Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Adobo Experiment

For today I'll shake things up a bit by featuring something I cooked. I decided to start with adobo. This is not the marinade known to the Spanish-speaking world, but a method of cooking in the Philippines and the name of the dish as well. Oh, adobo is arguably the country's national dish.

Like what I said in the title, this is purely experimental--I have no illusions of being the next top Pinoy celebrity chef. Like many things I do, I play things by ear, and there's no kitchen-testing. I've cooked before for my family, and they survived, so I know the basics (I think).

This is how the dish looks like when cooked.
the final product: best on top of hot, steaming rice
There are as many ways to cook adobo as there are households in the country. Basically you simmer meat in vinegar and garlic, and brown this in oil. For this experiment I bought two kilos of pork and and a few garlic bulbs.

I used one garlic bulb and about a half kilo of pork to fit in my tiny saucepan
My secret to great adobo? Lots of garlic.
I separated the cloves and pressed them with a spoon to remove the skin easily,
and chopped them unevenly.
I was engrossed chopping the garlic when I realized I didn't have vinegar in the pantry. To improvise, I used the small packets of vinegar that comes with food deliveries.
good thing I had enough packets of vinegar,
which roughly amounted to about half a glass
I estimated the adobo to simmer for about thirty minutes. Then I'd brown the pork in its own fat. Allow the vinegar to dissipate. Unnecessary mixing will leave the adobo vinegary--you wouldn't want that.
waiting for the dish to simmer and come together. time check: 12:45 pm
I used a dash of Ilocos rock salt, a gift, for flavor
An acquaintance told me she drinks wine while cooking. Like me she lives alone in a condo. She said this adds to the joy of cooking.
while waiting for the adobo to cook I drank cheap wine
I prepared pepper corns, some say sauce and crushed chili pepper
to put in the mix once the adobo's about to be cooked
After almost two hours I was panicking--the vinegar should have dissipated by now. Upon further checking, I noticed that indeed the vinegar did evaporate, and now the dish is swimming in its own lard. Lesson learned: next time use a bigger saucepan.
after almost two hours, the vinegar's gone and the pork is
swimming in its own lard. it's nearly two in the morning

I forego with the browning. I mixed in the pepper and crushed chili
and some soy sauce  
After a few minutes, the adobo's cooked. It was a little vinegary for my taste--I think I might have ladled the dish prematurely before all the vinegar was cooked. But my housemate said it was delicious. I'll just leave it at that.
the final product

No comments:

Post a Comment