Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Merienda

lazy Easter Sunday afternoon merienda: lugaw with flour balls, sago, saging, gata, butong, ube, camote

LINUGAW brings me back to our humble home some 25 years ago. After the summer's precious rain, our grandmother Nanay Laon would make a very big cauldron of LINUGAW with all the good stuff. I love the soft flour balls in this sweet porridge with sago (pearls), ripe bananas, violet sweet potatoes, Ube or yam, strips of young coconut meat mixed with coconut milk and brown sugar. Eaten steaming hot or as a cold dessert, it doesn't matter. The taste and the texture of the different ingredients together in a mouthful is incredible. The soft richness of the potatoes and the Ube complements the sweet bananas. Comfort food.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Bacolod Chicken Inasal Tour

Let's take a trip around Bacolod for the Best Chicken Inasal in Sugartown!  

INASAL is somewhat synonymous to BACOLOD and NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. 

I can smell them! Wash your hands and be one with your food...its called the gracious art of eating with your fingers :D DIG IN!
My favorite chicken inasal resto in Bacolod is Chicken House North (or just about any Chicken House branches -- Mandalagan and Singcang). You are sure of the best chicken for every visit. And very good service. I get accustomed to the personalized service from  "self-assigned" waiters.  Although, they have to think about the rice portions. I think it is way to small, considering its comfort food for all. :D Attention Cajilis, rice alert. 

Sometimes, my waiter in Chicken House North Manong Jun would ask, "Pila ka rice 'day?" (How many rice would you like to order?) I would promptly answer, "Seven." I like the feel of SEVEN as a word and of course, you'll know what I mean when you are there. 

Chicken House North's PAA (thighs)
I would usually order: Pakpak or PAA, Atay, Spare Ribs (which is just plain awesome at less than 100 pesos and is part of a different blogpost coming soon) and X number (secret) of garlic rice.

And since we Negrenses definitely love our own, we had to feature this in our Food and Travel Show for TV5 last 2009 PROMDI CHEF. I worked as writer and associate producer for this show. A foodie like me would kill for this kind of job, so good thing I did not have to do anything gruesome.

PROMDI CHEF was directed and produced by: Direk Jay Abello and Bonfire Productions
Hosts Chef Jomi Gaston of Bacolod's Trattoria Uma and Cafe Uma, Masskara Queen 2008 Jan Mari Vega and local celeb/host John Arceo. 

Before we proceed to our next stop, don't ever forget to mix your own 'Sawsawan' (dip). First, squeeze 2 - 3 calamansi, then put some 'sinamak' (spiced vinegar) and soy sauce to color, not too much ok? 

Off to another stop for our tour is the resto at the aptly called inasalan strip MANOKAN COUNTRY -- AIDA's!

Aida's Chicken Inasal is located at the Manokan Country, in front of the SM Mall Bacolod, Reclamation Area. 

This is Aida's Chickan Inasal (Grilled Chicken).Well-cooked chicken paa (thighs) or pecho (breast) or any part of the chicken that is -- tinae (intestines), atay (liver), batikolon (gizzard), pakpak (wings) and some that I cannot translate like bul-o (errrr...) and isol (my favorite, but just discover for yourself what this thing is). Don't worry, the last 2 parts are still parts of a chicken.

Every guest or friend from outside Bacolod would ask me how to make these heavenly barbequed gifts.. I would tell them its marinating the chicken with just calamansi, vinegar, soy sauce, tanglad (lemon grass), rock salt and garlic. It is also about grilling them the right way. 

Before I clip my PAKPAK and fly out of here, here is another lovely addition to the meal (you are drooling now,  cover your mouth). Aida's GARLIC RICE and it does not add up to 1 cup only. I think 2 cups and a half! So watch it when you order or you'll get a pile of yellow colored rice and some fried garlic toppings. Very important: Don't forget to drizzle (fun word to use) your rice with "THE" CHICKEN OIL, chicken oil colored with achuete (annatto seeds). 

Aida's GARLIC RICE, 1 cup is probably equal to 2 1/2 cups!
Just a few reminders before deciding to eat here, you have to take a small snack before going or take some candy with you because they cook the chicken well before serving. They don't half-cook like some of the "fast food" chains do out there. Slowly cooking the chicken without turning the skin to black.

I got homesick when we were in Brunei for a couple of months. So when I got the chance, I cooked up my own version of Bacolod chicken inasal in a beach called Pantai Tungku in Jerudong Bandar Seri Bengawan, Brunei. Tada!

A Filipino Fare: Grilled Pork Belly and Bacolod Chicken Inasal complete with sawsawan, sliced red tomatoes and ehem... a pot of rice!

Beautiful sunset near the equator. Pantai Tungku Beach, Jerudong, BSB, Brunei Darussalam 2008. I did Chicken Inasal near the entrance and other beachgoers came to ask what were cooking. They said it smelled super good!
Well, if you are about to go back to Manila and is en route to Bacolod-Silay Airport, check out the GOLDEN FOOD PARK. They have the best and most-reasonably priced Chicken Inasal in Silay. Just before turning right on the corner of the CALTEX Gasoline Station, 100 meters away is the restaurant. Or you can ask any people and they will point you to the location. 

Hope you get a good grasp of how to eat Chicken Inasal, where to eat the best inasal here in Bacolod and what to order, etc. etc. So hungry?

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