Arroz con Guandules, Rice With Pigeon Peas

One of our favorite rice is Moro Guandules or Arroz con Guandules. Puerto Ricans call it "Arroz con Gandules". Although it is served year-round, it is almost always present in the traditional Christmas menu alongside the roast pig and other traditional side dishes like pasteles en hoja.

Arroz con Guandules (Pigeon Peas Rice)

1 ¼ pound cooked pirgeon peas/ guandules (approximately 4-5 cups)
3-4 cups hot water
1 pound ham chopped
2½ lbs rice (5 cups)
¼ cup of oil
½ cup of Cup of Dominican Sazón or (1 minced onion, 4 cloves of garlic mashed, 1 bell pepper or cubanela, saffron or annatto)
5 sprigs of cilantro and two of coriander
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 chicken bouillon
1 envelope of sazón Goya
1 tablespoon of capers (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon vinegar or juice of one sour orange
1 banana leaf (optional)

1. Pre-cook the guandules until they are tender. Seasoned with 1 clove of garlic, ¼ teaspoon of oregano, onion or 2 spoons of Dominican Sazón.Cook with enough water just to cover the peas and maintain with that amount throughout cooking time until tender.

2. In a 6 quart pot, heat the oil over moderate heat, sauté ham until slightly browned, add a half cup of water and boil for 2 minutes. Then add ½ cup Sazón or chopped onion, peppers, garlic. Add tomato paste, bouillon and vinegar, sauté for 1 - 2 minutes, over medium – high heat.

3. Add the guandules and salt (approx 2 teaspoons). Cook until it begins to boil, medium heat - high. Rinse the rice well. When the mixture of guandules and sofrito begin to boil, add the rice and previously boiled water cup by cup until you have enough to just cover the rice. Add the coriander and cilantro. Leave to cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes.

4. Cover when and continue cooking over low heat. Occasionally stir rice to prevent it from sticking to the sides. When done rice should be light and fluffy.

Yield: 6-8 serving. Could serve more depending on quantity served. You could also use 3 pounds (6 cups) for this recipe.

a) In step # 6, cover with a previously washed banana leaf and then place the pot cover on top of it. This gives it a unique a delicious taste. I learned this from a Dominican chef in Univision.

b) It is preferable to use fresh guandules because it tastes better, but if you do not have some at hand you can use canned pigeon peas. For this recipe I use 2 cans.

c) To make Moro de Guandules con coconut (Rice with pigeon peas and coconut milk) - originally from the Dominican province of Samaná, just substitute 2 cups of water for 2 cups of coconut milk. You can use canned coconut milk. This rice goes well with Pescado con Coco, Fish Cooked in Coconut milk.

d) Two cups of rice is equivalent to 1 pound of rice. For each cup of rice, use two cups of water or stewed beans with its water.

More pictures y Receta en español: AQUÍ.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. - 1 Timothy 4:4.


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