Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes Are a Snap!


It is amazing what people try to sell! A Book for $20 about…How to Prepare Meals at Home Under 30 Minutes?

Most all of my Home Cooked Meals are prepared in less than 30 Minutes! Same with my wife’s cooking. I could Post hundreds such Meals that are a Snap to Prepare in Short Order. It will not cost you one Centavo! Free to you, right here on All Around Bacolod.


However, I will share a few, just to make some folks hungry. I will even give them Fancy Names…


Visayan Buffalo Wings
Mac & Cheese Spaghetti
Lemon Butter Fried Chicken
Mexican Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Dressing
Pan Pasta with Smoked Sausage
Pizza Skillet Casserole
Beef Pasta Salad
Pineapple Bacon Cheeseburger
Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Cucumber Tomalita Salad
Tortellini with Broccolini
Garlic Butter Rib Eye Steaks
Deviled Eggo Salad
Italian Sausage and 2 Bean Skillet
Beef Meatball Noodle Bowl
Bacon Cheddar Pepper Chicken Sandwich
Fried Pork Chops with Apple Butter
Roasted Pepper Shrimp
Mediterranean Flat Iron Steaks
Ginger Pork Chops
Negrense Rib Eye Steaks


I think I just helped a few struggling Restaurants with Kicked Up Menus! My contributions to Impossible Restaurants to keep them open.

Happy Cooking! I am Grillin’ and Chillin” in the City of Smiles, the City we love so well, Bacolod City.,

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Low Country Boil


When I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, I learned about the Low Country Cuisine. It is not as heralded in much of America, however, it is known for its Fabulous Food, throughout much of the Southern USA.

There are a number of Essentials in Low Country Cuisine and I will name the ones I am most familiar with. Shrimp, Crabs, Oysters, Grits, Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Fried Green Tomatoes, Okra, Collard Greens, Pulled Pork, Chicken Bog and Boiled Peanuts.


The above photo is Low Country Fried Steak with Gravy and the good news is, you do not have to be in the Low Country to make it…You can make it right here in Bacolod!


The above photo is Fried Green Tomatoes. There are certainly many Green Tomatoes in Bacolod. After you eat just one, next time, you will slap yo granny down, getting to that batch of Fried Green Tomatoes. Hot, right out of the skillet.


One of my All Time Favorites is the Low Country Boil. You may ask yourself…Self, where is the Low Country. The Low Country is the Coastal Regions of South Carolina and Georgia.

This is what you need to do and then…you really have something good to eat!

Season the Seafood, Season the Veggies and Season the Water in the Stock Pot. Bring the Water to a boil and add…Corn on the Cob and Potatoes. After 10 minutes, add Whole Onions. After 5 minutes, lower heat and add Smoked Sausage, Shrimp, and Crabs. Continue to simmer until done.

Old Newspapers are perfect to use as a Table Cloth when eating the Low Country Boil. Ice Cold Beer is the Beverage of Choice.


Chicken Bog. What the heck is this? Chicken Bog is almost always found in Low Country Homes or in the Homes of those originally from the Low Country but have relocated.

Chicken Bog is a Rich Porridge, consisting of Chicken, Rice, Onions and Smoked Sausage. Fancy restaurants refer to Chicken Bog as…are you ready? Chicken Pilau! However, it is all the same.

There you have it Amigos and Amigas. From the Low Country to the City of Smiles and right to you in yo Kitchen!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Seafood…And Eat It!


There are a number of good Seafood Restaurants in Bacolod. However, even eating at the best, I have experiences Mild to Moderate GI Disturbances after eating there. Therefore, the best and safest Seafood is at Gary’s House!

My wife and I both know how to safely handle Fresh Seafood and we know how to prepare it.

The Seafood Dish I eat most often at home is the Fish Po Boy. I use Vietnamese Catfish Fillets, AKA Cream Dory, to make the Po Boy, Deep Frying the Fish.


The key to any Fried Fish is…the Batter. I like Beer Battered Fish. Other Ingredients include…Cornmeal, Flour, a variety of Spices of Choices but I use All in One Creole Seasoning that is all in. Everything is in it already.

I dip the Fish Fillets in Beer and then dredge it in the Seasoned Cornmeal-Flour Mix. If you do not like dipping Fish in Beer, dip it in a beaten Egg first.


On the Po Boy, I slather both the bread and the Fish with Mayonnaise and Horseradish, accented with Pickle Relish. I then top with Cole Slaw. The Fish Po Boy is down home New Orleans. Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez! Let the Good Times Roll!

