So tonight I'm on my own (it's me and David Ortiz -- as I write this, the Sox are up 3-1 after three), and with no one around to witness if things go south, I thought I'd try out a recipe I've watched my friend Melanie make to delicious result many a time: pancit. According to Miss Mel (the mother of one of the best-looking babies around), the recipe is a Filipino classic -- it's definitely delicious, with all the best kind of home-cooked flavors a classic should have. As Mel makes it, it combines poached chicken breast with carrots, celery, onion and celery in a stirfry with chicken broth, a splash of lemon juice and soy sauce and rice noodles. Served with rice, of course -- Mel is second only to Debbie in rice-consumption evangelicalism.
Anyhow, in some ways, I was perfectly placed to make pancit: there was a chicken breast thawed in the fridge, and I had rice noodles. In other ways, I was terribly placed to make it: no carrots, no celery, no lemon, no cabbage. So I improvised: I sauteed onion and garlic in a pan, and added pieces of chicken, then some farm-share veggies: green peppers, turnip and vitamin greens (I figure they're actually a long-leafed cabbage, so why not?). I also, after consulting the Internet, added some shrimp we had in the freezer (some home versions seem to include it, so I figured we'd bulk up the protein). I let it simmer, added some veggie stock (all we had) and soy sauce, and spritzed it with fresh orange juice (citrus is citrus, right?). I then set the rice noodles on top and covered it.
And served it over rice, obviously.
Overall, I was actually pretty happy with my ersatz-pancit -- it wasn't as good as Mel's, but it wasn't too bad, either. Making this again, I would definitely follow Mel's lead in poaching the chicken -- it really got dried out using in my method. And I underseasoned it, too -- more soy sauce, more citrus (the OJ was pretty good, I think), more salt and pepper. And I would DEFINITELY cut the noodles up -- they were unwieldy to eat. But in general, my first foray into the culinary world of the Philipines wasn't bad -- can't wait to try it when I actually have all the ingredients. Or better yet: to have it again at Mel and Jules'.