Shrimp Pancit Canton

Pancit bihon is made out of rice vermicelli noodles and pancit canton is made out of wheat. Pancit Canton is basically Filipino version of lo mein. Ingredients and seasoning are similar so the noodles are the key difference.

I can’t vouch for the authenticity of my recipe, but I can’t promise you that it’s delicious!

Pancit Canton with Shrimp

Serves: 6 – 8
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time 30 mins

*Most recipes had the noodles cooked in broth until the liquid is absorbed. I prefer to cook it separately.

Ingredients

1 16-ounce package pancit canton(Excellent brand recommended)
2 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 small sweet onion, julienned
3 carrots, julienned
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound medium-sized shrimp, shelled and de-veined, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
1-3 tablespoons soy sauce or to taste
1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce or fish sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Direction

In a large pot, bring salted water to boil and cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or a large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When pan is hot, stir-fry onion, carrots and celery until just softened, about 1 minute. Add garlic and cabbage and fry until the cabbage is cooked down and tender. This could take up to 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and remove the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, swirl to coat and fry the shrimp until pink.

Add the noodles and vegetables to the wok. Gently mix. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature. If refrigerated, the noodles need to be reheated.

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Haitian Legumes

I have a Haitian friend who’s always bragging about how her children love to eat this vegetable dish she makes that contains carrots, green beans, spinach, cabbage, eggplant, and red pepper. All that vegetables in one dish?  And her kids gobble them up?  Of course I had to give it a try. Plus, I’m always looking for new ways to use up the 1/2 head of cabbage that’s languishing away in my vegetable drawer.

This is my friend, “Sexy Mama”.

TY #9 Sexy Mama

Pretty, isn’t she?

This is the dish.

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Not as pretty to look at, but certainly tasty to eat all mixed up with steamed rice.

Sexy Mama tells me that this very traditional Haitian dish doesn’t really have a name. It’s just called legumes (vegetables in French). But go to any Haitian household or restaurant and order legumes and you’ll get a rendition of this dish.

This an easy one-pot dish to make and traditionally made, it requires very little work aside from some vegetable preparation.

I always like to follow the directions of a new recipe to the letter so I can see how it’s supposed to taste. Subsequently, I’ll modify to my own taste and whim.

I loved the result from the traditional directions. All the vegetables got cooked down soft and mushy, perfect for mixing it up with rice. I can eat rice mixed with stuff (the legumes here or curry or Korean stew or anything similar) all day long.

D and S liked the taste well enough, but not the texture. They like their vegetables with a little more crunch and texture. They like being able to distinguish the carrots from the green beans.

In my second go around, I modified the recipe to allow for shorter cooking time resulting in more texture and the results were prettier, too. The vegetables retained their color and shape better with short cooking time.

However it’s cooked, the taste is sublime.

Here are some of fresh ingredients. I didn’t bother taking photos of the frozen stuff. My friend recommends the Maggi brand chicken bullion.

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In my second attempt, I chopped the cabbage smaller and cubed the eggplant rounds.

Start the dish by sauteing briefly the garlic and onions in oil. Then add in the red pepper and stir for another few seconds. Then add the tomato past and bullion cubes and stir until well mixed and looks like the photo below.

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You’ll need a large pot, preferably a non-stick or a dutch oven to prevent burning. I’m using a 4.5 qt dutch oven… I think. I would say use 5.5 or larger to be safe.

Per my friend’s directions, layer other ingredients in the following order: shrimp, frozen green beans, lima beans, spinach, carrots, eggplant and cabbage. Cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes, turn all the ingredients over and cook uncovered another 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced.

The directions below is my modified directions from my second attempt which is shown below.

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Serve it with plain steamed rice or rice and beans.

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Haitian Legumes

Prep time: 10 mins     Cook time: 30 mins

Serves: 6 – 8

*For vegetarian option, use vegetable bullion cubes or broth and leave out the shrimp.

Ingredients

3 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 cubes chicken bullion (preferably Maggi brand)
3 tablespoon tomato paste
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch thick or less rounds
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into medium sized cubes
10 ounces frozen cut green beans
10 ounces frozen shopped spinach
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
1/2 head cabbage, sliced 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound medium-sized shrimp, cleaned and de-veined (optional or can use other meat)

Directions

In a large non-stick pot on medium heat, add olive oil. Sauté garlic and onion for a minute or until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add peppers and stir. Add chicken bullion and tomato paste. Break up the bullion and stir until pasty. Add carrots, eggplant, and lima beans, stirring in between until all the ingredients are coated.

Turn down the heat to low. Add green beans, spinach, cabbage and shrimp as the final layer. Cover and let it simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.  Uncover, stir and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes to reduce the liquid liquid.

Serve with plain rice or with rice and beans.

Tuna Casserole

Growing up eating Korean food with the occasional spaghetti and meatballs and my mom’s version of mac and cheese, I wasn’t very familiar with “American” food. If I had read the ingredients to tuna casserole, I would have avoided eating it. Cook canned tuna mixed with canned cream of mushroom soup, frankly, doesn’t sound all that appealing.

Well, living off campus my junior year with a limited meal plan and limited money, I was grateful for 1) free food and 2) meal ideas that stretched the dollar. When Jen offered dinner, even if it meant trekking out to her off-campus apartment, I wasn’t going to say no. When it turned out to be yummy, hearty and fairly simple and cheap to put together ($5 for a week’s worth of dinner, sold!), I asked for the recipe.

I probably made tuna casserole once a month for the next 10 years. I’ve taught my subsequent roommates, my husband and even my sister-in-law how to make this dish. About 5 years ago, I lost the taste for it and I haven’t made it since. Plus, I got busy improving my cooking repertoire and trying “new’ recipes.

Recently, the price of fresh fish has increased, I have less time to cook during the week and cook-ahead friendly food like tuna casserole seemed attractive again.

So, here I am, posting a recipe of a dish that’s not very glamorous, but yummy. A recipe that’s budget friendly in this time of rising food costs ($7 for two dinners worth of food). A recipe that’s not new to most people, but perhaps forgotten by others as well.

To Jen Y and Easy Meal Staple

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Tuna Casserole

Prep time: 10 mins     Cook time: 45 mins

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 lb farfalle or shells (or rotini if you’re out like I was)
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 package (10 ounces)white mushroom or baby bella, sliced
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna (I prefer solid white in water), drained and flaked
1 can Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, Healthy Request, Fat Free)
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

In a large pot, bring to boil salted water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside in a casserole dish with some olive oil mixed in to prevent the pasta from sticking.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic, stir for a minute, add peppers, salt and pepper to taste and fry until the peppers start to soften. Remove from pan and set aside. Next saute the sliced mushrooms for a minute and turn the heat to low. Add back the peppers, tuna, mushroom soup and milk. Salt and pepper to taste. *Stir until the sauce is thoroughly mixed and heated through. Pour mixture into over the pasta. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts and the top browns slightly.

*I have skipped the cheese and baking part when pressed for time and served with the sauce and pasta mixed on the stove top.