Making Pizza in the Philippines

Going to the supermarkets or the deli in Bacolod is one of my hobbies. It is almost like antique hunting in that you never know what you will find. One of our pastimes is also making pizza at home. Making pizza can be done in the oven or on the outside grill.

Making Pizza at Home

This is really easier than some people think. Actually, it is very EZ if you have an oven. A grill will work, too. At our home in Bacolod, we have a portable counter top oven but it is large enough to meet our family needs. We can bake a whole chicken in the oven if we like. Back to Pizza. If you do not want to make the pizza crust by hand, you can always buy Bambi Pizza Crust, located in the frozen food section at SM Supermarket. I like the thin crust pizza and you get two pizza crusts in each package.

Bambi Pizza Crust

All the ingredients one would want to put on their pizza made at home are available in Bacolod City. I enjoy anchovies on my pizza and SM sells the anchovies imported from Spain. SM European Deli brand pepperoni works nicely on homemade pizza. If you want to put everything but the kitchen sink on your pizza, I recommend Bambi thick pizza crust .

SM sells Del Monte brand Italian Pizza Sauce if you don’t want to buy all the herbs to make your own pizza sauce at home. SM also sells Filipino Pizza Sauce if you like it sweet. We prefer Italian.

Pizza Ready to Eat!

This is a simple pizza that we made with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, ground beef, mushrooms and purple onions. Since it is thin crust, it is not overloaded with toppings, so it doesn’t fall apart in your hands.

If you are in Bacolod City and if you are craving pizza so badly that you just can’t wait to make your own, I suggest trying Pizza Drive Restaurant. It is not well known in Bacolod but we eat there often when we want a pizza without making our own, since it is near our house. Pizza Drive is located in Mansiligan, Bacolod City on Alijis Road at the entrance to Carmenville Subdivision. Pizza Drive Pizza is made from scratch and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Pizza Drive sells Asia Brewery Beer products, including Coors Light.

I must confess. I sometimes eat pizza for breakfast!

 

 

 

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Expat Comfort Food in the Philippines

Whenever I get together with my expat friends in the Bacolod Area, the topic of food always comes up! Where to buy certain Western food items, new restaurants which serve food that expats enjoy and what we eat at home. I can find pretty much anything I enjoy and would want in the supermarkets of Bacolod for my wife and I to prepare delicious food at home. The last two hard to find items can now be found at the Deli Grocery of Cafe Bob’s on Lacson Street. Those two items were American style cornmeal to make good cornbread and grit. Grits are coarsely ground corn or sometimes alkali treated corn, known as hominy. The grits I bought at Cafe Bob’s are Enriched Hominy Grits, milled in Washington State, USA. Grits are mostly eaten at breakfast but I also eat them with fried fish for lunch for supper.

We enjoy eating in restaurants in Bacolod City, eating out several times each week, but we eat most of our meals at home, which my wife and I prepare. We always look forward to the new restaurant reviews by the Bacolod Food Hunters, found right here on Word Press. I will share a few things we prepared at home the past week or so. All the ingredients were purchased in Bacolod City at one of the supermarkets, namely SM, Robinsons, Lopues, Gaisano, Cafe Bob’s Deli Grocery and K-Mart. No, it isn’t the USA based K-Mart.

We have a few Filipino friends who also enjoy what I refer to as “Expat Comfort Food!” Based on what I have learned from conversations with expats in Bacolod, I eat Filipino food more often than most of them. I eat Filipino dishes several times each week but I am not too craZy about plain white rice.

Italian Sausage with Sauerkraut

The Italian Sausage is a fairly new item sold at SM under their Bonus brand name of European Deli. A great price on these, too. The baguette was purchased at Baker’s Bakery. I added French’s Horseradish Mustard to the baguette. The French’s Horseradish Mustard is two sauces in one bottle and can be purchased at SM Supermarket.

Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut

This jar of Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut was purchased at Cafe Bob’s Deli Grocery. K-Mart sometimes has cans of sauerkraut in stock but they were out when I recently wanted to buy some. “Sorry, Sir, out of stock!” Too bad but I had Plan B. Cafe Bob’s.

As I mentioned, I am not too craZy about plain white rice but I can do a few things with it! To kick the rice up a few notches!

