The Evolution of Sisig and Mayonnaise


For years in the Philippines, Sisig has been associated with drinking sessions, as Pulutan. Also, lesser known, nutrition for pregnant women in the Philippines. However, these days, Sisig is a staple at Filipino Restaurants, most often served on a sizzling plate.

On the home turf, Sisig was made with pig cheeks, pig snouts, smothered with onions and laced with red hot peppers.

Maybe foreigners would not like pig ears and pig tails any better than pig cheeks but it is a step up.

Sisig has now evolved. Ground Pork, Ground Beef, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Tuna, Squid, Shellfish are all being utilized to create Special Sisig. Other ingredients include Calamansi, Pineapple Juice, Black Peppercorns, Salt, White Onion and Chili Peppers. The new chefs on the block recommend garnishing Sisig with Mayonnaise and an Over EZ Egg.

Mayonnaise

Kewpie is probably not the go to Mayonnaise to put on your Cold Cut Sandwiches but it is good with Asian dishes. Like Sisig! In China, where I was an English teacher for 9 years, that was the only brand of Mayonnaise available where we lived, unless you took the A-Train to Hong Kong for shopping.

For years in Bacolod, I bought Home Brand Mayonnaise, Product of Freedonia, NY, but this year, I am buying Kraft Mayonnaise since it appeared on the scene. Surprisingly, I never see Hellmanns Mayonnaise in Bacolod City.

I have never tried Best Foods Mayonnaise, which I see everywhere. I have tried Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise in a pinch and that was it! It is not bad but it is not my choice.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

How to Make Homemade Bacon in the Philippines


The Bacon Purists may give me the ho, ho, ho, but I make Bacon by what I refer to as…Organic Method. It really makes nice Bacon, tried and true since we lived in China, where I began making my own Bacon.

I do not use Prague Powder, Curing Salt, Salt Peter or whatever else many others use to make Bacon. I do not like playing with Nitrates!

The ingredients I use for Homemade Bacon are as follow. Of course, Pork Belly with rind or skin intact. Do not slice the Pork Belly at this point, as you want to season the entire slab, regardless of size. Sea Salt or the local Coarse Salt, Black Pepper, Fennel Seed, 1 Garlic Clove, Bay Leaves and Honey. You may add things like Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme if you like but I do not. I want to make Bacon and not recreate Simon and Garfunkel.

Concerning the Salt, since it is Pork, I do not use Kosher Salt on Pork but to give you an idea, that is the texture of Salt you need to use when making Homemade Bacon. The Salt ratio I use is one Tablespoon per each 1 lb of Pork Belly. It is better than Chemicals, in my opinion.


Rub all the seasoning on the Pork Belly, place it in a Zip Lock and put it in the ref. Turn the Zip Lock on the other side once per day. Seven days later, you have Bacon.

It is best to remove the Pork Belly on the 8th day and roast it in an oven at 200F degrees for at least one hour. Two hours if you like but not longer than 2 hours. If you have a meat thermometer, the Pork Belly should reach 150F degrees when roasting and then you are finished.

Once cooled down, the Pork Belly is ready to slice and Fry Up as Bacon. If you are not ready yet, put it back in the ref in a fresh, clean Zip Lock or Tupperware container until you are ready for Bacon.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Essential Pantry Items

pantry
For me, having a well stocked pantry and ref is not only essential but is like having money in the bank.

A friend recently asked me, what are the essential pantry items available in the Philippines. I told him what is essential to me may not be essential to him. We are all different. I cannot really think of any item I cannot buy in Bacolod, which I enjoy, within reason, of course. I will most likely never see Martha White Flour but the local White King Flour works great for me.

The Basics

There are a few basic items that I keep on hand at all times in the ref. Home Brand Mayonnaise, Crystal and Trappey’s Bull Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire, Heinz Chili Sauce, Morehouse Prepared Horseradish, Heinz 57, Morehouse Mustard-The Official Mustard of the LA Dodgers/French’s Mustard as backup, Any brand of deli peppers in a jar, Dona Ellena Olives, Kweichow Chili & Garlic Sauce, Parmesan Cheese, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Hunt’s Hickory BBQ Sauce and Barrio Fiesta Sweet Bagoong.

We are not big on using salt but sometimes, it is required. Nowadays, I buy McCormick Iodized Salt. I also use Morton’s Kosher Salt but it is not Iodized and I do not use it in pork dishes.

