I am always looking for ways to bring my basic recipes to another level. Definitely, this time I consider I have accomplished it by taking a great recipe and turning it into, simply put… an AMAZING recipe. The twist? Adding shredded green plantain to my Arroz con Gandules.
The first time I heard about Arroz con Gandules Apastelado was during conversation with my grandmother Ita and my uncle Tio Robin who live in Ponce in the south of the island. They asked me if I had tried it and started chatting about how delicious it was. I gave it some thought and imagined the rice would be savory, but sticky and wet. However, the rice grains turn out pretty loose and the flavor is absolutely superb! I cover the rice with a banana or plantain leaf from my backyard (I have banana trees), to finish cooking it and infuse it with a district aroma that makes it taste, like my husband says… “like Christmas in Puerto Rico”. You can see and taste the little specks of plantain in every bite… unique and full of tropical flavor.
Go ahead and give this version of Arroz con Gandules a try during this holiday season and you will not regret it!
Note: if you can’t find a banana or plantain tree leaf, don’t worry, just use some paper towel between the rice and the lid to absorb some moisture. Also, keep in mind, the day I made this recipe to take the pictures, I didn’t have Annatto Oil, so the rice in the pictures might be lighter in color that yours when you add the annatto oil.
Arroz con Gandules Apastelado
you will also need:
about 1 cup of finely shredded green plantain (one green plantain)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leaf of banana or plantain tree
1. Follow steps to make my basic recipe for Arroz con Gandules.
2. Right after you add the hot water with the pigeon peas (this is very important, that the water is hot!), add the finely shredded green plantain and stir with a slotted spoon. They will look like little noodles.
3. Once the water has evaporated, bring heat to low or simmer (depends on the stove), loosely stir with slotted spoon or fork, cover with the plantain leaf and then with the lid. Let cook for about 20 more minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Makes about 8 serving.