Arroz y Gandules

December 18, 2011

I grew up with my grandmother making this simple, filling and inexpensive Puerto Rican meal of Arroz and Gandules (rice and pigeon peas).  You can easily make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon and chorizo for a well-rounded Meatless Monday Meal. 

Rice and Gandules

  • 2 cups long grain white rice, rinsed (I’ve tried making it with brown rice and it came out a little mushy)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 4 tbs Sofrito
  • 1 15 oz can Gandules (Pigeon Peas), drained
  • 1 link Chorizo Sausage
  • 1 envelope Sazon con Culanto y Achiote
  • 1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Spanish Olives
  • salt and pepper

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

Add sofrito (stand back it will spatter) 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, stir rice over ONLY once*, cover and simmer on low for 35 minutes.  Add olives and stir until heated through.

*It is important not to stir rice more than once otherwise it will come out very sticky.


Si, quiero Paella

November 29, 2010

I have a new favorite foodie website.  It’s full of creative recipes accompainied by gorgeous photos.  Take a peek:

Food 52

I have prepared over a half a dozen recipes in the past few weeks, and everything has been outstanding.  Seriously.  These are blow your hair back kinda concoctions. I had a taste for Paella about  a month ago and stumbled upon this recipe.  OMG. It’s soo good, I’ve already made it twice this month.  I considered having a Spanish themed Thanksgiving so I could make it a third.

I tweaked the original recipe a little by adding some additional meats/seafood, but this is definitely a dish I’ll be making for years to come…especially for company.  It’s soooo good, soooo easy and everyone thinks it’s a really exotic and difficult dish to make. And it’s okay to let ’em keep thinking that ;0)


Sextuple Surprise Paella

Triple Surprise Paella (or sextuple, in this case)

Serves 4
  • 4 Chicken drumsticks (I like to use chicken wings)
  • 3 Links of Pork Chorizo (I used one Andouille and one Chorizo)
  • 1 pound Shrimp (shelled and deveined), seasoned with salt and pepper
  • ½ pound mussels
  • ½ pound crab legs
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Med. Red Onion (sliced)
  • 2 cups Bell pepper (diced, assorted colors)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3/4 cups Olives (sliced, assorted types – green and kalamata work great)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh thyme leaves (whole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Saffron springs (can be found behind the pastry counter at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market — $7.99/gram)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • evoo (for pan)
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. In a 12″ saute pan (or 18″ paella pan) add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Put pan over medium to high heat.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan and sear both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place chorizo in pan and sear both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Add onion to pan and cook until soft.
  6. Add garlic, peppers and olives. Continue to saute for 5 – 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add rice and saute for 3 – 5 minutes (until rice begins to toast)
  8. Add chicken stock.
  9. Add cumin, saffron, bay leaves and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add chicken and chorizo to pan. Arrange in decorative fashion. Cover with foil.
  11. Place pan in preheated oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
  12. Add shrimp, mussels and crab legs and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve.

Gettin' started


Toasting the Arborio rice


You can sub Turmeric (poor man's Saffron) for Saffron threads


Going in the oven


Ready to be topped with seafood


Delicious one-dish dinner

Check out the original recipe here.

I love sausage.  I mean I looooove sausage.  Patties or links with breakfast, crumbled hot italian in spaghetti sauce or grilled (preferably over charcoal) and served in a hoagie roll with onions and peppers.  Today I will talk about the latter.

My fiance is from Long Island and grew up eating Sausage and Peppers.   This weekday meal consisted of some kind of grilled sausage, or bratwurst, served in a roll and heaped with sautéed onions and green peppers.  He has turned me on to this simple, easy and delicious meal that I thought just couldn’t get any better.  Until I stopped by the Pine Street Market to check out what they had to offer.

My massage therapist told me about the new deli that had recently opened in Avondale.  One of his clients had shared they had a quite an array of meats to choose from…including fennel sausage (which I happen to adore), black truffle salami, chorizo and more!  I chose the roasted poblano pepper sausages, chorizo salami and some chevre. 

Oh yum.

I know I said earlier I didn’t think Jim’s Sausage and Peppers could get any better…but piling those veggies on top of that poblano sausage just (to quote Emeril), “kicked it up a notch.” 

What do you like to put on your grilled sausage?


My goody bag


My goodies


Sausage & Peppers