Not Your Average Rice n’ Beans!

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by the awesome Puerto Rican guy that came to fix our dishwasher a few weeks ago… he was a major foodie and we had the best discussions about the foods he grew up eating!

I think it all started from the massive bag of chile de arbol I had sitting on the counter 🙂

A dish that hasn’t left my mind was one that he called Arroz con Gandules.

I had never heard of this before, but from his description, knew that it would be a recipe that would have fantastic flavors that I would love!

A version of your classic rice and beans, but infused with the most amazing flavors of cilantro, tomato, garlic and onions.  Yes please, sign me up 🙂

So tonight I set out on a mission to create this fabulous dish.

And here’s how it turned out!

Arroz con Gandules

The CookinFanatic version.

Have you guys ever cooked with sofrito before?

A base for Spanish cooking, it consists of garlic, onion and tomatoes cooked in olive oil.

I discovered this Goya version (which also includes green peppers & cilantro) a few years back during my early foodie years and fell instantly in love (kinda like The Man and I, had to do it 😉 )

It hasn’t made it’s way into our kitchen in quite some time and tonight’s recipe was the perfect way for it to make its comeback.

Loosely based on this recipe.

  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 spoonfuls sofrito
  • 2 tblsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • about 20 pimento stuffed olives, halved
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 tblsp olive oil

The traditional Arroz con Gandules uses pigeon peas however they didn’t have them at the grocery store and I didn’t have a chance to make it to the specialty store this weekend.

So I used black-eyed peas instead, which I was okay with since I think they are supposed to bring luck in the new year or something like that 😛

Guess it’s not really Arroz con Gandules anymore now is it!  Oh well.

First in went the onion & the green pepper w/ the olive oil.  Covered and cooked over medium for about 7 minutes until they begin to get soft.

Then the sofrito and cilantro.

I’m pretty sure you either love or loathe cilantro.  I’m a lovah, what can I say 😀 

Followed by the pimento stuffed green olives

And tomato sauce.

Stir stir stir.  Then in goes the rice, beans and water. Plus some black pepper for good measure 😉

Bring to a boil then cover and forget about for another 30 minutes.

After that time is up you are going to have the largest pot of rice n’ beans you’ve ever seen… and you are going to be happy happy!

We all know The Man’s aversion to beans, but he gave this rice n’ beans a double thumbs up.  I was shocked at how well it went over.

Me, I LOVED it. 

I even loved it more when served with some chicken on the side too.

Sofrito + chicken.  Baked at 350F until done.

Tender and flavorful.  The Man couldn’t stop raving about that either.  

Pretty much just what I needed after a day like today, I just love when a dinner turns into a complete homerun! 🙂

I’d highly recommend trying this dish if you’re looking to bring some new and exciting flavors to your dinner table.

The saltiness of the olives and the savory sofrito with veggies, rice and beans seriously can’t be beat.

Mmmmm mmmmm 😛

Well it’s movie night in this house, Dinner for Schmucks is on the playlist.   I need a good laugh after another incredibly ridiculously busy, late day at work!

And maybe 15 of these.

Just sayin’…. 😉

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5 responses to “Not Your Average Rice n’ Beans!

  1. I love rice & beans- its seriously one of my favorite dinners. And there are SO many versions out there. This looks awesome (minus the olives…I’m just not an olives girl). Its funny how food inspiration can come from such unexpected places

  2. yum – I need to find sofrito!

  3. lowandbhold

    Oh my goodness that looks so good, and I’m going to have to try to find sofrito now!

  4. rice and beans is my goal to meal– except this looks way better then mine!

  5. Yummmm! I LOVE Cilantro, so I obviously need to find this stuff. 🙂 How fun to get recipe ideas from people like that! One of my friends is from Puerto Rico (AND went to culinary school!) so I begged her to teach me some ethnic dishes. Yummmm.

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