Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Skinless Longganisa

Longganisa is one of my classic comfort food.   Although we have chorizo here in Spain, it's really nothing like longganisa from my beloved Philippines. 
I have been wanting to be able to make one but haven't really found an easy recipe so thank goodness to my pretty preggy friend Dianne as she was able to find one.  The plus side is that she has already tried this and approved of the result.  Being a great foodie that she is, I have no doubts the recipe is really going to give good results.
It took me a while before I was able to finally make this on my own as life happens and this mama gets burried with so much work and mama duties.
I did some modifications on the recipe to suit my liking... for one, I love my longganisa just a  tad bit on the sweeter side so, I used a bit more sugar.  You can refer to Dianne's recipe for the original recipe.

My recipe below is probably just good for 2-3 people so double it if you want a big batch.  Dianne's recipe calls for 1.5lbs ground pork and that's about 680 grams.
250grams ground pork (I used the mix kind - mixed beef and pork)
1 carrot, grated (my special ingredient)
1.5 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (I may have used a bit more)
5 cloves garlic (yes, I used 5 times the original recipe.  we love garlic in the house so, need I say more?)
1/2 tsp anato/atsuete powder (I don't have anato seeds here)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 or 2 tbsp of red wine
a little butter

Let's get down to the business.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl except for the wine and the butter.  Mix it good until all ingredients are well incorporated.  You can use a spoon or your clean hand. Hand is better.

I like sneaking in veggies in my dishes so I thought I'd sneak in some grated carrots in this. It wasn't a bad idea at all!

Roll a part of the mixture to a cling wrap.  The amount depends on how big or long you would want the longganisa to be.  I did about an inch thick.

Now, here's a trick I did.  I closed the sides of the cling wrap (after the longganisa is rolled inside) and made a knot on each side.  This made the longgaisa more compact and sort of tube-like round.

does this remind you of the classic ice candy?

excuse the blurry photo. I was just using my phone camera on my left hand.

You gotta let it cure overnight inside the fridge.  But if you are impatient like me, 1 or 2 hours may already be good... but not as good as overnight, so remember that ;-)

I also have a slightly different way of cooking longganisa.  I've used my mom's classic way of cooking longganisa and also added some Spanish touch to it.

In a skillet, I put the longganisa (cling wrap removed) with a little bit of water.  Let the water boil.  This way, I am more confident that the longganisa would be well cooked until the core part.  I love meat and I love it well done.  I may have also sprinkled the longganisa a dash of brown sugar while it's cooking (yes more)... but that really depends on your liking.


When the water is about to get dry, pour in your red wine. This gives tanginess to the longganisa and that nice dark color.  I am thinking that with the wine, you can totally ommit the anato powder.

Oh, just imagine how the mixture of different tastes would explode in your mouth with every bite!

Let it simmer until it caramelizes a bit.  Then put a little butter or if you prefer to be healthier, use vegetable or olive oil.  I used butter!

Then just let it fry until golden brown and the caramel becomes sticky.

You wanna be more sinful?  Cleanup that caramel in the frying pan with rice!
Yes, I committed more sin by frying the rice on the longganisa caramelized drippings!   And I must say, it is all worth it! Every.single.calorie.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You got an issue? Here's a tissue!

This entry has actually been sitting in my draft for about 3 weeks now.  I couldn't even get a quarter of an hour to finish it and as I read it back it sounds too whiney to be published.  And I feel like I've been a totally hot mess that I had second thoughts about publishing it.  But then again, this is real life.  There IS mess and chaos in a real home.  And there IS stress and tears and own-hair-pulling and lost of words and desperation in a life of a normal mama like me.

I do want to chronicle our adventure in parenthood and our daughter's development and so I shall not miss this part either especially through these experiences, I have become a better mami even for just a little bit.

So lately (been a while, in reality), the Little Spanish Pinay has been experimenting with her new discovery.  That she is an individual with her own decisions and capability to actually say NO anytime she wants to.  And she finds it really cool. I do know and understand this phase but somehow with the stress of daycare adjustments (back in early September), workload (from my day job) and super backlogged housechores (because of camping-in at inlaw's house on August); and then add the desire of wanting to squeeze in blogging and crafting and baking in the middle, I found myself short on patience and gentleness during those hectic moments.

There were those days where LSP seems to be just being a big pain in the bottom. And one day, I fell deep into that pit where I have told myself I would never jump into.  Nor even peek.  We had a hard time in the morning preparing LSP to go to daycare as she was just plainly refusing everything.  She's taking forever to finish her potty, claiming that she's not yet done.  She didn't want to get dressed.  She didn't like her socks.  She didn't like her shoes.  I literally had to wrestle her (which I really hate to do) to get dressed as we were simply running late.  I had to let her wear her house slippers because that's what she preferred over any shoes I offer her.  (side note:  A couple of days prior, we went to daycare without her wearing socks nor shoes because she just doesn't want to wear ANY shoes).

