When I have time to waste, I always go to the bookstore and browse the cookbook section. It was in one of those moments that I found a cookbook that I could not resist buying. It was rather expensive, I admit, but after flipping through the pages, I just had to add it to my collection.
The first time I saw the book, it was the digital version. With the limited browsing facility of Amazon, it did not interest me at all – there are, after all, MANY MANY cookbooks on Philippine food (both local and international) and most of my recipes were given to me by word-of-mouth. I honestly did not need another one!
But curiosity got the better of me and with the permission of the bookstore personnel, I unwrapped the book and took a deeper look. And, I swear, there is something about the smell of the pages, as well as the feel of the paper, that has a stronger appeal than the digital version! In a matter of seconds, I made the decision to fork over the cash!
What I love about this cookbook is that the recipes are very close to what I have been taught (by word-of-mouth) by my mom, our faithful helper (who was with us since I was a child until after I finished schooling (at age 25!), and other elders. Another thing that I really liked was that the food titles were in Filipino, with an English subtitle. I’ve seen Filipino cookbooks (by Filipino authors no less!) who write their recipes with English translations, with the original Filipino title relegated to a sub-title, and I felt offended!
Anyway, the first recipe I tried in the book is the Adobong Manok at Baboy (Classic Adobo). Why? Well, because it is almost (almost!) the exact recipe my mom dictated to me a couple of decades ago!
While I have several recipes of adobo, depending on who taught me, this is the easiest to remember so I never wrote that recipe down. All I have to remember is … ONE.
1 cup white vinegar (Datu Puti was what we had), 1 cup soy sauce (the Chinese favorite with the bird logo), 1 whole head of garlic, 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, 1 large bay leaf, 1 kilo of chicken and/or pork, and 1 heaping spoon of guava jelly (though this was optional). The only other ingredient without a specific measure is the water – basically add enough water to cover everything. That’s it.
The major difference is that in my mom’s version, there is no marinating the meat. Just put everything in a pot (kaserola) and simmer until the meat is soft and tender (depending on the pork cubes, it could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour). That’s it.
Oh, there is another difference… we usually add hard boiled eggs midway!
Yum. Yum. Yum!!!