Wednesday, May 1, 2013

arroz con gandules, a recipe to spice your Wednesday!

Like music and the Catholic faith, an important aspect of passing down tradition for Hispanics is food! Months ago my wise Cuban cousin Marina suggested that I feature recipes from our tradition.

So today I begin with one of my favorites, a recipe from my adopted Puerto Rican heritage: Arroz con gandules, rice with pigeon peas. Even the name sounds better in Spanish!

An important note: This sofrito should not to be confused with Italian Soffrito. In Latin American cooking, sofrito is a seasoning mixture used as a base, one you will also find in Spanish and Portuguese cooking.


4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cebolla, onion
2 green peppers
Bunch cilantro
Recado, fresh cilantro
Salt & black pepper

For the rice

In a large pot, heat a bit of coconut oil, one can of tomato sauce, the sofrito mix, and 1/2 cup chopped ham (or cooked pork pieces). Add one envelope of Goya sazón/seasoning (with achiote), and sauté the ingredients until they are well mixed.

Add one 15-ounce can Pigeon Peas/Gandules (drained and rinsed), blending it slowly into the sauce.  Add 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil for two minutes, immediately cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: One recipe tradition calls for coconut water instead of plain water for an additional Caribbean flavor!
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Tomorrow, May 2, I will feature a special post, a Q&A with Marge Fenelon about her newest book, "Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Devotions for the Modern Mom."

And I have an extra copy of "Imitating Mary" to give away -- all you have to do is leave a comment on my blog post that day!