20 July 2009

Ruins Longanisang Hubad

Ruins Naked Filipino Sausage
Ruins Longanisang Hubad (with title)
It's my first time to participate in Marc and Susan's event, Dinner and a Movie (see the announce), this month for Breakfast at Tiffany's. I thought it would be a good one to participate in, because it is such an iconic movie and I'd never seen it before. It would be really easy for me to talk about being afraid to fall in love or being a slut (er, not really), but as I tweeted while watching it, I just couldn't get over particular scenes involving Mr. Yunioshi, and how he 1) acted like no Japanese person I know, and 2) could ever stoop so low as to play such a stupid and misinformed stereotype. It turns out, he wasn't Japanese at all, and was played by Mickey Rooney in yellowface (well duh, Manggy).

Which is sad because it really would have been a pretty good movie if not for that part, which Rooney insists is not meant to be offensive, and that people would find it so is heartbreaking for him. Uh, okay.

Sometimes I wonder how much humor would be left in the world if we were no longer allowed to make fun of stereotypes, but it's so uncreative to think there wouldn't be. It's lazy to think up jokes based on stereotypes. And, I'm happy to say that I don't find humor based on stereotypes funny at all, and that includes Jeff Foxworthy (sorry, fans). I'm glad to see that the world has changed significantly since 1961, but in searching for that video clip above on Youtube, I landed on another video, and read the comments, and stumbled into that guy's profile page, and I gasped. I'm not naive enough to believe there aren't hardcore hate-mongers in the world today, but it always makes me weak, that thumping in my pacifist heart that tells me, yes, there are some streets I will walk where it won't be safe, just because of the color of my skin or the way I look or act. All this (malevolent, violent) hate without knowing a single thing about me.

So. There's no resolution there, unfortunately. And again, a little too heavy for a food blog post, but I think Audrey Hepburn would approve. Allen makes fun of me all the time for not ever posting Filipino food on here, but the truth is, I'm just not a very good Filipino cook, because everyone else is, so I'm never hungry for it. I was supposed to make doughnuts (get it? New York + Breakfast...) but I thought, it's a good opportunity to show everyone how we eat breakfast here.

Filipinos, if the budget allows, generally eat three rice meals a day. Lunch and dinner are identical in weight. As is breakfast, which is usually rice (sinangag, or yesterday's rice fried with garlic) and, for some reason, a cured meat (choose from: cured beef, cured pork, yesterday's Adobo, corned beef, hotdogs or Vienna sausages, dried fish, Filipino sausages) and eggs (itlog).

Filipino sausages are known as "Longanisa" (long-ga-NEE-sa) and show reasonable regional variety. The common elements are fatty pork (though chicken and fish (?) varieties have surfaced), garlic, black pepper, and vinegar, with some regions opting for sweeter mixes, or smokier ones. The triumvirate of Longanisa, rice, and eggs is known as Longsilog. When it includes cured beef or tapa it's known as Tapsilog, and if with sweet cured pork or tocino (which I promised to Todd and Diane I'd eventually feature, when I make it) it's known as Tosilog. The longanisa here is "hubad" (naked), because it has no casing.

The dish here is a favorite of my family's, from our favorite restaurant (Cafe by the Ruins) in Baguio, which is 6 hours North of Manila, and we only visit once in two years or so. I'm glad to have captured its taste so we don't have to travel that far, thanks to a cookbook they released.

Ruins Longanisang Hubad from Cafe by the Ruins: Memories and Recipes
I've scaled down the recipe-- it originally calls for 11 pounds of pork, but then again it is good to freeze some so you can cook at a moment's notice.

  • 1kg (2.2 pounds) boneless pork shoulder

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 5 grams (1 tablespoon ground) freshly and coarsely ground black pepper

  • 20 grams (7 cloves) garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 laurel (bay) leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 250g (1 cup) vinegar (I used cane vinegar)

Cut the pork into 1cm (3/8 inch) cubes, making sure to also include a good proportion (ideally half) of fat cubes as well. This is quite difficult with fully thawed meat, so you may want to do this with half-thawed pork (I'm not sure if butchers will be willing to help you out at least in slicing it 1-cm thick). In a large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together, then toss the pork cubes in. Marinate at least overnight in the refrigerator or up to 5 days (freeze after 3 days in the fridge if keeping for longer, draining the vinegar before storage).

To cook, place a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Cook the longanisa in batches with a scant amount of water. As the water evaporates, some of the fat renders out. Continue cooking until the pork cubes are partially crisp, about 10 minutes. Serve with rice (ideally garlic fried rice or red (native) rice, if you can find it) and a fried (or scrambled) egg.

Additional fixins: small bowl of cubed melons, apples, strawberries, bananas, and mangoes, tossed in calamansi juice and drizzled with honey. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Further reading:
Check out Joey's round-up of Filipino breakfasts.
Don't forget to check out the round-up of Dinner and a Movie coming later this month!

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