Friday, September 16, 2016


When the weather is cool, this is a great dish to have.  It's Puerto Rican comfort food. Many years ago a friend of mine prepared this for me. I will always remember her for this dish and something she said to me while I was pregnant with my first child.  There I was, about 8 months pregnant and she says, "I think you are going to have a girl."

I said, "Oh, yeah, why's that?"

She said, "Because your baby is stealing your mojo."

I said, "What?!"

She said, "Baby girls take away your beauty!"  Yes, she said that!  Yes, she said that when I was in the throws of emotions from pregnancy! Yes, she was a friend.  A friend with no filter that is!

Finally, yes, she was right about the baby girl.  As for the mojo...

Hello cilantro, sprinkled all over the top!
Look at all that rice, covered in deliciousness!
Go on now, make this for yourself, it is delicious.  Find pigeon peas in the Goya section here in the States.  You can find them canned or dried.  I found dried ones at out Public Market.


1 medium chopped onion
1/2 cup sofrito*
1 cup tomato sauce or some fresh tomatoes
2 cups pigeon peas, cooked
1/4 cup  Manzanillo olives
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon Adobo
1 -12 ounce can chicken broth
1 pound white rice, long grain
granulated garlic, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven or caldero cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and chop in small pieces.  Take out any excess bacon fat.  You want about a tablespoon or two to fry the onions.  Add them and cook until tender. Add sofrito for about 2 to 3 minutes. When you start to really smell it then add the bacon back, tomato sauce, drained beans, rice, Adobo and chicken broth.  Stir gently but thoroughly.  Add enough water to cover the rice, about 1 inch above rice line. (I find Daisy Martinez's tip of sticking your index finger into the mixture and touching the rice just at the top.  The water should be at the first knuckle joint in your finger.)

Bring to a boil and lower heat to a gentle simmer.  Cover and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes.  All the liquid should be absorbed. Serve with fresh cilantro as desired.

*Make your own sofrito:
You can freeze it in small portions and it is a great starter for so many soups. Recipe from Serious Eats

2 medium Spanish onions, cut into large chunks (about 2 cups)
4 cubanelle peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into large chunks (about 2 cups)
18 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ajices dulces (if you can find it)
4 leaves of culantro (if you can find it)
4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Kosher salt

Grind garlic cloves first, then peppers and then onion. I find that when you add more liquid or more ingredients the garlic is hard to chop fine in the processor.  

While it is running drop in the rest of the ingredients.

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