I also keep the more common spices on hand. Black Peppermill, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Chili Powder, Turmeric, Bay Leaves and Cajun Seasoning of any brand. McCormick Cajun Seasoning is usually in stock at SM.

Canned Goods

Every kind of canned beans and peas that I see, I have in my pantry. Garbanzos included. The locally grown Mountain White Beans, famous in Hinoba-An Negros Occidental, and the White Sitao Black Eye Pea are the only dry beans we had much luck with, concerning coming out soft enough to my liking.

Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, imported Corned Beef, Vienna Sausage, Spam, Stewed Tomatoes, Sauerkraut, Imported Spaghetti Sauce in jars, are other items I keep on hand.

Misc

Misc Items are several kinds of Vinegar, including Spiced Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Patis Fish Sauce, local Molasses, Brown Sugar, Onions, Garlic, sometimes Ginger, Vegemite, Jif Peanut Butter, Smucker’s Strawberry Jam, Canned Peaches & Pineapple Rings and Corn Meal.

In the freezer, I always have Ground Round Beef and different Sausages. Also Fish Fillets, Wings/Leg Quarters Chicken, Pork Chops/Pork Steaks. Rarely Beef Steak these days.

I buy Marca Leon Vegetable Cooking oil, product of the Philippines but keep a bottle of Dona Ellena Olive Oil on hand.

Although I do not drink Red Wine often, I try to keep one unopened bottle on hand. Of course, cold beer in the ref at wholesale price. I never buy whiskey/spirits to keep on hand but on occasion for friends.

I hope you are also keeping your pantry well stocked. Shopping for food is one of my favorite hobbies.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Recipes Expats Should Know In The Philippines

chinese noodles
How about an EZ noodle dish?

I still have most of the contents of the package of Ma Mon Luk Chinese Egg Noodles. Product of Quezon City. Today, I was looking online for a new recipe. Not much luck with anything earth shattering but I put together a few ideas from what I read. A little bit of this, a little bit of that and that’s no lie! I may have come up with the Perfect Fried Chinese Egg Noodle dish. Well, maybe not a Monster Recipe.

I learned the recommended way to prepare Chinese Egg Noodles from Sun Ting Wong. No joke! It is best to boil the noodles until they are halfway done. Drain the noodles, set aside and toss with a little olive/peanut/vegetable oil to prevent sticking. You choose the oil of your choice. Next, the fun begins, as you get creative. There are really hundreds of ways to go next. There is a sign post ahead and you may be entering the Twilight Zone. Or the No Spin Zone. Regardless, have fun!

I decided to go with shredded pork, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, yellow onion and beaten eggs. I thought about shredded chicken but I do not ever eat scrambled eggs and chicken. Or any kind of eggs and chicken. No Bola Bola Chicken Sio Pao for me, thank you. I enjoy scrambled eggs in most of my noodle dishes.

I prefer stir fried pork with noodles. BBQ pork is also good with noodles.

Take It To The Limit…One More Time

It does not matter if you are listening to the music of the Eagles or listening to the Flying Burrito Brothers, you can do this! The Sky is the limit with your seasoning, herbs and spices. I like ginger, garlic, fish sauce and soy sauce. Stir fry the noodles and add the rest of your ingredients. For kicking it up and turning up the heat, I prefer Kweichow Chili Garlic Sauce from Taiwan. Sriracha will work and so will Red Pepper Flakes. As well as whole Chili Peppers and Jalapeno Peppers. All are available to buy in Bacolod City.  If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! Joke only. Everyone does not like hot & spicy, so forget about it…if that is you.

Nutz! What are the best nuts to add to the noodle dish? I like cashews and fried garlic peanuts. I think just about any nut would work but maybe not redskin peanuts. Beer Nuts are always great! You could also make your own peanut sauce and leave off the whole nuts.

Have fun with your noodles.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

What’s For Breakfast?

Biscuits-Gravy
Expats living in our area still enjoy their Fruit Loops, Cherrios and other breakfast cereals with milk. I do not remember eating those past being a teenager. As I got into young adulthood, that type of breakfast no longer appealed to me. Our son eats several brands of the American style breakfast cereals but he prefers the ones made locally, by Milo and Nestles. He is 10 years old.

