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The Garlic Festival: A Tale of Two Adobos

August 14, 1986|BARBARA HANSEN | Times Staff Writer

GILROY — Unisex may have put an end to "his" and "her" clothing, but the sex distinction continues in another field--cooking--in the home of Evelyn and John Bautista of Morgan Hill, a community near Gilroy. Both Bautistas are of Philippine ancestry and both make the Filipino meat stew called adobo , but in distinctive versions.

Their adobos have in common a liberal use of garlic, which is appropriate considering that Evelyn Bautista was in charge of the recipe competition at the recent Gilroy Garlic Festival, and her husband headed security for the event and starred in a cooking demonstration.

Differences are the regional origins of the dishes and their seasoning. Evelyn Bautista's adobo represents the Visayan Islands of the Philippines. Her mother came from the island of Siquijor and her father from Cebu in the central Visayas. Evelyn's father settled in Gilroy to raise garlic and vegetables, and Evelyn was born there. She makes her mother's chicken adobo, which is highly seasoned with pickling spices.

John Bautista's mother was Japanese but his father came from Badoc, a town in the province of Ilocos Norte in the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines. John was born in Los Angeles. His rich-tasting yet simple pork dish is the adobo that was served in his parents' home. The seasoning is allspice.

Each Bautista uses garlic in a different way. Evelyn Bautista sautes crushed cloves in oil, then discards the garlic and uses the oil to flavor the dish. Her husband retains the sauteed garlic in his version.

Each appreciates the other's adobo. "I am more prone to mine because I was raised with it," said John Bautista, now a refrigeration contractor.

Evelyn Bautista, a high school teacher, agrees that her husband's adobo is delicious. She suggests as accompaniments to either version white rice, a green salad and green vegetable. Here are the recipes.

EVELYN BAUTISTA'S

VISAYAN ADOBO

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut up

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup white vinegar

4 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 tablespoons oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 (1.25-ounce) can whole mixed pickling spices

1/4 cup canned tomato sauce

1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce

Wash and dry chicken pieces. Place in casserole. Season to taste with salt and add vinegar. Rub chicken well with marinade.

Saute garlic in oil in Dutch oven until dark brown but not burned. Discard garlic, retaining oil. Add onion to oil and cook until tender. Add chicken pieces and marinade and stir to mix well. Cover and simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes.

Add pickling spices. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce and soy sauce. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat chicken with juices. Makes 4 servings.

JOHN BAUTISTA'S PORK ADOBO

1/3 cup oil

3 or 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon whole allspice

1/3 cup Japanese soy sauce

1/3 cup white vinegar

Salt, pepper

Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan. Saute garlic in oil, then add pork and cook until lightly browned. Add allspice, soy sauce and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender when tested with fork, about 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

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