This family recipe is a popular one. It is made every holiday. Every Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas holiday Arroz Con Gandules is made. Arroz Con Gandules means rice with pigeon peas, but we always add in fried cubed pork chops . Some Hispanics throw in some cooked ham instead of the pork, or they do both. In my family we mostly use the pork chops in the rice. Every holiday this is our main course along with the turkey or Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder). Here is what you will need to make Arroz Con Gandules.
4 to 5 Pork chops seasoned
3 heaping tablespoons Sofrito
2 heaping tablespoons Tomato Paste
3 cups of basmati rice
4 1/2 cups of water
1 can Goya Gandules (pigeon peas) drained
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of oil (for frying)
Season your pork chops with salt and pepper (or adobo), and cut into bite size cube pieces.
Heat a pot of oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot enough add the pork chops into the pot and let it fry.
Fry the pork chops until they are lightly brown on the outside, and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.
Using the same pot & oil from frying, reduce heat to low. If you feel there is too much oil in the pot after frying, drain some out. You want to have 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil. You should have a thin layer of oil coating the bottom of the pot.
Add 3 heaping tablespoons of sofrito in the oil, and let it fry.
After a few minutes of frying, add 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste.
Stir and mix the sofrito and tomato paste together and let it cook for a few minutes.
Add your drained Goya Gandules and mix.
Next, add the basmati rice and mix in thoroughly.
Add in the water and mix.
Throw in the fried pork chops & mix everything all together.
After stirring everything together add some salt and taste, then cover. Remember, do add make it too salty.
Once you cover it make sure the heat is adjusted a tad bit below a medium flame, and let the rice cook for 25 to 30 minutes. When cook time is done, stir the rice, and taste for any hard uncooked rice.
Note: If there is some hard rice in your bite, you can add a little more water. About 1/4 cup, stir and cover for a few more minutes. Your rice should not have a hard bite to it. It should be soft and fluffy.
Serve rice on a plate with a side or meat of your choice. And enjoy all the flavors!