Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet (or Hot) Longanisa or; My Mom's Idea of Comfort Food

For some reason, whenever I'm feeling bummed out my mother cooks me fried sweet longanisa, or pork sausage. She knows I can put them away like a can of Pringles, and probably believes that the sweetness and homey-ness of the food can fill up whatever's breaking my heart at that moment. Tomorrow she's undergoing a follow-up procedure for her breast cancer. This event - which scares me to death - reminds me of the many longanisa dishes she's served me during my harder times.
This pinoy staple is frequently served as hearty fare for breakfast, along with fried rice and an egg, sunny side up. Along with tocino, cocktail hotdogs (no, that's not a typo), spam, canned corned beef, and beef tapa, traditional pinoy breakfasts are meant to slow down your heart rate a little and put some fat in your flesh, meant to be burnt off during hard work during the day. This kind of lifestyle, of course, is rapidly becoming more obsolete as food consumers in developing nations are becoming less active than their ancestors.
I wish I knew how to make the sausage from scratch, but for now I'll settle with the store bought version. If I'm lucky, an independent sausage maker will have his or her bags of homemade longanisa at the local Filipino store.

Love in a hog casing.

A few links of longanisa
Neutral oil

Some fry their longanisa straightaway, but I like to boil them first to cook them through. The seasoning of the sausage caramelizes quickly, so frying them at a high heat might undercook them. Start by boiling some water with the sausages over high heat, enough to reach halfway, in a frying pan. Turn once or twice to evenly cook. Once most of the water evaporates, add enough oil to cover the pan and lower to medium heat. Poke some holes into the sausages immediately, or you'll end up with a lot of oil spatter from the sausage fat. You'll know it's done when the sausages are browned nicely.

Once my mom is discharged from the hospital on Saturday morning, there'll be a hot plate of longanisa waiting for her at home.

My mother and her awkward children. That's me with the Goofy shirt - and no, I wasn't being ironic.

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