Red Beans and Rice with Italian Sausage

I could not find Andouille Sausage in Bacolod to make this hearty Cajun dish, made famous in the USA in Louisiana, but I didn’t expect to find it since it is a regional sausage even in the States. So, I used one of the SM European Deli Italian Hot Links Sausages. These sausages are spicy but not overpowering. I also added chopped green bell peppers, which are locally grown and much cheaper than the imported bell peppers. The red kidney beans are Campagna brand, which is a product of Italy. Less than $1 USD per can, so not bad! This brand of kidney beans is sold in SM Supermarket and I have seen them at other Bacolod Supermarkets. I also use the red kidney beans to make chili con carne.

G&G Burger

There seems to be the ongoing debate about where to find the best burgers. Hungry Pete’s? Bar 21? Actually the best burgers in Bacolod are found in our home! G&G Burger, which is Gary and Grace Burger. Yep, we make them but we don’t sell them. Grilled to perfection using Ground Round Beef, which is all we use for our burgers. If it is the rainy season and too wet to grill outdoors, these burgers can also be made in the skillet or wok on the gas burner. I have an assortment of good things to put on the burger. A1 Steak Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, French’s Horseradish Mustard, French’s Honey Dijon Mustard, McCormick Yellow Mustard, Heinz Ketchup, Mother’s Best Hot Sauce, Del Monte Hamburger Pickle Relish (which is red color and not green color), Magic Time Jalapeno Peppers, Tabasco Green or Red Hot Pepper Sauce and Kraft Honey Hickory BBQ Sauce.

I never make one burger the same it seems! It just depends on my mood that day. For sure, the G&G Burger always has lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and Spanish onions. I had this bad boy burger for lunch on Wednesday! I used A1 Steak Sauce as the sauce.

G&G Burger

Just one more time! Another look at the burger before topping the bun.

I will be doing a few more installments of Expat Comfort Food in the Philippines in the days ahead. Our food is only limited by our imagination!

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Wings in Bacolod

 

One of my favorite foods is Buffalo Wings and it is probably the one dish that can always perk up my appetite. I never tire of Buffalo Wings and I can happily eat them several times every week. There is at least one restaurant in Bacolod City that I am aware of, which has Buffalo Wings on their menu, but since I am a positive guy, I won’t mention the name of the restaurant because their wings are not prepared the way expats and Filipino-Americans enjoy them. We enjoy the original and classic style of Buffalo Wings made famous by the Anchor Bar in New York.

Many of my American friends and family members back in the States are always amazed of the food products available in the supermarkets in the Bacolod Area.

It is traditional to eat celery dipped in Blue Cheese Dressing with Buffalo Wings but I don’t need celery and dip to enjoy the Wings! Celery and Blue Cheese Dressing are available in Bacolod but it is just my personal choice not to include them when I prepare Buffalo Wings.

Mama Sita’s Buffalo Wings Sauce

Mama Sita brand is very famous all over the Philippines, as is Mama Sita! The family of Mama Sita Reyes owned and operated the famous Aristocrat Restaurant, located in Manila on Roxas Boulevard, for many years. I have eaten at the Aristocrat many times in the past and it was my favorite Filipino Restaurant in Metro Manila. Mama Sita brand sauces and mixes are sold in supermarkets, small grocery stores and even in some small sari sari stores nationwide. The sauces and mixes make preparing Filipino dishes at home a snap! It gives the authentic taste one is seeking, without compromising quality, when they don’t  have hours to spend in the kitchen. Keeping in step with the times, Mama Sita now makes Buffalo Wings Sauce and it is readily available at SM Supermarket.

I still make my own Buffalo Wings sauce from time to time and it is very simple. Melted butter and Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Buffalo Wings Seasoning Mix

For those who want to kick up your Buffalo Wings a few notches, you can buy the McCormick brand Classic Buffalo Wings Seasoning Mix. It also comes with a packet of Buffalo Wings Sauce, if you want to use it. I always deep fry the Buffalo Wings without batter and this seasoning mix is not a batter but it really kicks up the taste of the wings. It is also available at SM Supermarket. I have always enjoyed my own recipe for Buffalo Wings but I have discovered the combination of McCormick Buffalo Wings Seasoning Mix and the Buffalo Wings Sauce really takes the wings to the next level of excellence.

Buffalo Wings

These are last night’s batch of our Buffalo Wings made at home in our kitchen. This was my serving but I promise, I did not eat all 10. I stopped at 7! We did not have celery and Blue Cheese Dressing.

What is this?

Those are potato wedges! A nice variation of French fries. Simply cut the potato into larger wedges, leaving the skin on, and deep fry. I enjoy these much better than celery, to say the least! It is no problem to fry them in the same vat as the Buffalo Wings. More flavor.