I like variety at every meal but I know some people, foreigners included, who can eat the same thing day in and day out for breakfast. I am not the traditionalist who must have ham or bacon and eggs for breakfast. Unless we are traveling, breakfast is always at home.

The cover photo of my article is Biscuits and Gravy. My all time favorite breakfast and brunch. I sometimes make Sausage Gravy to eat over biscuits but plain gravy is fine with me! Anytime.

I keep tortillas in the freezer and I enjoy a breakfast burrito but not every morning. I do not always include meat in the burrito. I am fine with scrambled egg, cheddar cheese, onion and tomato, with salsa.

sos-on-toast
SOS is another old time favorite that my dad taught me how to prepare many years ago. My version in the Philippines includes deli corned beef because I have not run across chipped beef. Sometimes, I follow the World’s Greatest Navy Recipe and I use ground beef, tomatoes and onions to make SOS.

Rolled Oats is a simple stand by, with fruit. I pay less than P100 per bag for Australian Harvest Rolled Oats at SM and at Lopues. Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats are now almost P300 per bag. Forget that. When they were first introduced at Metro, they were much cheaper. I recently bought a bag of Golden Oats for P48. I tired it once and did not like it. At least it came with a free plastic drinking glass with a lid.

Avocado with an egg and toast is a good breakfast to me.

We have a 2 sided waffle iron and we can make both pancakes and waffles on it.

I have not completely shut out the Filipino style breakfast. The only fish I like for breakfast is fried catfish with grits.

Arroz Caldo, Lugaw, Pan de sal with Peanut Butter or Pineapple Jelly, Corned Beef with over EZ egg on rice, Tapa or Tocino with egg and rice, all work for me…but not everyday. I do not really care for the local Chorizo or Longaniza that I have tried. Not very much but I will eat it. It seems like the sweet Longaniza I used to buy in Manila was much better. In our area, the Negrense Chorizo is more popular than Longaniza. Often times, it contains too much fat for my liking. The Chinoy Longaniza is too hard and too salty for my taste.

I am no stranger to eating chili or fried chicken or pizza for breakfast. Tuna Salad on Toast was today’s breakfast.

Crispy-Hash-browns
Potatoes for breakfast is a favorite! Hash Browns, Home Fries, Rosti, Potato Rounds with fried Onions. I like them all. Tater Tots have been out of stock at K-Mart for several years now. I like them as well but I doubt I will ever see them again.

While growing up, my Mom would sometimes prepare breakfast food for supper. I thought it was cool. We had to be the only family who ate scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and biscuits for supper. That was my thinking back then.

Regardless of what we eat for breakfast, it is best not to skip it.

If you have any unusual or unique breakfast dishes that you enjoy eating, I would like to hear about it. I am always looking for new things to eat for breakfast. Or anytime for that matter.

Don’t forget…eat your breakfast.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Fila-Terranean Menu

mediterranean
The heat index is certainly up there this summer. Before going to the supermarkets 2 days ago, I checked online at Chow Hound to kick start my memory and to get some fresh ideas for cold foods during hot weather. All the ingredients to make these dishes below, can be purchased in Bacolod City.

At the public market, my wife loaded up on pineapples, mangoes, avocados, pears and apples. We are set to fly with our Fila-Terranean Menu.

Let’s Begin The Good Food!

My wife did most of the preparation but I threw out a few ideas, such as adding raisins to the cold Macaroni Salad. I prepared Ham Salad, using leftover Ham from an imported canned Ham, which I had actually forgotten about being in the freezer.

Chickpea & Pasta Salad is another good idea that I found, served chilled.

Cold Chicken Salad is always good to me on a hot summer day. I was reminded about this one when I read an article on the Bacolod Food Hunters about Roli’s Restaurant is open again in Bacolod. Roli’s first opened in the 1940s and their Chicken Salad Sandwich on toast is the best found in a restaurant in our area. Thank you for the tip, Martin!

I have yet to see fresh artichoke in our area but the canned version is available. Cold Pasta Salad with Artichoke is another great idea to beat the heat.

Filipinos may not like this one but it works for me. Cold Tuna and Rice Salad. Yes, the rice is cold, right from the ref. Throw in a few green olives and sliced tomatoes to kick it up a few notches!

How in the world could I forget about Gazpacho, the ultimate cold soup? This is a great one.