I make a Shrimp Po Boy from time to time, using the same Technique as making the Fish Po Boy. If I see the large Oysters, an Oyster Po Boy is awesome!

When eating Boiled Shrimp, I make Shrimp Cocktail as the Sauce. I leave off the Pickle Relish and I use Ketchup instead of Mayonnaise, never forgetting the Horseradish. Required!

Scallops and Oysters are at the top of my favorite Seafood. I learned my lesson well and I will never, never, never again eat Raw Oysters in the Philippines.


I also like Clams, especially Razor Clams, Mussels, Crabs and Sea Snails.

The Fish I eat, I am very picky about. Head and Tail on does not bother me but them Bones do bother me!

Vietnamese Catfish, Lison, Lapu Lapu and Bangus are the Fish I enjoy. Forget Tilapia!


There is a Marine Bounty and a Treasure Trove of Seafood…all around Bacolod. I hope to see you here…one day!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

 

Sisig-King of Filipino Food


Sisig is a dish that is made from Pig’s Mask and is loaded with spices such as Onion, Garlic, and Chili Peppers, as well as seasoned with Calamansi. It is typically served with a cracked egg on top. Many Filipinos in the Bacolod Area also top their Sisig with Mayonnaise.

A kilo of sliced Pig’s Mask is available at the Burgos Public Market in Bacolod for only P100.

This famous dish that can be served for lunch or dinner or even used as a pulutan in gatherings originally came from Pampanga in Luzon.\In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.

In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.


Sisig, which means “to snack on something sour” or “salad” was first mentioned in the 17th century and has become a culinary tradition around the Philippines. This prompted the City Government of Angeles to pass an Ordinance declaring Angeles City as the Sisig Capital of the Philippines.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Asian Takeout Secrets For Home Cooking


In Bacolod, if you do not know the secrets of Asian Takeout at home, you are SOL-Sortta Outta Luck! The 2 best Chinese Restaurants…Golden Fortune and Diamond Palace are not all that.Golden Fortune promotes their Live Seafood, although they have a couple of very good Chinese Dishes…Deep Fried Pigeon and Char Siu Pork. Diamond Palace only has Char Siu Pork that is really any good.

Hong Kong Kitchen at Robinsons Place Mall is more of a Cantonese Dim Sum House but it is excellent. Not as good as what you eat in Hong Kong but it is excellent in Bacolod.

Hua Kong Chinese Pharmacy has a small Chinese Grocery on site, which has things that the Major Supermarkets do not stock, such as…Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts. To make Moo Goo Gai Pan, one of the most popular American-Chinese Dishes.


Making Moo Goo Gai Pan is EZ to make, as it is a One Pot Meal. Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts are required.


It is a key to finding a place to buy the Ingredients to make Asian Takeout, which cannot be substituted in a recipe.

Cornstarch and Ginger are both readily available in the Philippines and both are Staples to making Asian Takeout at home. Kikkoman Tamari Soy Sauce is hard to find and if you see a bottle, buy it!

When making Chicken Teriyaki, it is best to use Chicken Thighs, as the Meat is Juicy and Tender. I use Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce rather than making it from scratch, as I cannot find Japanese Mirin or Sweet Rice Wine in Bacolod.


Commercially sold Sweet & Sour Sauce comes in handy rather than making it from scratch, when making Sweet & Sour Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork or Sweet & Sour Shrimp.

I have a section on a cupboard shelf and in the ref, stocked with ingredients to make Asian Takeout at home.

You can make your favorite Asian Take Out at home and preparing the Asian Takeout is almost as good as eating it,,,almost!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Old Gringo Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


I am digging into my Recipe Box to come up with my Meals. I have blown off the dust and found a few Tried & True Gems! I sometimes get bored with the usual things I enjoy eating, in rotation, so I want something to eat for a change of pace.

Other Dishes I have tried or will try this weekend include…Chinese Orange Chicken, Chili Dogs, Slaw Dogs, Baked Pork Steaks, Southern Style Baked Chicken, Eggplant Lasagna and Thai Shredded Chicken with Fresh Egg Noodles.

Old Gringo Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. The Old Gringo Rides Again!

Cabbage is one of the lower priced Vegetables in Bacolod, as less than P50 will buy that nice, large, fresh Head of Cabbage.

