Friday, April 13, 2007

I am such a cheater...


I love cooking for friends and family. There's something about creating delicious dishes and being in a house where the aroma of mouth-watering food just welcomes all who enter. There's the creative aspect of cooking, as well as the social aspect--of feeding family and friends and having everyone gather around the dinner table and share some good conversation. I love that.

Though I like creating eye-catching dishes that taste as good as they look, I do not like the time it takes to prepare certain dishes. I have learned to cheat. Yes...cheat. Because time to prepare meals is not something that most people these days have a lot of, I devised a plan where I don't spend more than an hour from start to finish (that includes prep time and cooking time).
This meal was a cross between Chinese Chow Mein and Filipino Pancit. I couldn't get all the ingredients here on the Island, so next time I go to Sudbury, Toronto or Montreal, I'll be sure to stock up on my Asian ingredients.
To make this dish, you will need:
- 2 carrots, julienned (cut into match sticks)
- 2 stalks of celery, cut on a slant...not quite julienned
-bok choy, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
-1 onion, sliced thinly
-5 cloves of garlic, minced
-30 green beans, cut on a slant similar to the celery
-1 package of chow mein noodles (as seen in the above photo)
-oil for cooking
-a bit of oyster sauce
-salt & black pepper to taste
-a bit of water to soften the noodles
First, heat oil in a wok and sautee garlic, onions and carrot. When tender, add remaining vegetables. Once vegetables are cooked (don't overcook! You don't want mushy veggies!), remove from heat. I put the veggies into a different bowl while I cook the noodles. In a small dish or cup, put oyster sauce and water and mix. Add to heated wok and cook noodles directly in wok. With a wooden spoon, turn over noodles every once in a while to make sure the noodles are coated and get moisture from the liquid. Once noodles are softened (I like mine a bit crunchy, but not hard. You can make the noodles as soft as you like though), add the veggies and mix evenly. You can add shredded chicken or whatever you want. Additional ingredients can be water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn and mushrooms. I usually just cook some steamed fish while I cook this dish. It takes no time at all to make this.


One package of noodles contains a few bunches, so it makes enough for 6 people if you have other dishes to go with it.


Lotsa veggies!!! Hubby and students didn't mind that there was no meat in the dish :)

I served the noodles with steamed fish and a bit of leftover casserole from the night before. Dessert was homemade applesauce made by yours truly. I made huge batches in the fall and just froze them in containers so I could thaw them out and have them ready for whenever I need them.

11 comments:

t said...

That's great Christine; I really need some quick easy tasty recipies! Thanks! I' think I'll try it this weekend. Heh! I forgot tthat you don't really measure your ingredients so do I just measure by eye?! Maybe you can e-mail me exact proportions for the liquid part?

Anonymous said...

Chris! I didn't know you knew how to cook Asian food! Hah! Hah! Remember in Toronto we used to eat out all the time! So many good restarants nearby equals no need to cook on your own! There was a good Indian place with the best curry dishes near your place on Elmhurst. What ever happened to your old roommates? Are they still living there?

-K

Chrissy121875 said...

T:
I usually measure by eye or by taste. I find that with cooking, I can alter things, omit or add things to my liking. I almost never follow recipes/instructions for cooking. baking on the other hand, is a different story. You have to follow the recipes and make sure you have the exact measurements...otherwise your baked goods will turn out to be a flop! LOL! I know, since I've made that mistake a few times! It's an art and a precise science at the same time!!!

K:
I'm not sure if that restaurant is still there. I think you and I went there twice (on one of your day visits or stop overs in TO). I don't remember you ever meeting my roomies though! They're no longer living in that house either. One is married and has a really darling baby boy and the other one is in London :) Everyone's doing well.
PS. This is a super easy recipe...even if you don't cook! Try it! I'm sure your better half will be shocked! Tell him you slaved in the kitchen all evening!LOL!

Chrissy121875 said...

P.S. K, I don't really know how to cook Asian food. Honestly...I'm a cheater. I do easy recipes. I only cook stuff like this for special occasions. I'm usually more likely to cook dishes that have ingredients that I can find on the island (and mostly from our garden)!

Ms. Mamma said...

Beautiful!

mist1 said...

I adore pancit.

Merinz said...

I tried freezing my cooked apples this year in flat snaplock bags of different sizes. I piled them up in the freezer on a tray.

It has been very successful, they freeze quickly and also thaw really quickly when needed in a hurry.

Chrissy121875 said...

Ms.Mamma:
Awww...thanks :) Btw, congrats on being nominated for best photos!

Mist:
I didn't know that you knew what pancit was. I haven't met too many people who do know what it is. The only people I know who have heard of it (or have eaten it) are filipino or have filipino friends. When I lived in Toronto, I only knew of one filipino restaurant/bakery, but I think it's no longer there. I know of one in Montreal though. There are no Asian restaurants where I live now, except for the one Chinese restaurant...which is more Chinese-Canadian than anything. I've never tried the food there. My dad said not to bother. Is it just me, or is there at least one Chinese restaurant in every city or town, no matter how small? There's always a token Chinese family that runs a Chinese restaurant :)

Merinz:
I like that idea! I think I'm going to try that this year. We had soooooooo many apples last year. That meant I had to make A LOT of apple sauce, apple pies, apple cakes...more apple sauce. I even gave away apple sauce to family and friends last year. I don't mind having a crazy amount of raspberries though. I love raspberries.

Pavel said...

Your cooking looks so GOOD! Makes me want to jump in my car, go to Canada and drive around with the windows open until I find your house!

I wish I knew how to cook... I've tried a few things but I just don't have the knack for it. It is nice to see someone who does have the knack (and the attitude) for it.

caninecologne said...

What an awesome cook you are! That meal looks so delicious!

Chrissy121875 said...

Pavel:
LOL! Thanks! You're so funny! Hey, seriously, anytime...pack up the kids, get in the car, and come on over! They'll love it on the island! ;) Check out this site www.ourmanitoulin.com and you'll see all kinds of neat things to do and places to see on the island. The kiddies will love it (I promise)! ;)

Canine:
Ohhhh...no way. I'm not that great of a cook. YOU are a great cook! My mouth waters everytime I check out your blog and see pics you've posted of the food you cook!!! How have you been doing? Only 2 months or so left of school. What are your summer plans? Any exciting things you and TC will be doing over the summer?

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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