To go with my Filipino corned beef hash, I made Filipino garlic fried rice. My Grandma Rocha used to make this for breakfast, along with some pan-fried cured meat like Spam, Tocino, or Longanisa sausage, and fried eggs. With some garlic-vinegar (put a little vinegar in a bowl with crushed garlic and serve tableside) to sprinkle on your rice and meat, you're all set for a great meal.
I remember when my then boyfriend, now husband Mark, a Boston Irish guy (or as my mother calls him, "an Irish,") came over to my house for the first time. He sat down at the kitchen table, and Grandma Rocha plopped down a plate of Spam and eggs and a bowl of garlic fried rice. I could see he was a little taken aback. Where were the English muffins, bacon, and eggs? Plus, Spam? Who ate that mystery meat? Being the well-mannered boy he was (and still is), he fixed himself a plate. Under the discerning eye of my grandmother, he took a bite and smiled. She smiled too.
Grandma Rocha has passed, but I hope she looks down on us occasionally. She was probably 4'11" on a good day, but she was ten feet tall in personality. Strong and determined, she must have been a fireball in her heyday. I would put her on my team anytime and hide behind her if things got dicey. When she talked, she talked with her hands as well, gently pushing you on the arm at first and then hitting your arm when she was making a point. By the time she got into her story full-swing, you'd wonder if you'd get out without any bruises. The memories still make me laugh out loud. We love you, Grandma Rocha.
Grandma Rocha's Garlic Fried Rice
3 cups day-old and refrigerated rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. oil
Salt and pepper
Heat a skillet large enough to hold the rice over medium heat. When it's hot, add oil and swirl it around. Add garlic and saute in oil until it becomes fragrant (under 20 seconds). Be careful that the garlic doesn't burn -- if it starts to color at all, add the rice right away (it'll stop the garlic from burning). Cook for 5-7 minutes until rice is nicely toasted. Add salt and pepper to taste.