21 September 2007

Adobo Man...

Okay...so, it's been a really long time since I've posted. Work has been insane and I've picked up working part-time three evenings a week, teaching ESL. Damn, I'm tired...and it'll be crazier soon. I'll start my grad school class, "The Adult Learner" on Saturday, November 3rd. Am I a glutton for punishment, or what. I will say that I'm tired on a regular basis now. I can hardly wait to see how I'll be doing in November. Okay...enough whining. On to life as we know it in the Samok home.
J was gone last Saturday, so I was home with the kids. That's not a bad thing because we had fun-a dad and kid rough house day...and bonus...they took extra long naps-which allowed dear old dad to watch a little football on cable (who can complain about that???) Because she was gone until 6:00 that evening, Daddy was responsible for the dining fare for supper. I chuckled to myself at that time because...I thought...no sweat because Dad's on top of things. We had a giant frozen container of chicken drumsticks and a full container of rice. I figured that I had hung around the kitchen long enough when J had been preparing adobo, so it would be "no sweat." My brain told me that I was a filipino cook through osmosis-I had been married to a filipina long enough to produce pinoy dishes...or so it seemed to me.
My first task was to get this okayed by the chairman of the board (the filipina herself). I gave her a buzz and I got the affirmative to move forward on my cooking expidition (here's the ironic thing. I'm the academic advisor for a culinary program at a a college...how twisted is that??? I can get them in the right classes and point them in the correct direction in school, but I burn water!!!) She suggested that I go online and find the best recipe. This I did...I found one and thought it would be easy...another of my mistakes. I needed soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onions, and crushed peppercorns (I didn't have a bay leaf, so I blew that off). So, I was off to the kitchen.
The chicken was thawed out, so I was off to a good start. I grabbed what I thought was the bottle of soy sauce. I was a little quick on the trigger finger for dumping the stuff into the pot...the bottle I grabbed was the terriyaki bottle (Hey, they look the same to me!). I had dumped in half of the bottle before I noticed it smelled a little off compared to what I thought was soy sauce and it had a somewhat different consistency. I saw that there was a new bottle of soy sauce in the cupboard too, so I thought to myself (okay, thinking to myself has gotten me into trouble so far) just grab the soy sauce bottle and dump some of that in there too. It can't be too much different! Okay...I dumped in a buttload of soy sauce. I went looking for the vinegar bottle-I'd seen a fairly full one in the cupboard about a week or so ago, so I knew we had some. Okay...now I realized the bottle of white vinegar was gone (we don't always keep a bottle of Datu Puti handy). The only vinegar left in the cupboard was a bottle of Heinz malt salad vinegar. Oh well, I'd already begun the process, so I decided to dump it in and see what happened. Again my ignorance was shining through, but it smelled pretty good so far, so I wasn't about to quit.
Okay...so far...so good. Now I went looking for the onions and garlic. I did find a decent onion, cut it up and threw it in the pot. I scoured the pantry for garlic. I had seen J prepare food with garlic just a few days before, so I was sure I would be able to find some garlic, smash it up with a knife handle and put it into the pot. There was no garlic to be found. Hey, but Samok Daddy was not a quitter...He would find something that would work to give it the garlicy (is that a word?) essence it needed. I dug through the spice cupboard and I found garlic salt. I sprinkled a healthy amount of garlic salt into the pot. I was confident that my adobo would be awesome, despite it's augmentations. My goal now was to let it simmer and simmer...
Okay... I overcooked it. I didn't know that at the time. When J came in the door at 6:00, her first words were welcomed by my ears. She said, "MMMMMM, Honey that smells so good." I stuck out my chest a little and felt proud. Of course, she then looked in pot with the adobo in it. I had let it simmer without looking at it-I was following that adage about the watched pot and all... I guess I overcooked it a little. The meat had completely fallen away from all the legbones. It looked a little mushy in the adobo sauce. J did sip the sauce and said it tasted pretty good, but it was a little too salty. She grabbed the bottle of vinegar, tossed some more in, grabbed a can of Sierra Mist, dumped that into the mix and had me taste it again. Oh my... that little bit changed it completely.
We dished it up with Jasmine Rice...and it was okay. It was my first attempt at adobo and I know it won't be my last. I'll keep trying, but don't expect any dinaguan or pinakbet from me in the near future!!!


mamazilla said...

you had me until the sierra mist, dude... well, the teriyaki kinda threw me too.

mental note: be present for the thin man's first attempt at adobo making.... ;)

samokdaddy said...

I think it will be better if J is in the house. I just don't want her nosing over my creativity in the kitchen-might be kind of a culinary buzzkill. As long as she's close enough when I botch it too bad...that's enough.

On a sidenote...We started watching AZN on cable. Friday afternoon we saw "The World Tonight." I only have one question...What's up with Angelo Castro Jr.'s hair? It looks like he's got some anti-grav hair product going on... Tina needs to say something to him when they are on commercial break...maybe give him a kick under the desk and tell him to tame it down just a tad. But...who am I to say. J often tells me that I need style coaching. I guess I can't be the ambassador of style for men.

mom2amara said...

You put me to shame! I'm still too manok (ok that Tagalog word doesn't work in translation!) to try to cook adobo myself!