The ultimate act was when she matter-of-factly emptied a pack of cashew nuts on the floor.  Her face was that of a smirk (I must admit cute, at that) that says "Let's see what you'll do about this, mami".

I snapped.

I yanked her up and sat her on our sofa.  Naturally she started crying.   I told her that we do not throw food on the floor, that what she did is wrong, etc.  She kept crying.  I told her she have to ask for an apology.  She didn't want to.  I got agitated even more.  I got angry.  She got angrier.  Until everything just turned into a vicious cycle.  She started putting her whole fist in her mouth and that made her vomit.  Upon seeing this, hubby got too worried and said "that's it", he's picking up LSP.  I got angry on hubby and told him no as she is just trying to get our attention.  I was trying to let her stay in the sofa until she apologizes.   So my angst got extended to hubby.  The whole battle about me getting LSP apologize for what she did lasted for about 10minutes until I told her if she will not apologize, she'll be sleeping ALONE tonight.

Scared of the ultimatum, she held my face with both her hands and told me mami, perdon! perdon! (mami, I'm sorry! I'm sorry!).

I won the battle.

But I didn't feel good.  Suddenly, the way she held my face with both her face made me feel really bad about forcing her to apologize.  She apologized alright, but what I have just taught her is to use apologizing as a negotiating tool and not to express empathy or remorse for what she has done wrong.
I held her and hugged her and kissed her.  She immediately stopped crying and we went to her room.  We laid down on her bed while she hugged me tightly.  She never stopped looking at me on my face as if trying to measure if I am still angry.  I suddenly felt my excess hot blood immediately left my head.  I calmed down.  She asked to be nursed and in just a few minutes, she fell asleep. 

I felt tears welled up in my eyes.  I lost.  It shouldn't even be a battle in the first place.

I was so consumed about ME being tired with so many things and to top it all off, my toddler is making it all harder for me. Me. Me. Me.  I was thinking so much about ME being the victim of all these.  Boo hoo!

I forgot that my toddler is also undergoing a big emotional stress and big transitions.  I forgot that my toddler does not take changes so easily.  I forgot that my toddler lacks emotional maturity to handle this without her getting fussy.  I forgot that my toddler melts down when she's tired and that's her only outlet.  I forgot that my toddler is in a stage where she experiments on our own reactions with her every action and that seeing us get nervous, surprised, or even angry is fun.  I forgot that my toddler wouldn't know just yet to "want" to make me suffer because she at her age, is too innocent for that.

I forgot to show her even more love in her moments when she seems to be unlovable.

I do have moments when I just don't know what's wrong with me and I'd be in such a bad mood.  In fact, this happens monthly.  It's a girl's thing. When I get hormonal, I wouldn't want hubby to tell me "Honey, you have to go to that corner and think about what you have done. You have been acting weird and unfair so take some moment and face the wall.  When you're ready you have to apologize".  I swear, if he does this, I would go ballistic.  What I would want to hear him tell me is "Honey, you are having such a bad day today and you seem to be so stressed.  Why not take a hot bath, and have some coffee or go out and have a walk or just do whatever that will make you feel better.  I'll take care of the house, don't worry".   That's what we all want, yeah?  But I forgot that my toddler would also like something the same on her days when she woke up with the wrong foot.

Thankfully, we were able to get away as a family and find some peace and relaxation before the end of September. It was refreshing and recharging. It was really that hubby and I got to really talk and he was able to remind me so many things about our wonderful little sucker. I really thank God for having the kind of husband that I have and the kind of father he is toour Little Spanish Pinay.

I still have moments with the little sucker when I just want to eat my eyebrows because we are still in that big toddler phase but I have been really trying to remind myself about being a gentle mama.  Because that is what I want to be for her.  It does make a huge difference with the way she responds to us on her stormy moments.  Talking to her helps a lot.  Even at those moments that she seems like she doesn't hear us because she's over the top of her lungs screaming and wiggling, most often than not, we get surprised because suddenly it would seem like what we tell her made sense to her and she would start to calm down.  The key is never reciprocate her agitation with agitation.  Staying calm (which is soooooo hard but doable) is a must. 

Sometimes I just fail to stay calm but I don't beat myself up about that anymore.  I know I can start over and that I can ask her to forgive me for getting angry.  And she ALWAYS say yes, she forgives me.  That little twerp is really innocent and pure hearted, you know?

So there.  Every time I find myself getting near the end of the rope, and feeling like a victim of the circumstance, I'd stop and tell myself:  You got issue? Here's a tissue!
and I also look at this picture because her smile is just something that always, always make me smile too.

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