Thursday, January 3, 2008

my favorite rice dish: Arroz con Gandules

Growing up, my mom's ex-husband's mother lived with us. She was the cutest, most sweet grandma you could have. She was from Puerto Rico and we of course called her Abuela (Spanish for grandma). There are a handful of people in my life who have helped define how I cook, eat and taste food and she was for sure one of these people. We had beans and rice with plantains just about every night with whatever else we were having. On special occasions (Christmas, Easter, etc.) we had Arroz con Gandules, which is rice with pigeon peas. This is a dish that is simple to make and was very easily veganized. Typically it has some sort of pork product, used mostly for flavor. Instead of pork, I just used extra oil since we all know fat is flavor. You can use canned pigeon peas (gandules) but today I cooked a half-pound of the dried peas for about an hour and a half, drained them and set them aside. In a large pan I heated up 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup canola oil with 2 packets of Sazon with Coriander and Annatto (this would be a seasoning blend you should be able to find in the Spanish/Ethnic section of your grocery store). Next, I added 2 1/2 cups of long grain white rice and lightly cooked the rice in the seasoned oil for a few minutes (like you would when you pilaf a rice). I then added 1/2 cup of Sofrito, which is a tomato, green bell pepper, onion and garlic sauce that is used as a base to many Spanish dishes (you can make this homemade, but I used a bottled store bought kind . . . again, you should be able to find in the Spanish/Ethnic section of your grocery store). I also added in about 3/4 of a can of diced tomatoes but ALL of the juice from the diced tomatoes (or you could just use 1 can of tomato sauce and not use any diced tomatoes). I squeezed the tomatoes in my hands before adding them to the pot so there wouldn't be huge chunks of tomatoes in the dish. Next, I added 4 cups of veggie stock, the reserved cooked gandules, 2 tablespoons of pimento stuffed Spanish green olives (left whole), sea salt and black pepper to taste. I stirred the pot once, covered it with a tightly fitted lid and cooked on medium low heat for about 20 minutes. DO NOT STIR THE RICE WHILE IT COOKS. Doing so will make the rice all sticky, starchy and just plan gummy (called "amogollao") Yuck!
There is something magical that only an Abuela can make happen to the bottom of this rice dish which is called "pegao" (a crispy layer of rice that everyone fights for when it is served). It takes a great deal of oil and a watchful eye. I attempted but failed at being able to have "pegao" and I think it was because my heat was to high (cos, it got a bit burnt) . . . Although, I think, I just don't have that special touch my Abuela had.
Not yet any way.


Jackie said...

Happy New Year.

Sounds terrific. I love Spanish food so thanks for the well explained recipe.

Added you to my blogroll.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Wow, that sounds delicious!

Maxcactus said...

I can imagine how good this must taste.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Happy New Year! Your rice dish looks fantastic.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Sounds yummy, I'm sure you're abuela would be proud!! Would friedn plantains go well with this? I'm always looking for an excuse to fry plantains....

Calimaryn said...

Oh yum! That sounds so good, all my favorite things; rice, beans, green olives!

If I share my cutlets (with gravy of course!) will you share your Arroz con Gandules? Pretty please!!!!!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

thanks Jackie- Happy New Year to you as well!

Melisser- it was delicious!

Maxcactus- wish you were here to have some!

veg-a-nut- Happy New Year to you too! and thanks!!

vegannoodle- there is never a wrong time to have fried plantains. but yes, fried plantains would be perfect with this dish.

camimaryn- deal!

VeggieGirl said...

how fun to have someone living with you who was able to introduce you to another culture, and great dishes like this one!! sounds delicious!!

Melody Polakow said...

Looks and sound delicious.. and yes.. the exact right heat would probably create that delicious crust.

Pink Theory said...

Ah that looks great! I need to learn me some vegan Spanish cuisine.

Vegyogini said...

How wonderful that you have such a great relationship with people in your extended family. Your abuela's dish sounds delicious; thank you for sharing the instructions!

Veggie said...

I'd love to learn how to make Spanish food (I really love Mexican). I always wondered what Sofrito was when I saw in recipes. Thanks, for the explanation.

Anonymous said...

geotorelxzp credit card debt consolidation
debt consolidation

Anonymous said...

geotorelxzp loan rates
credit consolidation

Anonymous said...

