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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pork and Chicken Unity

The so-called national dish of the Philippines is adobo, often confused with the eponymous Mexican spice mix or the Spanish adobado. Filipino adobo is, at its root, a cooking technique, where a food item is cooked in vinegar and garlic to preserve it. Stereotypical images of adobo prescribe the use of chicken and pork in a stew that incorporates bay leaves, peppercorn, and soy sauce (the Chinese influence in Filipino cultural evolution). But the basic technique can be applied to various ingredients, from vegetables to snails. Coupled with the infusion of additional ingredients, there are innumerable variations throughout the country, and in immigrant communities throughout the world. The former fine cuisine restaurant Cendrillon in SoHo, New York, introduced me to pheasant and rabbit adobo made with red wine. The version pictured above is one I made using chicken thighs, pork ribs and enriched with coconut milk and ancho chiles.

In the light of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines, a local Filipino-American community is holding a fundraiser in the form of an Adobo Hoedown. Essentially, an adobo cookoff, but incorporating a celebration of modern Filipino culture. I certainly plan to attend and help out. There's a link there to donate for the cause, which will benefit the Red Cross, and there are other additional links to how you can help out. Thanks in advance.

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