Salmon Salad. I have 1 can of Bumble Bee Pink Salmon on hand. Add chopped celery, chopped red onion and chopped dill pickles.

There isn’t a type of noodle that I recall, which cannot be made and served cold. Robin Hood Noodle Manufacturing Company is in Bacolod City. I buy their Hokkein Noodles at Metro, which are already in their ref showcase. These are fresh noodles, not the instant style, also called wet noodles.

The first time I had a cold noodle dish was in the airport in Tokyo, about 30 years ago. It was either Soba or Udon Noodles. At first, I was turned off because I was expecting a hot noodle dish but the more I ate, the more I liked it.

Have fun with your hot summer cold menu!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

You Didn’t Make That!

green goddess3
Oh, yeah! I sure did make it.

Remember Green Goddess Dressing that was made by Seven Seas in the States? Very popular back in the 1970s. I have never seen Green Goddess Dressing in Bacolod. Kraft bought Seven Seas and still makes Green Goddess Dressing.

If you have a blender or a food processor, you can make your own Green Goddess Dressing in the Philippines. You may have to substitute ingredients but the main ingredients are available in cities around the country.

The main ingredients are mayonnaise, anchovies, sour cream, green onion, chives, parsley, spinach, lemon juice, garlic, cracked black pepper and coarse salt. Tarragon is hard to find but you can get by without it.

Some people use buttermilk, milk or yogurt instead of sour cream. Not me. I have never seen buttermilk in the Philippines. Some use watercress instead of spinach but I have never seen watercress in the Philippines. Kale? I do not like kale, so forget about it. If you like avocado, you can add it to your Green Goddess recipe. I like avocado and can eat it anytime. Great for breakfast or anytime.

If you really like the taste of Green Goddess, it is not limited to being only salad dressing. It is a great dip for raw vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, bell peppers and whatever you like. You can also use Green Goddess like Green Taco Sauce, putting it on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, wraps, etc.

Green Goddess is good on broiled fish. It will work on steamed fish as well but I hate steamed fish. None for me, thank you!

Southern Style Pork Sausage Patties

pork sausage patties2
If you miss something you cannot find in the Philippines supermarkets, more times than not, you can make it at home, if you really want it. Jimmy Dean and Tennessee Pride southern style pork sausage patties are good examples. So EZ to make at home with ground pork and the proper herbs & spices, which I can buy in Bacolod.

All you need to make Southern style pork sausage patties is fresh ground pork and the following herbs & spices: Garlic Salt, Ground Parsley, Ground Sage, Coarse Ground Black Pepper, Dried Thyme and Red Pepper Flakes. If you like hot pork sausage patties, add as much as you like of Cayenne Pepper. If you like maple flavored pork sausage patties, add maple syrup, leave out the herbs & spices other than Coarse Ground Black Pepper and add a little salt.

To make the pork sausage patties, mix all the ingredients with the fresh ground pork. Next, you will form the sauage patties using your hands. Fry in a pan or skillet until browned on both sides. Now, you have something good to eat! Southern style pork sausage patties.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Filipino Creativity, Spanish Inspiration

paella
When I first arrived in the Philippines, I was excited to enjoy Filipino Cuisine. For one year, I enjoyed Filipino food almost exclusively. I wanted to try it all. I had pizza a time or two during that year, at Shakey’s, had a few burgers here and there and I had Southern fried chicken several times. I lived with a Filipino family for one year and communicated daily with the cook, concerning what I wanted to eat. Her dishes mostly highlighted Spanish inspiration instead of dishes that were Chinese inspired. She also had Indonesian and Malaysian inspired dishes that she made very well. Bakmi Goreng, Indonesia style fried noodles, became an all time favorite, even until this day. With lots of lime juice.

It was during this time that I first discovered toyomansi, soy sauce with calamansi (lime) juice. It is a great condiment on a variety of dishes. One of my favorite condiments is Sambal. It is a spicy bottled chili sauce, which also has a little bagoong, patis, ginger and lime juice. It is of Indonesian origin and has influenced Filipino Cuisine in some islands.

