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
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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NOW HEAR YE!
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!