloin may come in a large package of 2.5 pounds. If this is the case, just slice the remaining pound and freeze for pork chops later.


Preheat canola oil for frying in a small deep fryer to 365-375°F. If you’d rather, you can heat it in a heavy duty pan and use a thermometer. While waiting for oil to heat up, cut pork into long, thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick) then set aside. Thinner is better because they are able to fully cook during the frying process.

Food Safety Tip

Pork must reach 145°F in the middle to be safe for eating. 

Place milk, 3 T. oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. The mixture should be thick but nice & smooth. Allow tempura mixture to sit while oil finishes heating up.

When frying oil reaches at least 365°F, coat a piece of pork with tempura mixture and carefully place in fryer. Repeat with one or two more pieces. Do not crowd fryer because if you do, your pork sticks together during cooking or will cool down your oil too much. Consequently, oil that has cooled down too much will make for soggy breading rather than a lovely crunchy coating.

Cook pork pieces for about 4 minutes. Use a utensil that’s safe in hot oil to move pork pieces around a bit during the cooking process so they are cooked on all sides. The coating should be a beautiful golden brown and the pork inside should be fully cooked.

Of course, you can dice up some chicken and make sweet & sour chicken with this same recipe. Look at talented you!

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook pork and stir into sauce. 

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Almond Fried Chicken Recipe

I’ll have the almond fried chicken, please.

almond fried chicken

Almond Fried Chicken Ingredients

Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 2 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Boullion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered, chopped, or sliced almonds

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, first whisk in flour. Cook for a few minutes while whisking. Whisk in chicken stock, Better Than Boullion, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and some salt.


Cook until gravy thickens into a nice, light brown sauce. Keep warm until ready to use.

Breaded Chicken

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat canola oil for frying in a small deep fryer to 365-375°F. If you’d rather, you can heat it in a heavy duty pan and use a thermometer. While waiting for oil to heat up, cut chicken breast into long, thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick) then set aside. Thinner is better because they are able to fully cook during the frying process.

Food Safety Tip

Poultry must reach 165°F in the middle to be safe for eating. 

Place milk, 3 T. oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. The mixture should be thick but nice & smooth. Allow tempura mixture to sit while oil finishes heating up.

When frying oil reaches at least 365°F, coat a piece of chicken with tempura mixture and carefully place in fryer. Repeat with one or two more pieces. Do not crowd fryer because if you do, your chicken sticks together during cooking or will cool down your oil too much. Consequently, oil that has cooled down too much will make for soggy breading rather than a lovely crunchy coating.

Cook chicken pieces for about 4 minutes. Use a utensil that’s safe in hot oil to move chicken pieces around a bit during the cooking process so they are cooked on all sides. The coating should be a beautiful golden brown and the chicken inside should be fully cooked.

Cooking Tip

If you discover your chicken pieces were too thick and didn’t reach 165°F in the middle, just turn on the oven and cook them at 350°F until they are fully done.

When removing from the deep fryer, place chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towels to drain the excess oil off.

Serving

Finally, place chicken on a platter or on plates. Top with green onions and almonds. Serve with gravy.

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook chicken and stir into sauce. 

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Pork Fried Rice Recipe

This fried rice recipe can be altered to whichever kind of meat you like to use. Just cook the meat in some olive oil in a frying pan before you begin. Set it aside for a few minutes while you prep your rice, dice it, and add into your dish! your family will be so impressed with your Asian food cooking skills… and, in my case, my Asian accent.

It will go deliciously with any of these Asian dishes:

General Tso’s Chicken


Teriyaki Chicken

Almond Fried Chicken

Sweet & Sour Pork

fried rice recipe

Fried Rice Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, fine diced
  • 4 fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked boneless pork (or chicken, ham, or Spam) diced
  • 3 cups cooked rice 
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Place Better Than Bouillon and soy sauce into a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

Pour half of olive oil into a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook scrambled eggs then remove from pan and set aside. Add the other half of olive oil into frying pan again. Cook onion until golden and somewhat translucent. Add mushrooms (if desired) and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add meat, rice, celery, peas & carrots, mushrooms, and soy sauce/bouillon mixture into pan. Stir well and fry until all ingredients are well-stirred and hot.

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Authentic Homemade Pho Soup Recipe

I’m about to show you the pho-shizzle pho-sure. I mean, this recipe is pho-nomenal. You will keep this one handy pho-ever. Un-pho-gettable. Pho-real. No pho-king chicken broth here. Authentic Homemade Pho Soup is the real deal, baby.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

You will need cheesecloth to drain your broth, so be sure to purchase before making. This is an all day recipe, so you’ll want to begin around 11am for a 6pm dinner.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

Broth Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 quarts water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or cut in half
  • 3 slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce**
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place beef bones and onion on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and simmer for six hours with lid partially covering pot. Broth will slowly reduce to about half of the water you started with.

Lay about 4 layers of cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Remove large items out of the broth and throw away. Gently pour the rest of the broth over the cheesecloth and into a clean pot.

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 – 14 oz.  package pad Thai rice noodles AKA rice sticks (preferably wider, fettuccine-like ones)
  • 2-3 pounds London Broil steak, thinly sliced

After broth is finished cooking, add green onions.

For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for as long as package instructs – most likely about 3 minutes. Add a scoop of noodles to your bowls. The benefit of cooking noodles this way, is they will remain a gorgeous white and they won’t soak in all of your broth, leaving you with just noodles. for this same reason, I recommend storing leftover noodles and pho broth separately.

Lay strips of London Broil steak on top of noodles in your bowls. Pour the hot pho broth over your steak and noodles. The hot broth will cook the meat for you quickly. The eat will be a little pink in the center. Add toppings & sauces as desired.

Pho Toppings & Sauces

  • Fresh* or canned** bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce**
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Sriracha sauce**

Everyone can enjoy the toppings they wish on their pho.

There’s nothing like authentic homemade pho soup. Making pho from scratch with make you a pho-natic. Good pho-you!

*Available at Asian markets

**Available at regular grocery stores in Asian aisle

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How to Cook Rice on the Stove Top

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This may seem like a plain post. And, you’re right. It is. But in a world where we are bombarded with gimmick-y kitchen utensils every day, it is good, sometimes, to go back to the basics.

I’m not completely sure why I opted for a rice cooker over a food processor for my first 17 years as a grown up. But, I can tell you now, I made the wrong decision. I use my food processor pretty much daily and rice is way easier to make on the stove top than some might realize. And, by some, I mean 22 year-old me.


IMG_0952

How to Cook Rice

  • 2 cups long grain basmati or jasmine rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Rinse and then place rice into a saucepan with water & sea salt. Stir. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Turn heat down to lowest setting then cover with lid.

Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in some butter if desired.

The end. Nope, not kidding. It’s really that easy.

Thank goodness we can change. In a world of Magic Bullets and Insta Pots, thank goodness we can opt for beautiful spoons, food processors, and going back to basics. Rest in piece, rice cooker.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016