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ARROZ CON GANDULES – RICE AND PIGEON PEAS

17 May

Okay,  So for today we have Puerto  Rico’s National dish .  This is really good and you get to learn about ..SOFRITO … in case you don’t know    ……. and you can use it in other dishes as well.

2 1/2 cup long grain rice

5 cups water

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped bacon – about 6 strips

1/2 cup chopped ham

4 Heaping  Tbsp sofrito  – ( you can buy this in a jar but it is really better to make it yourself )

Sofrito   Recipe :  This is from Gramma  Dona Margerita Echevarria

1 large red  pepper –  seeded  and diced

1 large yellow onion chopped

14    Aji Dulce – tops chopped off

Puerto Rican ajicitos

Ají Dulce peppers

Ají dulce (from South American Spanish ají, “chili” + Spanish dulce, “sweet”) is any of a variety of sweet perennial peppers found in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is most widely known in Venezuela where it refers to a specific native variety of Capsicum chinense related to the habanero, but with a much milder, smoky flavour.

1 head garlic –  roasted  – drench garlic head in olive oil,  wrap in foil,  toss into a  350′    oven for 30 min and skin   skin will come right off .

1/4 cup chopped Alcaparrado

1 can green pigeon peas – yes they are too in the regular grocery store , you haven’t seen them because you have never looked for them , if you even knew what they were ?

2 Tbsp. Spanish olives – chopped

1 envelop sazon    – also in your grocery store

Product Details
 1 Tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 bay leaves

1 TBSP.  tomato paste –  in a tube   –     this is pretty cool ,  I just found it  …….better than opening a can and not using  the rest !

Cento Tomato Paste in Tube
4.5 oz


Cento tomato paste in a convenient tube.
The paste is 100% Italian and is double
concentrated, giving it a fresh tomato flavor.
The resealable tube is the perfect solution when
recipes call for a small amount of paste and it
can be easily stored in the refrigerator.
All natural product.

1 bunch cilantro

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp. Mexican oregano

1 Tbsp. coriander seeds

1 1/2 Tsp. salt

Juice of 1 lemon

Place the peppers and onion on a foil lined cookie sheet and place under the broiler for a few minutes until they start to brown them turn over and slightly brown the other sides.

Toss everything in a food processor or a blender and blend until mushy but not puree.  You can store the rest by freezing it in an ice-cube tray,   then put the cubes in a seat tight plastic bag,    Then when you want to use some just take a cube or two out and toss it in the dish you are making.     Simple !

I use a good size dutch oven for this

Heat the oil on a high heat, when the oil is hot add bacon.

When Bacon is cooked but not crisp add Ham.

when ham is browned add Sofrito – Fry together for 1 minute

Add water Peas,  olives,  paste ,spices and Sazon and lemon juice

Alittle salt and pepper

Bring to a boil then stir in rice

Bring back to a boil ,  lower heat then cover and cook for 40 min at low heat

Stir every 10 min. until rice is tender

Garnish with a little cilantro

Eat and Enjoy  !

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