Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Je ne suis pas Charlie (Yo no soy Charlie; I am not Charlie)

Posted on | January 9, 2015 | 1 Comment

by José Antonio Gutiérrez*

I start by clarifying, first of all, that I consider an atrocity the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and I do not think that in any sort of circumstances it would be justifiable to turn a journalist into a military target. The same is true in France, as it is in Colombia or Palestine. Also, I do not identify myself with any fundamentalism, nor Christian, nor Jew, nor Muslim, nor with the Frenchified secularism which rises the sacred “République” as a goddess.

Thousands of people understandably affected by this attack have circulated messages in French saying “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), as if this message was the last word in defense of freedom. Well, I’m not Charlie. I do not identify with the demeaning portrayal and “caricature” that it makes of the Islamic world, at the height of the “war on terror”, with all the racist and colonialist burden this entails. I can not see with good face the constant symbolic aggression that is also balanced with real physical aggression through bombing and military occupations of countries belonging to this cultural horizon. Read more

Cebu Lechon-Style Porchetta

Posted on | January 2, 2015 | No Comments

Special Materials/ Equipment:

  • Turbo Broiler
  • Cooking String/Twine
  • Ziploc™ (or equivalent) bag
  • Mixing bowl
  • Basting/BBQ brush
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wire rack

Timetable:

  • Total = ~12.5 hours
  • Brining = ~9 hours
  • Filling and Glazing = 1.5 hours
  • Roasting = 2 hours

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 kg (~4 lbs) whole pork belly, skin-on

Brine:

  • 2-3 stalks lemon grass (tanglad)
  • 1-2 stalks medium-sized leeks
  • 4-6 laurel (bay) leaves
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup rock (coarse/sea) salt
  • 5 cups water

Filling:

  • 1-2 stalks lemon grass (tanglad)
  • 1 stalk medium-sized leeks
  • 2-3 pandan leaves, optional
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed

Glaze:

  • ½ cup fresh milk

Part I – Brining

Brining

(to be done one day before cooking)

  1. Clean the fresh (defrost if needed) pork belly under running water, ensuring that skin has been shaved of hairs.
  1. Combine all the brine ingredients in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes, covered.
  1. Switch off the heat, and cool the brine completely to room temperature. Place the pork belly inside the Ziploc™ bag, then pour the brine into the bag to completely submerge the meat.
  1. Carefully remove as much air as possible from the bag and then seal it. Place the bag in a mixing bowl and then refrigerate it overnight.

Part II – Filling and Glazing

Filling and Glazing

  1. After brining, remove the pork from the brine solution. Discard the brine. Wash the pork under running water, then pat dry using paper towels.
  1. On a clean and flat surface, lay the pork belly flat, meat side up and skin side down. Neatly arrange and distribute onto the center one-third zone of the meat the filling
  1. Carefully roll the pork belly slab along its length to form a u-shaped roulade, making sure that most (if not all) of the skin is exposed on the outside. Secure the roll using cooking string/twine at regular 3 cm (~1 inch) intervals along its length.
  1. Set the pork belly roll on a tray, skin-side up. Using a basting brush, coat/paint the skin evenly with one layer of fresh milk. Repeat the coating/painting every ten minutes, up to one hour.
  1. Drain any excess milk from the pork belly roll.

Part III – Roasting

Roasting

  1. Wrap the pork belly roll with aluminum foil. Set the roll onto the rack of a turbo broiler. Cover the broiler, and then cook for 1.5 hours at 180 OC (~350 OF).
  1. Unwrap the pork belly roll. Increase the temperature to 250 OC (~480 OF), and then continue cooking for another 30 minutes. If necessary, rotate the roll every ten minutes to ensure even browning of the skin.
  1. Once the turbo broiler is done, transfer the pork belly roll to a wire rack and let rest for around 10-15 minutes.

Serve with vinegar (plain or spiced).

Serving

 

[Adapted from http://filipinofoodrecipes.org/lechon-belly-ala-lechon-cebu-recipe]

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Philippine History in Around Two Minutes

Posted on | October 31, 2014 | No Comments

I’ve been away from the Philippines for almost two months now – the longest I’ve ever been abroad. But I am enjoying ‪#‎MyCheveningJourney‬. And because I’m feeling a bit ‪#‎homesick‬ today, I decided to share this primarily for the benefit of my new international friends.

Many of you have wondered why I speak as if English is my native language, asking sometimes if indeed it is my country’s official language. Some have also been surprised when I tell the time in Spanish, and on occasion why my cooking draws on traditional Chinese flavours. The Indonesians and Malaysians among you smile whenever I say “mahal” in reference to expensive goods, and find it weird that “salamat” is actually “thank you” in Filipino. Read more

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