Foodie at Home in Bacolod

We enjoy going out to eat in local restaurants several times each week but my wife and I agree that the best food we enjoy is made at home. Eating for Filipinos doesn’t seem to be a problem but some expats are picky about their variety of food and I am to some extent but not overboard. I don’t require my food to be imported from the USA, Europe, Australia or New Zealand. There are a few food items, which are part of my diet, that just aren’t produced in the Philippines, so yeah, I buy those imported items as needed.

Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day. For me, I often eat Brunch instead of breakfast but I do have a few breakfast favorites. Rolled Oats, which are imported from Australia, is one. Grits, imported from the USA, is another. Grits consist of coarsely ground white corn and served as a thick porridge. I enjoy pancakes and my favorite one step hotcake mix is a product of the Philippines. It is Pillsbury Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Hotcake Mix, readily available at SM Supermarket.

Eggs Benedict

One of my real favorite breakfast foods is Eggs Benedict. There are probably many recipes for this delightful dish but I have my own. An egg poacher is not required! I start with 3 cups of water in a deep wok. I add one capfull of white vinegar and bring the water to a boil. To make things easy, I crack each egg into a separate, small coffee cup and just slide the eggs into the boiling water in the wok. One at a time. My eggs are usually ready in 2-3 minutes and are still over easy but cooked with enough heat for safe eating. During the process of poaching the eggs, I also have my English muffins split and in the toaster. I have my Canadian Bacon ready to go. English Muffin first on the plate, add the Canadian Bacon and the poached egg goes on top. I don’t add Hollandaise Sauce to my Eggs Benedict but purists must have it. Go for it! A splash of Worcestershire or hot sauce is popular among others.

I buy English Muffins from Kuster’s Food Hub in Lopues Mandalagan Shopping Center. Canadian Bacon is available at Aribu’s Sausages and Cold Cuts in the Mandalagan Art District.

Snack time! I don’t eat potato chips everyday but I like them from time to time. I make sure I have some on hand when I do want potato chips. Lay’s Potato Chips are available at local supermarkets but there are several Philippine brand potato chips that are very good.

Farmer John Mesquite BBQ Potato Chips

Farmer John makes several flavors of potato chips and they are all very good, in my opinion.

Outback Potato Chips

The potatoes used to make these chips are 100% USA potatoes, the name is Outback and made in the Philippines. Great marketing! The potato chips are very good.

American Heritage Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Great for snacks, great on burgers, in chili con carne, on sandwiches and in salads. American Heritage is imported from Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is available at Lopues Mandalagan and the cost is P169 per package.

What is for supper? BBQ ribs. I will save that Foodie at Home for my next post. As Chef Bobby Flay always says, it is time for “Grillin’ N Chillin!”

 

 

 

 

 

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!