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Winter Melon Casserole

Soups and Congees

Winter Melon Casserole
Ingredients:
1 wintermelon (about the size of a volley ball)
5 dried mushrooms
1 chicken breast
6 medium shrimp
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 quarts chicken broth, brought to the boil
1/4 cup bamboo shoots
4 slices ginger root
1 Tablespoons Virginia ham slivers
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:
1. Cut off the top one and a half inches from the top of the wintermelon Save it because it will be used as the lid of the melon when cooking it. Remove seeds and spongy pulp from inside of the melon and then place the melon in a large bowl so that it is well supported in an upright position.
2. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for fifteen minutes, then squeeze out the water and cut them into thin slices.
3. Bone and slice the chicken breast.
4. Shell and devein the shrimp, then dice them into one-quarter-inch pieces.
5. Combine chicken breast, shrimp, and cornstarch and mix well.
6. Place a heat-proof bowl with the melon in it into a steamer. Then pour boiling chicken broth into the melon.
7. Add bamboo shoots, soaked drained mushrooms, ginger, and ham and cover the melon with its top. Next cover the steamer and steam this for about four hours or until the melon flesh is soft. Check freqently to see that there is water in the bottom section of the steamer.
8. Remove the lid of the melon and add the chicken/shrimp mixture and the salt and pepper. Replace the melon and steamer lids and steam an additional fifteen minutes.
9. Remove the bowl from the steamer, take off the melon lid, and serve.

                                                                                                                                                       
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