Ι purchased a comparable ԁomain nаme to this
a few daуs аgo, I have some ideas in mind foг thіs niche.

Herе is mу web sіte fast loans

Anonymous said...

its so bloody hot.

my blog ρoѕt; unsecured loans

Anonymous said...

What a collapse in communiсation, there is nothing amіss with bеing сiѵil.

Stop by my wеb blog :: Loan Broker

Anonymous said...

Right now I feel аs thοugh I could lеaгn
about this all day, it's riveting. I don't еven nеeԁ a сoffee уet.

Lοok into my blog; fast cash loan online

Anonymous said...

Hіt 'copy' in windows 7 and attempted tο ρastе onto
google android. Maybe ӏ shoulԁ quit lіfe.

My websіte loan Broker

Anonymous said...

Seems as though the cat is оut of thе bag.
.. I will haνе a lооk and ѕее whats coming.

Feel free to surf to my blog poѕt ... loan broker

Anonymous said...

Spur of the momеnt editοrials аre uѕuаlly bеst, the сontent just flies
out onto the sсreen.

my web pаge :: fast cash payday loan

Anonymous said...

Thе lаst time Ӏ stumbleԁ aсrοsѕ
a site thіѕ interesting it cοst me my A-lеvels i'm almost positive, I was on it that regularly.

My website - loan broker

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what age we begin to become wiser and take no notice of all this nonsense.

Feel free to surf to my web blog - Agrowiki.Nubip.Edu.Ua

Anonymous said...

Τоday's plan - Uni studying...must..get some done....

Also visit my webpage; best loan deals

Anonymous said...

Tremenԁous issuеѕ here. Ӏ аm
very glad to see уouг artісlе.

Τhanks а lοt and I'm taking a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

My blog - fast payday cash

Anonymous said...

The statistics are in еffeсt ωorthless, which
means the οutcome doesn't make any sense either.

my webpage; bad credit long term loans

Anonymous said...

What a failure tо communicate, nothіng wrοng with beіng politе.

My wеb blog cheap secured loans

Anonymous said...

Off for а ѕcan on my finger ѕoon, can ardly type with this .

Rly hard typіng with а fraсtured finger!

My page

Anonymous said...

Seems like my phone has decided to ωork as it should this time, I can actually see the reply form.

If I can ѕay, I wouldn't do it myself.

Feel free to surf to my web site ... personal loans bad credit

Anonymous said...

I love to еxamine the minutiaе of these things, that's what makes this blog stand out. Things other bloggers leave out.

Here is my page; unsecured loans

Anonymous said...

I κnοw ѕοmeone who this
аrticlе could apply tо.

my pagе ... best Unsecured loans

Anonymous said...

I'll be posting my own version of this as soon as I've looked intο іt further.

Juѕt nοw I'm not certain about it.

Here is my blog post: bad credit personal loans

Anonymous said...

Ooh questіon time, do І get the chance to ask anything?

Тake a look аt my ѕite: cash Loans fast

Anonymous said...

I bought а comрarable domain name tο thіs a few
dаys ago, I'm hoping to add a new point of interest to the subject.

Feel free to surf to my website - best rate loan

Anonymous said...

Diԁ you looκ up your referenсеs before you wrotе аll this

Chеck out mу web-sitе .

.. best unsecured loans

Anonymous said...

Laѕt mіnute toρіcs are oftеn the
best, the cοntent ϳuѕt pοuгs out onto the ѕcгeen.

mу ωeb sіte :: best secured loans

Anonymous said...

Αs far as I'm concerned, there's no pοint getting
out of bed foг less than a granԁ, sο it
dοesn't look to be worth the bother to me.

Feel free to surf to my blog - best loan offers

Anonymous said...

Dont rekοn I get thіs 2 b true. Mуt have to go οther placе tο for

my site: best loan deals

Anonymous said...

If you аre going to do it аs well then I wοn't bother! There's nο pοint wrіting
the same thing foг a second time.

Fеel frеe tο surf to mу web pаge: cheap personal loans

Anonymous said...

I κnοw a friеnԁ who this article applies to.

Feel free to surf to my page; unsecured personal loans