Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Arroz con Gandules, Take 2

Hot Arroz con Gandules, ready to eat!

I made this rice with pidgeon peas once before and it was fantastic. The only thing I didn't care for was the slick-lip feel and I wanted to investigate if that was caused by all the chorizo grease.

This time, I made a conscious decision to prepare the chorizo before I used it in this recipe.

Arroz con Gandules

2 cups long grain rice
4 cups water
1/4 lb bacon, chopped
4 tbs recaito
15 oz can gandules, drained
3/4 lb fresh chorizo, browned
1 envelope Sazon con Culanto y Achiote
8 oz tomato sauce

Heat a large pot on medium-high heat, cook chopped bacon until crispy, remove bacon from pot and set aside.

Add recaito to bacon drippings, cook about 3-5 minutes.

Add pigeon peas, sausage, bacon, rice, sazon and tomato sauce to the pot; stir.

Add water and bring it to a boil on high until water evaporates, stirring rice once.

Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes.

Ok, know this: I cut the "cover and simmer" time down by 10 minutes because I thought I boiled the water down too much before covering. Thus, my thinking went, if I let it simmer the entire 35 minutes, it would be too dry. It turns out the rice was a little too wet and it could've certainly gone another 10 minutes. Good to know, right? There is a bit of wiggle room when it comes to how much water is boiled off.

Now for what you've been waiting to hear...does draining the fat from the chorizo minimize or eradicate the slick-lip feel? Yes, draining the fat eradicated the slick-lip feel and drastically alters the flavor of the rice. While the rice was certainly delicious, it did lack that gutteral, "oh my God, this is so, just so, delicious" feel on the tongue.

Puerto Rican's tend to be on the uh, shall we say, husky side, and it's for good reason. They don't skimp when it comes to delightful flavors on the palate. From now on, I won't either. I do recommend keeping with cooking the chorizo like ground beef though. It was more evenly dispersed throughout the rice and Rodney didn't pick any out, which says quite a bit.

We had our rice with pernil from the Crock-Pot. It wasn't a fluke that our pernil turned brown in the slow-cooker the first time, it's really true that meat will brown in there!