When I read from Ces’ food blog that it’s going to be fusion cooking for the 12th edition of Lasang Pinoy, I got overly excited. This is my passion–turning traditional, often boring, recipes into dishes that are more today. I started digging into my archives to find out which of my previously posted recipes would be worth including in this post. There are so many but I chose these three to represent three categories of Filipino dishes: rice, meat, and desserts.
Adding chopped basil leaves to the traditional garlic fried rice (above, left) gives it an entirely new image and an even more wonderful aroma. Traditionally cooked as a soup with vegetables, bulalo is also wonderful as a dish that is a cross between a stew and a steak (above, center). And the humble minatamis na saging is reincarnated with butter, honey, and cinnamon powder (above, right), a recipe so generously sent by a reader named Sam. Wonderful with fried rice, tapa is just as great between two slices of bread. This recipe is good for two sandwiches. See, the kids had tapa for their packed lunch last week and the 500 grams of sukiyaki-cut beef that I cooked was too much for the two of them. Since both my husband and I find rice too heavy for breakfast, what was left of the tapa became filling for sandwiches. Ah, they were fabulous.
Wash the lettuce, trim, and drain well. Blot with paper towels if necessary to remove the water. Place the beef in a bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Most Filipinos marinate their tapa but I think that any strong marinade detracts from the real flavor of beef so I prefer to season the beef simply with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil together in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the eggs until set and lightly browned on the underside. Flip to brown the top. Slide onto a place and keep warm. Reheat the remaining butter and oil and add the beef all at once. Stir lightly with a spatula to separate the slices. Cook over very high heat until the edges are lightly browned, but not for more than a minute or two.
While the beef cooks, toast the bread. Don’t toast them too early or they will be cold by the time the beef is ready. So, synchronize the time. When the beef tapa is done, assemble the sandwiches. Arrange the lettuce leaves on two slices of bread. Divide the beef tapa into two and arrange on top of the lettuce. Divide the omelet in two and carefully place half on each slice of bread. Cover with the remaining slices of bread. Cut each sandwich into two, if you wish.