(I was supposed to post this yesterday (the 2nd day) but the internet connection was prohibitive (CRAPPY) so in the spirit of making things work, here’s the second installment of my novena posting :D)
So it’s the second day of Misa de Gallo and I’m still here, surviving. What makes these rituals tricky (for me that is) is the fact that I’m NEVER a morning person. Once in a while during the mass I find myself thinking of other things just so I can escape the heavy blanket of sleep. I admit, sometimes I look forward to the mass ending just so I can catch a few winks again. Not a morning person at all.
But really, the mass ending means you “wake up” to a considerably nice cold morning. My mom and I walk to and from church so taking it all in, it’s a far cry from the humid weather we get to experience for the rest of day.
It is during these moments that breakfast becomes, well, more special. It’s during this time that I do get to eat breakfast at 6 am instead of a heavy compensatory lunch. Just like how the pleasantly clean cold air greets us outside of the stuffy church, the smell of really good adobo with a steaming bowl of rice greets us when we get home. This is my holiday right now. I know, adobo is as festive as Amanda Clarke is forgiving, but like I said, adobo for breakfast is part of our Misa de Gallo mornings. It makes sense really, since breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can be/needs to be satisfying and heavy to help get you through the rest of the morning. Adobo is heavy, true that.
It’s weird that I only got to talk about adobo just now, after months of posting. Do I worship adobo? Yes! Adobo is one of those survival dishes that people can’t screw up. It has a lot of variations, most of it according to preference. Each region probably has different spins on this classic one pot Filipino dish as well. Salty and sour meat paired with hot rice is a combination that’s really difficult to topple.
And maybe that’s also one thing that connects adobo and Simbang Gabi – both are so Filipino that without either of the two, I can’t call it Filipino anymore.
An adobo variation I really like is Adobong Puti/ White Adobo. It’s called that because it doesn’t use soy sauce. Instead you may opt to add fish sauce to give it that saltiness. I also like my adobo without the liquid/sauce, so I reduce the liquid until the meat is practically being fried in the rendered fat. Whether or not it’s the holidays, adobo makes for a really great breakfast.
Adobong Puti/White Adobo (serves 6 )
- 1 kg pork (belly or paikut)
- 3/4 – 1 cup vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 whole garlic bulb, minced
- 4 – 5 bay leaves
- 2 pieces fresh oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons patis/fish sauce (or more to taste)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- optional: a dash of red pepper flakes
- Combine everything in a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until pork is tender and liquid has almost been reduced completely.
- For good measure, because the fat will render at this point, I brown the meat slightly to give it a more pronounced toasted aroma.
- When done, remove from heat and serve immediately with a heaping bowl of rice. I mean it, a heaping a bowl of rice.