Growing up in Queens, I had friends from every country imaginable. I used to always have this dish at my Puerto Rican friend's house and it always filled my tummy and made me feel at home. Fast forward decades, I needed a side dish to go with my Peruvian Pio Pio chicken and this was the first thing I thought of. A one pot delicious wonder of rice, beans, spices, and aromatics, this dish will surely become a new favorite!
Arroz con Gandules
Serves 6 to 8
3 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup sofrito (recipe follows)
2 cups long grain white rice (prefer Canilla or Carolina brands)
4 oz tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth or water
3 oz. small green olives with pimientos
1 oz. capers
1 - 15oz. can pigeon peas (we use Goya)
2oz. smoked turkey bacon, chopped into small pieces (optional; please use nitrate and preservative free bacon)
Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a 6qt. pot over medium heat. If using bacon, add and cook until browned. Add sofrito and cook until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, sazon blend, rice, and gandules and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the olives, capers, salt, and broth. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmer. 15 minutes into cooking, quickly remove lid and mix the rice so that rice at the bottom comes to the top and vice a versa. Quickly cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked through.
This is the way most Latin dishes begin and it is delicious. This recipe makes a big batch that you can put in a mason jar and keep in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks. You can also split it up and freeze it in Ziploc bags or ice cube trays to make them into smaller servings. I use sofrito to cook up meat for empanadas and even in my scrambled eggs in the morning. Wait until it hits the oil .. the drool will automatically start!
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, cleaned and chopped in big chunks
1 red bell pepper, cleaned and chopped in big chunks
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 head garlic, garlic cloves separated and peeled
1 bunch fresh cilantro
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until everything is uniformly chopped and consistency looks like salsa.
- Store in an airtight container in fridge for a couple of weeks or freeze for longevity.