Monday, November 26, 2007

Last Night's Dinner #64: A Traditional Filipino Breakfast

Leftover ham is the best and boy do we have plenty left from Thanksgiving night!

Bone-in ham immediately takes me back to my childhood years. I remember my father bringing home a huge ham wrapped in paper for the holidays. The best part for me was knowing exactly what we would be having for breakfast the next day - sugared ham, fried eggs and garlic fried rice.

As you can see, I didn't grow up eating Cheerios for breakfast or pouring milk out of a carton. I grew up eating rice for breakfast and milk was delivered daily in glass bottles. And it was goat's milk, not cow's milk.

This dish is traditionally eaten for breakfast!

Just coat the ham slices with sugar and pan fry with a little bit of vegetable oil. Cook until both sides are nice and dark (caramelized).

Sinangag (Garlic fried rice) is very simple to make. Day old rice works better than freshly cooked rice. If you don't have day old rice - make sure you cool the rice completely then put it it the fridge for at least an hour. You don't want to make this with sticky rice.

Smash three to five cloves of garlic (leave skin on). Heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil and start cooking garlic. You don't want to burn the garlic. Add the rice and stir frequently. You want drizzle in oil a teaspoon at a time. I find that doing it this way requires less oil and I don't feel so guilty =). I probably end up using 2 tablespoons of oil in total. I also season the rice with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

As for the egg, just fry up an egg until sides are golden brown.

I guess this combination falls into what some would refer to as "Tosilog". Filipinos love making up words and I think there are about 3 types of "-silog" dishes. The term is made up of the three main ingredients. The first syllable stands for the type of meat. The second syllable "si" stands or sinangag (filipino style garlic fried rice) and the "log" stands for itlog (egg).
The three -silog dishes that I'm familiar with are tapsilog (tapa+sinangag+itlog), tosilog (tocino+sinangag+itlog) and longsilog (longganisa +sinangag+itlog).

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