When I don't feel like creating a huge mess in the kitchen for the sake of feeding myself, or when I'm too busy to stop what I'm doing to prepare something that remotely resembles a balanced meal, I often fall back on the same combination of ingredients -- white (or brown) rice, corn, and butter -- to provide the nourishment I need. Not because the combination is particularly pleasant, but because I always seem to have them on hand.
However, sometimes, an old stand-by just doesn't cut it.
The last time I nearly fell into the trap of making "the usual," I snapped out of the trance, put the bag of frozen (yes, frozen) corn back in the freezer, and began looking around my kitchen for something else to put into the rice. When I spotted a head of garlic in the bowl of root vegetables that I keep out on the counter, I instantly thought of one of my favorite Filipino side dishes at Ihawan2 -- the Garlic Rice. I was going to make Garlic Fried Rice in my own kitchen!
Obviously, my version doesn't appear as brown as the rice served at Ihawan2, but, I promise, all of the flavor is there. And, what's beautiful about this recipe, aside from the short list of ingredients and the simple preparation, is its versatility. You can adjust the amount of garlic according to personal taste. I happen to love garlic, so I used two cloves. You may want more garlic; you may want less garlic -- the method of preparation will be the same regardless of how much you put in there.
The key is making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Burned garlic has an acrid, bitter taste that has the power to permeate and ruin whatever it's used in. Since we don't want that, promise me that you won't wander too far from the stove when making this rice.
Unless it's to go get a fork so you can eat it right out of the pan.
Garlic Fried Rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups day-old white rice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and just begins to brown, about 15-20 seconds. Watch the garlic closely to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Stir in the rice and cook for 5-7 minutes until the rice is toasted to a light golden brown.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler | Taste As You Go