• Ceasar salad closeup image
    Dagdag na Pagkain | Side Dishes

    Caesar Salad a la Mario’s Recipe

    You’ve probably heard the story of how an Italian restaurateur—Caesar Cardini—invented his table-side salad in Tijuana in 1924 during Prohibition. Too many late-night patrons arrived one Fourth of July weekend at Cardini’s café and the restaurant ran out of food. Cardini frantically looked around to see what ingredients he had on hand. Locating several crates of romaine lettuce, he tossed the leaves with olive oil and eggs. He sprinkled the lettuce with salt and pepper, added a splash of fresh lemon juice, and tumbled it all with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese and garlic-flavored croutons prepared with bread left over from dinner. When folks from San Diego tasted it,…

  • aristocrat chicken barbecue image
    Ulam | Main Dishes

    Chicken Barbecue à la Aristocrat Recipe

    Aristocrat is a family-style restaurant founded by Engracia “Aling Asyang” Reyes and her husband Supreme Court Justice Alex Reyes.  From its humble beginning in 1936 as a snack mobile along Roxas Boulevard (Dewey Boulevard at the time) serving snacks from a Studebaker van, Aristocrat opened its first permanent restaurant two years later still in the same boulevard.  Over the years, Aristocrat became famous for its native Filipino dishes such as Kare-Kare, Pancit Canton, Dinuguan, Lumpia, and its most popular dish, Chicken Barbecue. I remember going to Aristocrat a few times when I was already in university.  And the only dish I had each time was its Chicken Barbecue—three pieces of…

  • Texas BBQ chicken image
    Heirloom Recipe,  Ulam | Main Dishes

    Texas Chicken Barbecue à la Lea & Perrins Recipe

    After this post, I received a message from my brother in WA: “You mentioned on your blog about a cookbook you once had called ‘Dishes Men Love.’ I have a booklet called “Dishes Men Like” also from Lea and Perrins. I bought it at a garage sale years ago when I was still in Hayward. Is this the same one?” and attached a scanned photo of the booklet. My heart was pounding as I eyed the thumbnail image of the blue booklet—I could recognize even a pinhead image of it. It was the cookbook I had been looking for in the past 20++ years. I even wrote Lea and Perrins a couple…

  • Pinoy pork barbecue image
    Pulutan at Pica-Pica | Bar Chow and Appetizers,  Ulam | Main Dishes

    Pinoy Pork Barbecue Recipe

    When Filipinos say barbecue, they usually mean charcoal-grilled skewered pork. A favorite party dish—children and adults would welcome a Pinoy pork barbecue anytime. This is one of my regular potluck dish—like today for family reunions and the like. I always make more than enough for lunch—and watch the kids come back for it again and again all throughout the rest of the afternoon. I like to eat it with rice, and a dipping sauce of garlic-vinegar. During my eldest granddaughter’s first trip to the Philippines in 2004, she had just turned 4 and was quite a picky eater. She however loved rice (she could eat it plain), noodles (even the…

  • Chicken Inasal image
    Ulam | Main Dishes

    Chicken Inasal à la JT’s | Bacolod-Style Grilled Chicken Recipe

    Inasál is the Visayan term for “grilled” or “spit-roasted”; the Tagalog equivalent is inihaw. Inasál na Manók is one of the famous specialties of Bacolod, Negros Occidental (Western Visayas). This is perhaps the best chicken barbecue ever. When grilling the chicken, the people of Bacolod usually catch the drippings in a pan and use these to moisten the rice, which makes for a very rich and tasty dish. An authentic Bacolod inasál has the chicken pieces skewered. Usual parts would be, in Bacolod terms as they appear on menus of Inasál houses: paa (whole leg—drumstick and thigh), pecho (half a breast), pecho-pak (breast with wing), pak-pak (whole wing—drumette, wingette or flat, and wing tip), isol (pwet), bol-o (skin), li-og (leeg or neck), atay(liver), baticolon (gizzard), and for the more adventurous palate: dugo(blood cubes) and tina-e (intestine). The use of Star…

  • meatloaf image
    Heirloom Recipe,  Ulam | Main Dishes

    Meatloaf Recipe

    Meatloaf is a dish whose visibility is considerably higher in real life—especially in North America and Britain—than in cookbooks. (Maybe because it doesn’t have a French name?) The use of “loaf” is particularly appropriate as most recipes include bread, usually in the form of soft breadcrumbs. Also, it is shaped like a loaf and is usually baked in a bread/loaf pan.  A worthy dish, meatloaf embodies the sort of rusticity which the word “peasant” evokes rather than the kind of refinement associated with haute cuisine. Well it is, as meatloaf evokes country home goodness, a dish that grandmothers and mothers cook on a day-to-day basis rather than for special occasions. My…

  • Cornell Chicken BBQ close up
    Ulam | Main Dishes

    Cornell Chicken Barbecue Recipe

    This famous barbecue marinade and sauce was developed in the 1940s by Dr. Robert Baker, professor emeritus of Poultry Science and Food Science at Cornell University and creator of chicken nuggets. Dr. Baker sold chicken barbecue every summer at the NY State Fair, that’s why it is also referred to as “State Fair” chicken. Today Cornell Chicken Barbecue is found at fairs, festivals, and fund-raisers throughout the western half of the state. It’s no wonder that many upstate New Yorkers claim this is the best barbecue sauce.  I’ve had this recipe for more than 20 years—it’s from Nora Daza’s weekend TV show “Cooking It Up with Nora”—and it has never…

  • grilled lamb chops image
    Heirloom Recipe,  Ulam | Main Dishes

    Grilled Lamb Chops Recipe

    It wasn’t until after my grandmother passed away in 1962, that my father found it in his heart to work outside Malolos. (Earlier he declined a lucrative job opportunity in Liberia because he could not leave his mother behind.) When I was in 6th grade, Tatay left his job at the Voice of America/ United States Information Service (USIS) in Malolos to join the Manila Observatory which had just moved from Baguio to the Ateneo campus in Loyola Heights in Quezon City. In the first few months he commuted to work, by bus, but eventually moved the family to a rented apartment in Quezon City. (For the next 4 years…