Raving Rice Recipes: Arroz con gandules

Whenever someone thinks of Latin families there are several things that automatically come to mind,…

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Raving Rice Recipes: Arroz con gandules
Foto: Personal Photo

Whenever someone thinks of Latin families there are several things that automatically come to mind, one of those things is a love of food, and one item which is a staple in Latin cooking is rice. There are so many rice recipes out there it is hard to decide which to choose. You can add meat, vegetables or both to this basic ingredient and each meal would be completely different. Rice can even be used in desserts. Its versatile uses make it an easy must-have in any household. It is also one of the cheapest ingredients out there. Rice can be added to soups, salads, or eaten by itself. Regardless of how it is used rice makes for an amazing meal. A family favorite of the many rice recipes out there is Arroz con gandules (rice with green pigeon peas). It is simple, fast and very flavorful. It can be used as a main course, or as a nice addition to a beef, chicken, pork, or fish dish. Its flavor is bold, but its cost is easy on the wallet. Most rice recipes, like this one, can be whipped up in less than an hour, making it perfect for busy families everywhere.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 small onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped or minced)
1/2 green pepper (chopped)
1/2 red pepper (chopped)
1/3 of a bunch of cilantro (chopped)
Pre-cooked Ham Steak (diced)
1 packet of Sazon Achote with garlic and onion
1 can of gandules (green pigeon peas)
1 cup of rice
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Preparation:
In a large pan or pot, put in the 1/4 cup of oil and diced ham. Allow ham to brown slightly. Then add onion, garlic, red pepper, green pepper, and cilantro. Cook for several minutes. Add the can of gandules, the packet of sazon and water, stir together. Once blended, stir in the rice and tomato paste. Add Salt and pepper to taste. Cover on low to medium heat, and allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes until rice is tender to your taste. Makes approximately 6 servings.

All rice recipes, when made with the right ingredients, will have everyone fall in love from the first bite. This one is no exception. Not only is it colorful and appealing to the eye, it is also appealing to the appetite. The smoky orange color of the rice paired with the hints of red and green from the pepper make this dish an eye catcher. It can be thrown together as a last minute dish, which is very handy given how busy life can get. It can be had at a simple family dinner or dressed up for a more formal event. Change the type of meat and vegetables used to create a new flavor and dish. Rice recipes are very versatile. Because rice has a very simple, bland flavor, you can pair almost anything with it to give it your own flare. You really cannot go wrong with the multitude of rice recipes out there. Rice is one of those things you cannot ruin; you can only make it better.