Ingredients…

A nice, large. fresh Head of Cabbage.
Finely Chopped Onion
1 Can of Crushed Tomatoes
Tomato Sauce
Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper
Lean Ground Beef
A Little Uncooked Rice
Butter
Paraley and other Herbs and Spices to Taste
1 Egg

Directions…

Boil the Cabbage about 4-5 minutes
Simmer the Sauce for 12-15 minutes…Onion, Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Brown Sugat and Salt & Pepper
Beat the Egg and mix with Lean Ground Beef
Lay each Cabbage Leaf on a flat surface
Shape the Meat Mixture
Place the Meat Mixture in the center of each Cabbage Leaf and roll it
Pre-heat the Oven at 350 F
Place the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls on a Butter Greased Baking Pan. I Grease Aluminum Foil with Butter, which I place on the Baking Pan.
Bake for 60-90 minutes

Heineken Beer is my Beverage of Choice. It’s a Great Day for Two!


Enjoy!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Best Chili Con Carne


n Bacolod, several Restaurant have Chili Cheese Fries on their Menu. The only ones I tried were at Buffalo’s Wings n’ Things but they are out of business. Their Chili Cheese Fries were good.

Chili is much more than a Bowl of Chili. There are Chili Dogs, Chili Burgers, Chili Hash Browns, Chili Mac, which is mixed with Macaroni and Sonic has their famous Frito Chili Pie. I think most Americans have tried all those dishes at one time or another during their lifetimes.


I sometimes serve Chili over Spaghetti and add a Boiled Egg on top. This will get your Motor Running! Adding the Boiled Egg is something I do but not the common Recipe. Chili over Spaghetti is…Skyline Chili and popular in Cincinnati.

Did I mention Chili Dogs? The Chili Dog is my favorite Hot Dog, beyond compare. The Frankfurter, add Chili, top with Shredded Cheddar Cheese if you like but for sure…top with lots of Raw Onions!

Best Chili Recipe

I know this is what you have been waiting for! Gringo Gary’s Best Chili Colorado…

  • 1 pound Italian sausage links
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (1 pound)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained


Chili Colorado has nothing to do with the State of Colorado. Nada! Chili Colorado is Mexican Style Chili and Colorado means..Red Color.

Enjoy my Chili Colorado! It is Chili today and Hot Tamale!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Chicken


The Headline Photo in my article today is the traditional Southern American Dish…Chicken & Dumplings.

I have not become another Wade Boggs, the great baseball player who ate Chicken every single day. However, I am eating more Chicken each week.

I keep 3 whole Chickens in our freezer, as well as cut Chicken Thighs, Wings and Leg Quarters. There are so many different dishes you can create with Chicken.

Teriyaki Chicken is on tap tonight for supper.

A few nights ago, we used the Indian Tandoori Chicken Spice Rub and made Tandoori Chicken. Always good! Served with Yellow Rice and Yogurt Dipping Sauce.


Baked Chicken is one of my favorite dishes. As well as American Style BBQ Chicken and of course, Southern Fried Chicken.

The Chinese can keep their Steamed Chicken. Yuk!

I am totally burned out with the Bacolod Chicken Inasal but I am not burned out with Lechon Chicken/Manok.

Chicken Breasts pounded out, battered and deep fried is our recipe for Chicken Fried Steak.

From time to time, I make Chicken Salad, which is great on Toast.

Whatta bout Chicken Al A King?

I prefer Shredded Chicken instead of Shrimp in our Pad Thai Noodles, made with flat Rice Noodles.


Forget cubed Chicken, as I never cube Chicken. Chicken Tacos in Bacolod have cube Chicken in them at Restaurants. Imake Chicken Tacos and Chicken Enchiladas at home with Shredded Chicken.

Chicken Divan is on our menu this week. I wish we could make Chicken Pot Pies but we cannot.


I use our slow cooker often and it turns out great Pulled Chicken for BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.

Peri Peri Chicken is a wonderful Portuguese Chicken Dish. The Marinade is what makes fabulous Peri Peri Chicken. The Marinade is…

BBQ Sauce
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire
Minced Garlic
Minced Onion
Squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice and Calamansi works
Yellow Mustard
Coarse Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
Sriracha Sauce or other Hot Sauce is optional if you like the heat


Concerning BBQ Sauce, I use Memphis Style and Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce.