I may have strange tastes but I enjoy bagoong (shrimp paste) and patis (fish sauce) as condiments. Most of the expats I know do not often eat Filipino food. One told me bluntly, “I don’t eat that crap,” referring to Filipino food. He has a very bad attitude and I do not like guys like that! For me, it is part of the adventure. Nowadays, I don’t eat Filipino food everyday but I eat it often and I have a number of favorite Filipino dishes. My mother in law makes short pork ribs with jackfruit for me from time to time and it is excellent.

Spanish Inspired

Adobo is considered by many as the National Philippines Dish. I enjoy making pork and chicken adobo as a one wok dish. I tend to use more soy sauce and vinegar than the local Negrense style adobo.

Paksiw is my wife’s favorite dish and she makes it often. She seems to favor Paksiw with fish but she makes Paksiw with pork for me. It is a vinegar based stew with fresh chili peppers.

Many local dishes in our area have Spanish names. Mechado, Kaldereta and Menudo are only 3 examples among many.

Eggs Sarciado

Eggs Sarciado is a Filipino dish that is a play on Huevos Rancheros.

Eggs Sarciado is served with fried potatoes, onions, garlic and Filipino style sweet tomato sauce.

I prefer Huevos Rancheros and there are many variations. I use scrambled eggs, served on a corn or flour tortilla, with salsa, sliced avocado and Mexican or Spanish style rice. It’s awesome!

Especial Paella Valencia

Paella Valencia originated in Valencia, Spain. You will see this one pot yellow rice dish served during Christmas, other holidays, special occasions and during barrio fiestas, in the Philippines. I love Paella Valencia!

There are many variations and recipes of Paella Valencia. I have one special version that I will share with you.

My Paella Valencia includes the following ingredients. White fish stock, dry white wine, chopped celery, chopped onion, garlic cloves, peeled tomatoes, chopped red bell pepper, chopped green bell pepper, chopped yellow bell pepper, smoked Andouille sausage, whole chicken thighs, whole chicken wings and 1 dozen each of clams, mussels and prawns. Wow! I think you will like my version of Paella Valencia.

The cover photo of this article is of Especial Paella Valencia.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Catfish Hunter

catfish4
One of my favorite foods of all time is battered and deep fried catfish. Served with enriched hominy grits, deep fried hush puppies and Cole slaw, it just doesn’t get any better than that on my dinner plate! We can get all the ingredients needed in the Philippines to prepare my favorite, complete with the side dishes. My wife has long been opposed to preparing catfish in the Philippines unless she knows exactly where the catfish were cultured. She told me that some people culture catfish in canals, which are full of human waste! No, I will not be eating any catfish from there. I do not like the salt water catfish in the Philippines or from anywhere else for that matter. For one thing, they are too large and the taste is not very good. And I know catfish!

I Know A Place

After talking to a number of Filipinos about fishing, I discovered exactly where to get the best catfish in this area of Negros Occidental. It is not in a fish pond. It is not in an aquarium. It is certainly not in one of those poop infested canals! It is in a rice field! Near La Carlota, south of Bacolod about 30 km or so, there is a rice farmer who cultures catfish and eel right in his rice paddy. Nice and clean fish! Catfish and eel are so plentiful, no need for a rod and reel, as all you need is a hand net. If you don’t have a hand net, don’t be alarmed because the rice farmer has one just for you, with your name on it! If you want a couple kilos of catfish or eel, no problem and you can even get a couple kilos of each if you like. It is up to you and you pay so much per kilo. Very cheepa!

Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading

Andy's Cajun
One of the best commercial breading for catfish is Andy’s Cajun Style. It is available at Rustan’s Supermarkets and the cost is around P100 per package.

I will warn you, Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading is zesty. Actually, it is hot!

You can also use Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading when breading and deep frying butterfly shrimp.

Hush Puppies

hush-puppies6
Catfish is not complete without hush puppies! It is amazing how many people do not realize that I am not referring to Hush Puppies shoes. Now way, Jose! I am referring to the southern dish in which I enjoy. Hush Puppies can be traced back as an original Native American staple. It is made with cornmeal, flour and chopped onion. During today’s time, you can kick up your hush puppies by adding milk or even better, buttermilk! I have also had hush puppies that included corn kernels and Jalapeno Peppers. I refer to this style as Mexican Hush Puppies!

Kiss My Grits!

