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Spanish Rice



3 cups long grain rice
5-6 cups of hot water – appx.
½ cup of sofrito (some people make theirs from scratch. I just use the store bought ones)
16 ounce can of green pigeon peas (you can use red beans, or any other kind of beans)
2 tablespoons of caper and olive mixture
2 packet of Sazon with achiote
1 can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons of oil
1/4 cup of diced ham (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (I use adobo with pepper. add it slowly until it reaches your taste)

In a medium size pan add the oil, tomato sauce, capers and olive mixture, sofrito, ham and sazon. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients, and enough water to cover the rice 1″ above the rice line. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until most of the water is absorbed. Once the water has been absorbed, stir gently from bottom to top, cover and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

If you stir the rice too much during the cooking time, it can get sticky.



Sofrito Recipe:

2 pounds- large green peppers
1 pound- medium size head of garlic
3 pounds- large onions
1- bunch of cilantro
1/2 cup- vegetable oil
Add these items from your own “hortaliza”…
50- recao leaves
1 pound- ajies dulce (small sweet cooking peppers)

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and chop coarsely. Add in the water a small amount at a time .Pour this mixture into icecube trays and freeze. Anytime you are going to cook some asopao, habichuelas, arroz con gandules, or your own carne guizada, just throw in 1-2 cubes of Sofrito. Add this mixture (to taste) to bean dishes, stews, soups, and anything else you want to spice up.

My variation for arroz con gandules is adding chopped “salt pork” (tocino) and jamon de cocinar (smoked ham) (especially the cueros (skins) from the jamón), and covering the whole caldero (pot) with banana leaves. (You can’t beat the flavor)

Note: In order to skin the garlic cloves easily, separate all cloves and place in warm water overnight or longer and the skins will come right off.