All Ingredients are available in Bacolod.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Power Breakfasts


My first meal of the day is sometimes a challenge, but only sometimes. I have been known to eat non-traditional Morning Meals, such as Fried Chicken, Tuna Salad on Toast or a Bowl of Chili. Pizza as well.

Yesterday, I had Enchiladas for Brunch, as appears in the feature photo in this article about Power Breakfasts.

I am not the Original Bacolod Food Hunter but I am a Food Hunter. I am always looking for something new, something different to eat but nothing really exotic. No Hummingbird Wings for me!

A new list, I now have for the First Meal of the Day. With a Little Help from my Friends!

Check These Out…

Cheesey Eggwich. Very simple. Split an English Muffin, pop it in the toaster. Top with a sliced Hard or Soft Boiled Egg and your favorite Cheese. I prefer Soft Boiled Eggs.

Eggsadilla. A Scrambled or Poached Egg, garnished with Salsa, topped with Monterey Jack Cheese, on a Corn or a Flour Tortilla.

Cinnamon French Toast. You know it already.


Loaded Omelet. Add your favorites. I enjoy an Omelet with Onions, Tomato, Mushrooms, Bell Pepper and Cheddar Cheese. No Meat required but I also like adding Ham from time to time.


Mediterranean Scramble. Scrambled Eggs, Olives and Ricotta Cheese. Add sliced Tomato and/or Fresh Cut Fruit.

Rolled Oats or Steel Cut Oats with Fresh Cut Fruit or Raisins.

Some Recipe Suggestions here are by Amiga Chef Alexandria 33 Nguyen. 33 is really her middle name. She is only the 2nd person I ever saw with a number for a middle name. Chinese-American Writer and Journalist Jennifer 8 Lee is the first.

Other Recipe Suggestions by Gary Amigo, yours truly! Start your Day with a Power Breakfast, to get your motor running.

Good Morning Philippines!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Rib Shack


Last evening, we shopped at Metro Supermarket at Ayala Mall in Talisay. After shopping, everyone in our group of 4 were ready to eat!

I was outnumbered, which was no problem to me concerning where to eat out. Rib Shack is what the other 3 with me wanted. More Power! Our son and our best Filipino friend wanted Bacon BBQ Pork, 2 Skewers for P99 with (what else?) RICE. My wife ordered BBQ Chicken Inasal with Rice for P99. I opted for Grilled Bangus Fish for P125. I am Porked out lately! I had Pork Spare Ribs at home, 2 nights ago. Everyone, everyone enjoyed their BBQ at the Rib Shack. They not only have good BBQ, their Food is not overpriced. It is very affordable. Check ’em out at the Rib Shack.

The Rib House has branches at Talisay Ayala Mall, SM Mall, 888 Chinatown Square Mall and in Kabankalan.


Boneless Bangus is a great local Fish to Grill. You gotta love it! I kick it up by making my own Tartar Sauce, using Mayonnaise, Horseradish and Pickle Relish. Depending on my taste, I use Sweet Pickle Relish or Dill Pickle Relish.

Last evening was not our First Rodeo at the Rib Shack. No, we have eaten there several times over the past couple of years. I like their Back Ribs.


When we are out shopping, we have a number of favorite restaurants where we enjoy dining in the Bacolod Area.

At home, my favorite Hobby includes BBQ, Barbecue, Barbeque! Making BBQ has long been one of my favorite methods of preparing Food, going back in the day when I lived in Alabama and in Florida, USA.


I have long been a Saucier during my Home Culinary Adventures. I really, really enjoy creating Sauces, especially BBQ Sauce. For more than 30 years, I have been making the Alabama Gibson White BBQ Sauce for Grilled Chicken. It consists of Mayonnaise, Horseradish, White Vinegar, Lime/Lemon/Calamansi Juice and Cracked Black Pepper. It is soooooo good!


Like Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay, I greatly enjoy…Grillin’ and Chillin’. Chicken, Ribs, Pork Chops, Pork Steaks, Beef Steaks, Sausages, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. I love them all…hot off the Grill.


Whatcha Gonna Grill?

It really depends on what I am in the mood to eat that day, as to what I BBQ. When there is a gathering of friends and family, I grill a large variety, wanting to plate something for everyone. I do not mind but it never fails, everybody, everybody has a request for me to BBQ on my Charcoal Grill.

I would never, never, never buy and use a Gas BBQ Grill. I like Authentic BBQ and only Charcoal or Wood Chips are all this BBQ Cowboy uses.

It is time to fire up the Grill!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~