Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice)
Since I posted the lechon I feel the need to post this recipe, because it is the perfect accompaniment. That said, it is also the national dish of Puerto Rico. My children love this, and I must admit I am pretty mad about it as well. This is my version of arroz con gandules – it is one of those recipes that varies from family to family. Tweak it however you like, but this is what works for me. Another important thing to note is that I cook this in a caldero (which is a cast aluminum pan used traditionally in latin american cooking). You can cook it in whatever pot you use for rice, but a caldero helps to form the “pegao” (the crunchy almost burnt rice at the bottom of the pan, if you have had paella you know what I’m talking about) that is traditional for arroz con gandules.
4 cups of medium or long grain white rice
4 1/4 cups water
4-5 tablespoons sofrito (you can make this from scratch, or buy it premade)
4 oz. tomato sauce
2 packets sazon
1/2 – 1 cup ham, chopped
1 (15oz.) can of green pigeon peas (gandules), drained
handful of green spanish olives
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil
Heat pan over medium heat. Place oil in the pan, and heat.
Add the ham to crisp it up some. Then add sofrito, sazon, tomato sauce, salt & pepper. Stir together.
Add gandules, olives, rice and cover with water.
Stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer. Put a tight fitting lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
Check rice & stir but not all the way down at the bottom of the pan. You do not want to interrupt the formation of the pegao.
Cover and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Check and remove from heat.
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