Someone told me a long time ago that I’m a freak for enjoying grocery shopping. Do people really hate grocery shopping that much? For me, walking down the aisles of a good market is like exploring a new world. Picking out juicy berries and fresh fish is fun, but my favorite part of shopping is picking out a treat every time. The treat is usually something I’ve never seen or eaten before, and I always have fun experimenting with a new ingredient. Over the past year, I’ve simmered bone broth with cow’s feet, made soup with chayote, and discovered a love of baked plantains and liver (not together).
This week, I visited a new grocery store that stocks tons of produce, sauces, and products from around the world. I had to hold myself back from buying Indian or Chinese bittermelon, daikon for pickling, whole red snapper, or one of a rainbow of different hot peppers. Not everything was quite as tempting–the whole pigs’ heads could very well stay in the case. My roommates put up with a lot of my weird culinary exploration, but I’m not sure any of us could handle a snout poking out of the fridge.
This week’s ingredient, on the other hand, had everyone following their noses to the kitchen. Longganisa, a Filipino sausage similar to chorizo, can be made with pork, chicken, or beef. The spices and seasonings vary by region, and there are two main varieties. Jamonado or hamonado is a sweet version that smells like warm sugar as it cooks. De recado is a spicier version flavored with vinegar and garlic. I found all this out from Jun-blog, a Filipino cooking blog featuring beautiful photography and a lovely Filipino food alphabet project.
Being the food nerd that I am, I didn’t stop at Jun-Blog. There were tons of recipe sites and blogs offering different ways to make, stuff, and cook different varieties of longganisa. Most people eat longganisa as part of a breakfast meal with fried rice and eggs. I wanted a slightly heartier meal, so I served the sausages with tri-color quinoa and sauteed vegetables. Unless you cook the sausages in advance, this meal is best for mornings when you have a little time to luxuriate over breakfast.
- 6 links longganisa (Filipino sausage)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- a large handful of baby arugula
- 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- Place the sausage links in a medium sautee pan and fill the pan with water halfway up the links. Cook over medium-high heat, turning sausages as they cook, until the water has evaporated (about 15 minutes). Prep the vegetables as the sausages cook.
- Add coconut oil and fry sausages until the outsides are golden brown or to your preference. Remove to a plate covered with a paper towel.
- Lower the heat to medium and add onion and pepper. Season with salt. Sautee until the onions are translucent and peppers are tender. Add arugula, stir, then cover for 30-60 seconds or until wilted. Remove from heat.
- Prepare the quinoa to your preference; I’m all about easy cooking so I pour the quinoa and water in a medium sized bowl, cover, and microwave for 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave (careful- it will be hot), uncover and stir, recover, and microwave for 2 more minutes.
- Stir the vegetables into the quinoa and serve with the sausages. Enjoy!
If you have other ideas for preparing longganisa or suggestions for ingredients you’d like to learn more about, let me know and I’ll keep an eye out in the future.