Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pinoy-style Arroz ala Cubana

The first time i encountered this dish was at a (late) college friend's house.  I think we were working on a project and ended up having dinner at her house.  And it was Arroz ala Cubana.  I was intrigued by the presentation... a ring of rice with ground meat piled in the middle and fried saba adorned the edges of the rice ring.  It was delicious, to boot!

This is my tribute to her, because today, out of the blue, I remembered her.

The inclusion of fried eggs is what makes the dish Pinoy style.

1 medium onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian spice
1 teaspoon ground chili
1 small carrot, cubed
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 pieces sausage, diced, optional (garlic brats in my case)
500 grams ground meat (pork in my case)
1/3 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
handful of raisins

5 pieces saba, sliced and fried
5 fried eggs

Saute the onions and garlic until fragrant.  Sprinkle in the chili and Italian spice; saute until fragrant.  Add the diced carrots and peppers.  Throw in the diced sausage and stir fry several seconds.  Add the ground meat and mix until the spices are evenly distributed.  Add the tomato sauce and mix again.  Cook until the ground meat is cooked then add the raisins.  Stir-fry a few seconds more.

Put the rice in a cake mold (or half bundt) and turn over onto a platter.  Spoon the ground mixture in the middle and pile it high.  Arrange the fried eggs on top of the rice.  Arrange the fried saba around the base of the rice ring.  Serve immediately.

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