September 11, 2010

Crispy Pata

Oh, thank goodness it's the weekend! This past two weeks have been crazy to say the least. A new school year just started and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. My kids' homeschool program have added new courses and activities this year that my kids and I are slowly getting used to it. I am sure that we'll catch up as the year progresses but today more than ever I've been looking forward to not thinking about American History or Spelling and just enjoying something fried, pick-the-meat-out-with-your-fingers, dip-it, lip-smacking, crunchy, tender deliciousness that is Crispy Pata I made a few weeks ago.

A little story on how this Crispy Pata came about. Last month, Annapet of Moonglow Gardens, who I've been chatting with on Twitter for weeks, invited my family to a picnic with her family so we could finally meet. My family had a great time, there were miles of food laid out plus games and raffles. To our surprise my son won the grand prize: a 50-pound bag of Jasmine rice and a deep-fryer! How awesome was that! My husband had a great idea of christening our new kitchen gadget with the crispy pata - perfect!

Crispy Pata is just one way Filipinos have made use of a cut of meat considered useless and turned it into a delicacy. The pata (Spanish word for leg) is first boiled with enough water to cover along with onion, lots of garlic, a couple of bay leaves, salt and whole peppercorns until they are tender, this will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let it cool in the now-flavorful broth then remove to dry in rack. (I didn't discard the pork broth, I strained it and used it for ramen the next day.)
I let it cool and dry a few hours on the rack. I needed most of the moisture out of the skin to get it really crispy when I fry. You could do this for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours, overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of the fridge at least an hour before frying to get the pata into room temperature before frying.

(Once I was ready to fry, I found out the pata was a bit too big for my new fryer so I resorted to using my Dutch oven and candy thermometer. My new fryer is still pristine new as of today. Sorry Annapet :( But, no worries, I already have another plan for it's inaugural fry! Stay tuned.) 

The crispy pata didn't stay long in the hot oil. Since it was basically already cooked, I let the pata fry until it "looked" ready, meaning golden-brown, about several minutes. I carefully removed it and let it cool for another couple minutes before serving.

I served this for dinner with vegetarian Lumpiang Sariwa (something wholesome to balance out this fried dish) but noticed my kids and husband was just staring at the platter with the whole crispy pata. I guess it's a little intimidating having a huge big-as-your-face chunk of fried meat staring right back at you. So I took the initiative and slid my knife along the bone, chunks of meat just fell off and onto the platter. I cut them into manageable chunks and my family dug right in! Served with dipping sauce made of equal parts vinegar and soy sauce with crushed fresh garlic and minced onions, this was a perfect meal that night.

This was my first time cooking Crispy Pata at home and I know it will not be the last. This is one dish I'll definitely be making again this weekend.

21 comments:

CALABIA FAMILY said...

That looks so good! I want to try and make this now. Where did you pick up the meat? Seafood City? Ranch 99? Good old Ralph's or Albertsons. Thanks for sharing!

Joy said...

My husband would probably clean for a month if I made this :D

A cupcake or two said...

Crispy pata is one of my favourites. I introduced my friends to it and they always come to my house for CP night. Its so bad yet so so good.

chef_d said...

Wow,crispy pata!! I miss eating and cooking this. I tried cooking it in the turbo broiler to make it a little bit healthier :) still tastes better deep fried *sigh*

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks so crispy! I gotta try it next time!

Annie said...

looks great! a deep fryer is now on my wish list!

Ria Jose said...

MYYYY GOODNESS! That Crispy Pata looks very good! :)

Juliana said...

Wow, this look so, so tasty...so crispy...yummie!

Olive said...

yum, yum, yum! I LOVE crispy pata, I've never tried making it at home but you've inspired me to..thanks Caroline :)

Mhel said...

Hi Carol! Thanks for promoting my blog entry for the PFB! Sending my love back! I hope I make it to the challenge! Mabuhay!! Let's keep promoting Filipino food!

Kathy Diaz (found baking) said...

Seriously my husband will be forever grateful if you make him this crispy pata! Haha! He loves it! Everytime my dad makes it or when we go to a Filipino restaurant, that's the first thing he orders. Yours look absolutely delicious. So crispy looking and juicy! Mmmmm!

Jean said...

Gosh, that crispy pata looks so good. I actually had some yesterday after not having filipino food for three weeks (from Goldilocks) but it didn't look nearly as good as yours. Yum yum!

Cherrie Pie said...

I love crispy pata. I love the colour of yours. It looks so crispy! YUM

cusinera said...

Why do you have to tease me so? That pata looks soooo delectable...and I love that you team it up with lumpiang sariwa=)

girlichef said...

OH my gosh, that golden, crisp skin looks amazing! I am currently enamored by Filipino food!!

Stephen Dypiangco said...

Wow, that looks so good!

pocketdaydreams said...

Holy moly this looks awesome! I never heard of pata before. Thanks for introducing me to another prism of the Filipino food culture!

Also, thank you for voting for me on Project Food Blog -- don't know if I'll make it to the next round after that disaster but I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I had crispy pata once when I was Manila and I will craving for it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will make it soon :)

Tiffany said...

Oooooh my god. "Unusable" cuts of meat are my favorite.

I totally need to have a dinner party.

mr. pineapple man said...

loving your blog!! makes me hungry :)

Emily said...

so so so gonna try this soon!

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