It’s become a ritual of sorts. When my brother-in-law, Buddy, comes over with his best girl, Laura, they’d bring a slab of pork belly and I’d turn it into crispy roast pork belly a.k.a. lechon kawali. Then, we’d drink and, sometimes, watch movies. And chat… often, until the wee hours of the morning.
A great way to unwind, definitely. We’re so relaxed with this couple (and Laura’s unico hijo, Enzo) that bothering about whether we brought out matching glasses just don’t cross our minds anymore. In fact, there had been times when we drank our cocktails from disposable plastic cups. So long as we have good food and enough drinks, then, we’re happy.
The last time that Buddy, Laura and Enzo were over at the house, it was also Buddy’s birthday. I said I’d take care of all the food and there was no need for them to bring anything. Just show up, and that was it.
I had something very definite in mind — something that had crispy roast pork belly in it, of course, as that had become the trademark of these monthly get-togethers. And, for as long as I’ve known him, Buddy had always been a fan of tacos. So, I was going to serve the crispy roast pork belly as a taco filling.
I chopped the crispy roast pork belly into pieces smaller than usual, I made a basic salsa, prepped some lettuce and there was sour cream and chili sauce to drizzle over the filling before folding the tortilla close.
And the tacos were truly delicious. I thought I had invented something new and I rejoiced thinking that the tacos would totally revolutionize the crispy roast pork belly culture. Although the taste of salty, fatty pork mingling with fresh vegetables and sauces lingered, alas, the pride at the thought that I invented a new dish was short-lived. Someone turned on the TV and a local food show was on. A group was sampling the specialty in a place somewhere in the Kapitolyo area and guess what it was — tacos with chopped porchetta for the filling.
Never mind. The tacos with crispy pork belly filling were good and worth making again. Next time, though, I will make mango and avocado salsa to go with the meat.