DIY Padi's Point Sisig
One of the upsides of this quarantine (there is always a positive side to everything!) is the proliferation of food delivery services - suppliers selling frozen products that would normally go to restaurants and cafes (10 gallon frozen yogurt, anyone?) and restaurants offering their specialties DIY (they deliver the pre-cooked dish, you do the final cooking). So tonight we had Padi's Point sisig.
I don't know what Padi's Point is up to these days (aside from having all its branches closed due to the quarantine) since I have long stopped going on drunken pub crawl but back in the 90s, it was one of the three OG Pinoy-themed resto-bar (the other two were Dencio's and Gerry's Grill) where you consumed beer by the bucket with the ubiquitous sisig. Sisig, for the uninitiated, is a savory dish from Pampanga (roughly 80 kilometers north of Metro Manila) made from chopped-up pig's head and chicken liver, and has not and will never be considered a health food, keto be damned. But man, it's yummy.
The instructions that came with the frozen Padi's Point sisig is to saute chopped onions in butter, drop the pre-cooked sisig into the pan, cook for a bit, and transfer to a hot sizzling plate, add egg, mayonnaise, and/or calamansi (calamondin/Philippine lime endemic to the region) as desired. What I did was saute Both onion and garlic (garlic is always good) in butter before adding the sisig. And since we don't have a sizzling plate, C instead put it in the oven and hot blasted it at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. It didn't get that burnt meat consistency that usually goes with being served in a sizzling plate but it wasn't bad.
What got me though was the aroma. Even when I was still just sauteing it, the scent wafting from the pan reminding me of my decadent days - the smell of beer and cigarette smoke and pheromones. It brought drunken memories of raucous laughter and the sheer frivolity and insouciance of youth. Good times.
And so we had our dinner, mindful of our cholesterol count, and barely talking while watching Toys That Made Us on Netflix, a brief respite from a quarantine workday that was already way past our usual hours. After dinner, we went back to our laptops - C to work on an article, me to prepare for a client call. But for a very brief moment there, I was 18 again, savoring my sisig.