Saturday, January 30, 2010

A special 'trapo' recipe

FOR every season, there's always that signature dish to look forward. Favorites like roasted Turkey with cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, Special Tikoy on Chinese New Year and Sweet Ham every Christmas are always anticipated by every gastronome.

But nothing compares to the preparation of this winning dish served by some deceiving Filipino politicians-because it takes years, months and even decades to prepare. There are many variations of this dish-as per region-in the country where it is served or wherever these politicians trace their roots.

Ilocanos add saluyot as pampadulas or grease money, Bicolanos add siling labuyo as pampaanghang for added heat as in any traditional Filipino election, Ilonggos add sugar as pampatamis for that extra sweetness with their celebrity wife to overpower their makunat (stiff) image and Tagalogs add sampalok or kamias as pampaasim to their so-so educational backgrounds and leadership skills.

As a food connoisseur, I am inventing a special recipe just for the quintessential Filipino dirty politician. After all, it's just a matter of voter's taste that guarantees a person's victory. Moreover, it is always up for the Filipino exercising his right to suffrage if he wants to suffer from food poisoning due to dirty politics. Here's the recipe:
Special Trapo's Casserole

1 kilo - Any type of meat (Congressmen prefer pork)
1/2 kilo - Potatoes ( The more eyes for better cheating)
1/2 kilo - Pechay (Itanim ang Pechay!) or Cabbage (Heads cut-off Maguindanao style)
1 can - Tomato sauce (the bloody red, the better)
1/2 cup - Oil ( as grease money)
1 clove - Garlic (For privilege speech accessory) and Onion
1 bouillon cube (Congressmen prefer pork cubes instant sarap)
1 teaspoon food color (Yellow in Tarlac, Orange in Las Piñas etc.)
3 cups water (Cool enough to project a good image to the youth)
1 teaspoon- Sugar (Refined mestiza or brown ex-boldstar type)
1 teaspoon MSG (Money, Sex and Goons)
Salt and pepper (To show that the "trapo" has taste too)

Heat oil in a casserole and wait until it is hot enough just like any other sala sa init-sala sa lamig politician waiting for that clamor from the masses or grease money (campaign contributions) from their padrinos. Then, when the oil is hot enough to fool the masses, add garlic to the pan and sauté until golden brown akin to a golden finish in the elections.

Add onion for extra flavor and to conceal or hide the rotten smell of one's political image. Add slices of pork or beef cut into cubes and let it simmer into the oil for a few minutes and sprinkle sugar, salt and pepper for added taste.

Then add water to the meat and boil for a few minutes until the meat becomes
tender. Afterwards, add potatoes and simmer for three minutes until it boils. Add tomato sauce and food coloring to give tint and color to the broth similar to the political colors of today's politician (yellow for Noynoy Aquino and orange for Manny Villar, Green for Gibo).

Add bouillon cube (Congressmen prefer pork cubes sometimes in attaché cases o envelopes) to add more umami flavor to the rich broth. Lastly, add the pechay or cabbage leaves for that delicious casserole.

Serve hot in a palayok for presentation purposes or in first-class china. Count one, two, and three and the special trapo dish is cooked. Politicians love numbers. They count number 1, number 2 and number 3 just the way they look for their real number 1, number 2 and number 3.

Almost every dirty politician has their own version of this special hot dish. But let's see if they will follow this to ensure victory in 2010 or add another twist to this recipe.

This is best served with steamed rice - if there's no shortage next year due to the typhoons. Bon Apetit!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 27, 2009.



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