Grits2
That term was made famous by Flo on her TV series in the USA way back a long time ago. Long ago and far away. Kiss my grits! I enjoy grits very much and they are made from enriched alkali treated white corn. I do not make commercial instant grits but use the coarse white corn and boil it until ready to eat. I prefer thick grits that are not thin and watery. Once again, this is a famous Southern dish but it can be traced back as a Native American staple.

I don’t know about you but I am ready for deep fried catfish, grits, hush puppies and Cole Slaw. I think you already know what Cole slaw is, di ba? Max’s Restaurant-The House That Fried Chicken Built has Cole slaw on their menu and I think most Filipinos know Max’s Restaurant!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Potatoes in the Philippines

yukon_gold
In Florida, I was paying 99 cents for 5 pounds of the Yukon Gold Potatoes at Winn Dixie…in the year 2000.

I personally buy organic potatoes at SM in Bacolod City. They are the large style baking potatoes and are great for making home fries and Irish fried potatoes with onions. These potatoes are P160 per kilo. These potatoes are grown in the mountain region of NE Negros Occidental.

My wife makes the excellent Swiss style version of hash brown potatoes, known as Rosti. I enjoy eating Rosti but prefer the Waffle House style, which is Southern style. Chili goes well on hash browns. If you make hash browns and want a meal that will last you from morning to well after lunch, try Hash Browns All the Way! With onions, cheese, diced ham, diced tomato, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms and chili con carne. That is one breakfast that will kick start you and keep your motor running most of the day.

The potatoes grown in our immediate area are very small. Mostly good for adding to Filipino dishes or for boiling. New potatoes are what I call them.

Potatoes can be grown in large, clean trash bins and in spiral wire cages. You don’t have to live on a farm to grow your own potatoes. Plenty of information online about this technique. Not hard to do.

Oh, yeah! I had much rather have potatoes than rice.

Potato Skins
potato skins

One of my favorite dishes is Potato Skins. My wife and I both make them in the same manner.

We bake the whole potatoes at 375F/190C degrees. You can also *bake* a potato in a microwave for 10-12 minutes.

We then cut the potatoes in half vertically, scooping out the potato until about 1/4 potato is left. What you scoop out can be saved and used in a different potato recipe, such as mashed.

Next, we fry the potatoes for about 5 minutes. Loading the potato shells with your favorite fillings is up to you. We use real fried crispy bacon bits and shredded cheddar cheese. We bake until the cheese melts and top with sour cream. Nestles Sour Cream is sold at SM and Metro for about P80 per tub.

The first time I had Potato Skins was way back in the late 1970s at a TGI Friday’s in Huntsville, Alabama. I’ve been hooked with them ever since.

Hash Browns and the St Louis Slinger
hash brown2

I prefer making hash browns in a manner that does not turn out potato cake style. Or as a block of potatoes. Or a ring of potatoes by cooking the potatoes in a ring.

My wife learned to make hash browns by using the julienne cut on the potatoes, same as most chefs. For me, I enjoy shredding the potatoes by using the large holes on a grater. I like the texture of the cut potatoes and I can scatter then on the griddle or in the skillet. Where I come from, this is real hash browns.

For basic hash browns, I scatter them and fry them with onions. If you want to kick up your hash browns, it is not difficult. Topping with chili con carne, mushrooms, chunked ham, cheese, diced tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and more onions. Add all these and you have hash browns all the way. If you only add sausage gravy to your hash browns, you have country style.

slinger2
In 1996, the baseball St Louis Cardinals swept the San Diego Padres 3 games to 0 in the first round of the playoffs. Some of the Cardinal players said they get their power from the St Louis Slinger that they eat. That was new to me! The St Louis Slinger is really a high powered breakfast. You start with a bed of hash browns, add a hamburger patty, add 2 over EZ eggs, add diced white onions, add a cup of chili with beans, topped with grated cheese and serve with buttered toast.

People decided they were going to kick up the St Louis Slinger and they made it into The Super Slinger. A bed of hash browns is still used, 2 or 3 eggs any style, a hamburger patty, diced onions, chili with beans, grated cheese with a number of additions. White gravy, pork sausage patties, chicken fried steak, a whole T-Bone steak and/or diced tomatoes in any or all combinations as the additions. I could eat two, maybe 3 days with 1 Super Slinger!

I have a special place in my heart for all farmers but even a more special place in my heart for Potato Farmers. Let’s support them by eating more potatoes! There are thousands of potato recipes out there.

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

~ Gary ~