Sunday, May 6, 2012

What's for Hot Lunch?

St. Paul Public Schools just let me know that Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken is back on their Hot Lunch menu. Based on True Thai's Superior Sweet & Sour, we donated this recipe to St. Paul schools years ago. I remember that it was very popular, but didn't realize they'd taken it off their menu until they sent me this notification that it is now back on the menu. (Yes, I'm a little confused, too.)

If you click on the picture, you'll get a larger image that includes our secret recipe — guaranteed to turn vegetable-hating kids into vegetable lovers!

When we opened True Thai, I knew I wanted Sweet & Sour on our menu. But the Sweet & Sour when True Thai opened is not the Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken served by the St. Paul School. That Sweet & Sour (which is what we serve at True Thai now) is the version that Ped perfected.

Hardly a month went by that Ped didn't think of a slightly better way to make a dish. Maybe it was a technique that let him cook faster, but mostly he would adjust the recipe until it was better. The Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken served by the St. Paul Schools was one of his best.

Since Ped perfected our Superior Sweet & Sour recipe, we have served it over 100,000 times. That's only an impressive number until you stop and realize that the St. Paul Public Schools have 39,000 students. I suspect they have served well over one million servings of Ped's Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Ped was famous in a very quiet way, and just about everyone who went to a St. Paul school since 2003 has eaten one of his recipes. That's a lot of people.