Thursday, April 20, 2006

Breakfast --

For breakfast, I promised Johann I would finally prepare the Alaminos longganisa which has been in our freezer for the past two weeks. I don't like cooking Alaminos longganisa because it is a tedious task -- first, you have to boil the longganisa and then let it fry in its own oil. A lot of patience is required because the perfect Alaminos longganisa has to be "tostado" --

The first time I saw Alaminos longganisa, I was afraid to touch it -- I was afraid of the pointy, toothpick-like skewers that hold the longganisa together and it smelled strange to me. As an Ilonggo, I am used to the sweet-salty smell and taste of our longganisa. Alaminos longganisa has a distinct vinegar-y smell and taste.

Johann's roots can be traced back to Pangasinan and the longganisa is one of the things he remembers and loves from his childhood. I've prepared Alaminos longganisa for breakfast a total of 4 times now -- the first time was a disaster as I had no idea how long it would take to cook it. We ended up having brunch instead of breakfast and the longganisa was not "tostado" enough --

The concept of the "tostado" longganisa is also alien to me as the Iloilo longganisa isn't meant to be "tostado" -- come to think of it, I remember eating skinless longganisa growing up.

The next few times were much better and I decided to play with the Alaminos longganisa. I've mixed it in a rice dish with tomatoes and seafood (all cooked in the rice cooker) and I'm thinking of mixing it in a pasta or pizza one time.

This morning was the fourth time -- I separated the longganisa into pieces, careful not to dislodge the toothpick-like skewers and I poured enough water into the pan. And then I waited.

Waited for the oils to start oozing out.
Waited for the distinct smell of vinegar and salt.

When all the liquid had evaporated, the sizzling started and the longganisa started to acquire its distinct crunchy exterior.

The smell woke Johann up and, while he set the table, I started to fry some eggs to go with the longganisa.

Perhaps the most interesting part of breakfast was the choice of dipping sauce -- we had run out of vinegar (because I used it to deglaze the pan) so we used some sinamakan (a seasoned vinegar) from Iloilo.

You know what, Alaminos longganisa goes very very well with Iloilo sinamakan.

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