My mother is Puerto Rican and growing up in California, I spent my entire childhood with that side of my family. Every holiday or family gathering included the staple dish Arroz Con Gandules (rice and pigeon peas). I loved it so much and after years of not eating it now that I live in Louisiana, I decided to hunt down the ingredients and make it myself.
The hardest ingredients to find were the Gandules and Sazon, but I found a Latin grocery store (Supermercado) that sold that and much much more. I loosely followed a few Pinteret recipes and watched a few YouTube videos, combining everything and put it all together.
1 green bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro, or 2-3 tbsp Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (.25 ounce) package Goya Sazon seasoning
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 (15 ounce) cans pigeon peas, drained
2 cups chicken broth (or water)
Here’s the basic recipe:
- Place green peppers, onion, garlic and cilantro in a blender or food processor, puree. This mixture is called soffrito, it is your seasoning base. It can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months.
- Place olive oil and 6 tablespoons soffrito in an 8 quart saucepan. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes to release oils.
- Pour tomato sauce and the Sazon seasoning packet into the saucepan, mix well.
- Add rice to the mixture and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Stir pigeon peas into the mixture. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
It all worked out for the good of my tummy! Very delicious!
Now all I need caldero!