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Eat pork and noodles to welcome in the New Year

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That is something I read online in an article about lucky foods to eat this month. Among other items were mentioned pork and noodles, so I set about thinking how to put them together. Chinese food comes to mind.

Pork Chop Suey would be a good way to plan a savory dish without going into the sweet-and-sour route that introduces a few more calories into the meal. One thing I grew up with is fresh noodles, which are sold in many of Tucson's supermarkets in the cooler section. If you have grown up around Filipinos, as I did, you already love their inimitable Pancit that graces buffet tables from Honolulu to Manila.

A fun fact about Chop Suey is that it is not a Chinese dish; in reality it was an American invention that appeared in the several Chinese communities across America. It may have come from the famous Chinatown in San Francisco, but however it came to be I am glad that it did. If you have an Asian-inspired kitchen there isn't anything exotic called for in this recipe except the bean sprouts, which could also be bought fresh in a supermarket and steamed for this recipe. Start with four good handfuls of fresh sprouts for this recipe if you'd like to do it that way. It would certainly be healthful.

PORK CHOP SUEY

Ingredients:

5 pork steaks
1 yellow organic onion
3 stalks organic celery
8-10 fresh organic white mushrooms
1 Tablespoon organic vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons organic butter
2 (14 ounce) cans organic bean sprouts, drained
4 Tablespoons organic molasses
1/3 cup organic soy sauce
1-1/2 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup cool water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Cut the pork into half-inch cubes. Slice the celery stalks thin on the diagonal. Slice the onion into long slivers. Chop the mushrooms roughly.

Open the cans of bean sprouts and drain them. Combine the drained bean sprouts with the broth, molasses and soy sauce.

Mix the corn starch into the water and set it aside.

Heat the oil in deep skillet such as a chicken fryer, add the butter and heat until it begins to sizzle. Add the pork cubes; stir for approximately 2 minutes to permit the pork to brown.

Stir in the onion, celery, and finally the mushrooms. Sprinkle in the white pepper.

Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until the celery and onion are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the broth mixture and cover the skillet. Cook it on a simmer until the pork is very tender.

When the pork is tender and you have the proper savory flavor, mix the cornstarch into the cool water and add to the pot. Bring up the heat to a low boil while stirring, and then lower the heat and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

The bean sprouts will water down the flavor even if they are drained, so taste for seasoning before you serve this dish over cooked fresh noodles or "angel's hair" pasta.

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