I was as picky as they come when I was a kid. It lasted for quite a while, leading to the nickname "bunny rabbit" in college, as I alternated bagels and salads accented with crunchy goldfish crackers. My mom occasionally made my dad's favorite dishes in spite of my pickiness - salmon or sweet and sour chicken - but I seem to recall being fairly vocal with my suffering.
Ironically, since moving abroad my tastes have expanded to the point where last night I made sweet and sour chicken myself. So here is the recipe, and maybe my mom will read it and make it again for my dad, and some of my complaining childhood food karma will be eliminated.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
adapted from Cooking Light
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small can pineapple chunks in juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp brown sugar
Salted Cashews, chopped or whole
1. Drain pineapple and reserve 1/2 cup juice. Whisk together juice, soy sauce, cornstarch, and brown sugar.
2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Saute chicken for 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper and continue stirring until the chicken is done, about 3 more minutes. You can always cut a piece of chicken to be sure it is not pink inside. Remove chicken mixture to your serving bowl.
2. Add onion, celery, and red pepper chunks to the pan. Saute 4 minutes. Add pineapple chunks and stir for 30 more seconds.
4. Add chicken mixture to the pan. Again whisk the liquid mixture briefly and then stir into the stir fry.
5. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for one more minute.
6. Sprinkle with chopped or whole cashews, either mixing them into the dish or allowing each person to put on as many as they wish.
Serve with white or brown rice.