Arroz con Gandules and Breaded Pork Steaks

Arroz con Gandules and Breaded {ork Steaks

Recipe contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Sweets and Beyond. Used with permission.

If I had to pick a classic traditional dish from Puerto Rico, it has to be Arroz con Gandules. Just like potatoes, rice can stand alone, or be mixed with different meats and legumes.

Pigeon peas, or gandules, date back 3,500 years! They originated in India and thankfully reached the Caribbean! Unlike green beans or string beans plants, the pigeon pea is actually a little tree. It can last and produce beans 3 to 5 years.

You can’t say arroz con gandules without mentioning pork. They go hand in hand. It’s our official food for Christmas. A nice roast pork shoulder with the skin all crispy, and fluffy rice and pigeon peas. But don’t wait for Christmas: Breaded pork steaks and arroz con gandules make for a tasty and quick meal any weeknight.

 

Arroz con Gandules:

Ingredients:

2 cups of rice (I use long grain)
1  16 oz can of green pigeon peas (gandules verdes)
3 cubes or 3 tablespoons of sofrito
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 packet Goya ham seasoning
1 packet Sazon Knorr
4 tablespoons of annatto oil (optional, see recipe) or 1/4 cup canola oil
2¼ cups of  water
Salt to taste

Breaded Pork Steaks:

 

Ingredients:

6 pork steaks, thinly sliced
1 egg plus ¼ cup water
Adobo Goya
Plain breadcrumbs
Canola oil for frying

 

Directions:

Arroz con Gandules:

  1. In a medium caldero (aluminum pot) or a 4-5 quart pan, heat oil on medium high and add the sofrito, oregano, cumin, minced garlic, ham seasoning and the sazon.
  2. Sautee for a few minutes, then add the rice, making sure the rice gets nice and incorporated with the sofrito and other spices.
  3. Add the can of pigeon peas, with the liquid and 2¼ cups of water.
  4. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Boil the rice for a few minutes until most of the water is absorbed, it will resemble oatmeal.
  6. Lower the flame to medium low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir the rice and cook 10-15 more minutes or until the rice is done.

Breaded Pork Steaks:

  1. Season the pork steaks with adobo, about ½ teaspoon each steak.
  2. Beat egg and water together and sprinkle a bit of adobo in the egg.
  3. Place steaks in the egg mixture, then dredge them in the breadcrumbs (I put the breadcrumbs on a plate), then set aside.
  4. Heat enough oil to cover a frying pan (medium high).
  5. Fry steaks about 4-5 minutes on each side. They are thin, so they cook fast and could burn, so keep an eye on them.

You can accompany your meal with a simple spinach salad. Dinner is served!

 

Watch me make this dish at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzjHw2XHFtg

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