Potatoes in the Philippines

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.

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 ~