As I always say, everyday unfolds a new adventure in the Bacolod Area and you can create another one of your own, right in your home kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Food in Bacolod Philippines

Indian Restaurant

It is Sunday and the day we explore all around the Bacolod Area after church service. Thanks to a tip from a poster, Pepe, on the Bacolod Food Hunters, right here on Word Press, we found this small Indian Restaurant. In line with sharing to expats and others about unique and interesting things in the Bacolod Area, I felt the Indian Restaurant should receive honorable mention.

The Indian Restaurant also serves local Filipino food. We had lunch today at the Indian Restaurant, which is located on BS Aquino Drive, about 100 meters from the Barangay Hall of Villamonte in Bacolod. If you don’t look for it closely, you may miss it. It is a small restaurant with 6 picnic style tables indoors. Indian music is in the back ground. I won’t review the entire restaurant setting and I will leave that to the Bacolod Food Hunting Boyz, if they decide to. Believe me, there are many more Indian dishes to sample than what we had today! The food was cheap and it was good Indian cuisine. They are not set up to prepare Tandoori Chicken but no problem to us. 

Samosas

The Samosas, fried Indian pastries with a savory filling of diced potatoes, green peas and ground meat were very good. Don’t be concerned, as it was either ground chicken, lamb or goat or maybe a combo! The samosas were served with a red colored chutney, which was not too spicy.

Spicy Yellow Biryani Rice

Our 6 year old son took one bite of the spicy yellow biryani rice and he was not too happy! Too spicy for him! We told him a trip to McDo was up next, just for him, so he was then a happy camper.

Vegetable Biryani Rice

Chicken Curry

I am kinda picky about chicken. If it is not Buffalo Wings, Southern Fried Chicken, Philippine Chicken Adobo or BBQ Chicken, I usually leave it alone! I really enjoyed the curry sauce, the carrots and peas in the chicken curry.

Goat Masala

I am a minority in my family in that I really enjoy goat and lamb, so I enjoyed the Goat Masala. It was not too spicy for my taste.

Fried Round Indian Pastries

I did not ask the name of these but I would suggest trying one to see what you think!

On the Way Out

This was another simple but great adventure day for me on a groovy Sunday afternoon in Bacolod! If you are looking for an upscale Indian restaurant in Bacolod, The Indian Restaurant is not it but it has a good sampling of famous Indian dishes that are very affordable.Several different beers and White Castle 69 Whisky are available. Our lunch bill today for 5 people, including drinks, was P467. Even though our son decided not to eat what he ordered, the 4 of us did eat it…for him. No leftovers to bring home or to feed our Belgian Malinois dog, Tasha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By The Sea Garden Resort

By The Sea

Located in Talisay City, just north of Bacolod, is By The Sea Garden Resort. There are several nice seaside resorts in the Bacolod Area but many only offer a few native cottages by the sea, overnight lodging, a resto bar and a karaoke machine. Nothing fancy but a very inexpensive place to kill half a day with some fun with friends and family. A great place to have a BBQ, a picnic or order food from the restaurant to enjoy with a few cold ones.

Last Sunday, we went to By The Sea Garden Resort in Talisay. We were the first and only guests there at the time. Su Tu Kill Resto was closed, as was the flea market but we were still determined to have some fun by the sea!

Family Album

A photo to add to the FamilyAlbum! Directly behind us is where clams are harvested. The photos were taken in a kubo, or a native nipa and bamboo cottage, located at the end of a pier.

Silhouette By the Sea

We never did see any clams but we did see some mud crabs!

Mud Crab

To the left of the pier piling is a mud crab.

Reflections By The Sea

Shortly after this photo was taken, it became very windy, so we moved from the cottage at the end of the pier to the small open sided restaurant at the resort. About 5 minutes after our drinks arrived, a tornadic water spout blew in from the sea and damaged the nipa cottage we had just left! All the picnic tables were strewn about and left standing on end. We were blessed that day not to be injured. In the open sided restaurant, our drinks were toppled over, as were some chairs due to the strong wind but we weren’t injured. A Filipino couple in another nipa cottage sustained minor injuries when the cottage collapsed around them.

Needless to say, our food was one hour late arriving. The slightly inured couple refused to seek medical treatment and were treated to a nice lunch and rounds of drinks on the house.

It was only merienda or afternoon snack time for us, so we ordered house fried chicken and Pancit Canton Ilonggo Special, which is a Filipino noodle dish, similar to Lo mein or chow mein. Both are simple dishes but were good. Nothing to complain about at all!

While nothing spectacular, By The Sea Garden Resort offers a few hours of fun during a family outing. For the romantics, By The Sea offers overnight lodging for P1,200 per night.