This dish is actuallly a hybrid: a low-calorie adaption of the popular pancit (noodle) dishes of the Philipines. It is also a unity of old and new – traditional Philipine cuisine, and nouvelle California cooking.
Spaghetti Squash is known for its long, spaghetti-like strands of flesh which make it a nutritious vegetable substitue for pasta seeing as it has about 50 calories per cup, compared to the 200 of spaghetti.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings. Prep: 25 mins. Cook: 70 mins.
- 1 large (4- to 5-lb) spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 loin pork chops, trimmed of fat and bone and meat thinly sliced into strips
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, flesh cut crosswise into thin strips
- 1/4 lb cooked ham, sliced into julienne strips
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, French cut into long slivers
- 1 cup white cabbage, finely shredded
- 6 oz cooked tiny shrimp, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Chinese celery (kinstay) , chopped, or 1/2 cup leaves from young celery tops
- 6 large pieces of crisp-fried pork rinds (chicharrones), crushed into tiny fragments
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Pierce the squash in several places with the tines of a fork to create steam vents and place it on a baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven. Back for 1 hour, or until skin remains indented slightly when pressed. (The baking time will vary with the weight of the squash.)
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or heavy pan over medium heat and stir-fry the onion for about a minute; add garlic and stir-fry until they are both golden. Add pork and chicken and continue to stir-fry until the meats begin to turn white. Stir in ham and pour in chicken stock. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil.
Drop in the beans and cabbage and continue cooking until the cabbage is limp. Add shrimp, salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Stir and remove the pan from heat.
When squash is cooked, cut it in half lengthwise. Pick out all the seeds and discard them.
Separate the meat of the squash into shreds with a fork, then arrange it in a pile in each of the squash halves.
Reheat the contents of the wok briefly over high heat and pour the entire mixture over the meat in the squash halves. Sprinkle each half with the celery leaves and crushed pork rinds. Place on a large platter and serve immediately.
Tip: Spaghetti Squash will easy to find during the fall and winter months.
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