Arroz Con Gandules - what am I doing wrong?

I've made this a few times but I think there must be a problem. Maybe someone here can suggest something. When I make this, the rice is never done after 30 - 40 minutes and I have to keep adding water and cooking it longer. Actually, it's like all the water is completely absorbed at about 15 - 20 minutes but the rice is still crunchy, and I am cooking it low!

By the time the rice is finally done, it's all mushy instead of fluffy. The flavor is incredible but the texture is just so mushy! I wonder if I am using the wrong type of rice and maybe I should use parboiled? I don't know if 5 cups of water is enough to cook 2 1/2 cups of raw rice.

Here's the recipe. If you have a recipe like this how does it compare to yours?

ARROZ CON GANDULES- PUERTO RICAN STYLE

2 1/2 cups long grain white rice
5 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons sofrito (jarred or make your own by dicing onion, bell pepper (any kind), garlic, cilantro and tomato)
1/4 cup chopped bacon
1/4 cup chopped ham or sausage
2 tablespoons spanish olives
1 can green or dry pigeon peans, drained
1 envelope sazon with annato
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
salt and black pepper to taste

Start by heating the oil in a pot at high heat, and when the oil is nice and hot, add the bacon. When the bacon is cooked but not crisp, add the ham/sausage. Once that has browned, add the Sofrito. This must stir fry all together for about 1 minute.After that has been done add the water, then the peas, the olives, the tomato paste, and all the spices, including the envelope of sazon.
At that point, add salt and pepper to taste. Bring this up to a boil then stir in rice.
Once it has began to boil again, lower heat and stir 1 more time, then cover.
Let this cook for about 30 - 40 minutes on a low heat setting, stirring occasionally (every 10 minutes) until the rice is tender. Serve.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
Interesting, my friend made this rice yesterday! Are you using an electric stove? I've found that electric stoves completely suck! but that's just me... It might be that you aren't using the proper sized pot. Last weekend my friends and I made 5 cups of arroz con guandules in a medium-large pot but it came out as you described because it was too much rice in the pot. You can try to use 3.5 maybe 4 cups of rice and see if there is any difference.

As for the recipe, if someone made it the way it says in your recipe I wouldn't eat it, it doesn't sound the least bit appetizing. If I remember to ask my mom for her recipe I'll post it. HTH
Turtles: omg please don't put that in your moo moo

Nej: too late... moo moo has been infiltrated.
Interesting, my friend made this rice yesterday! Are you using an electric stove? I've found that electric stoves completely suck! but that's just me... It might be that you aren't using the proper sized pot. Last weekend my friends and I made 5 cups of arroz con guandules in a medium-large pot but it came out as you described because it was too much rice in the pot. You can try to use 3.5 maybe 4 cups of rice and see if there is any difference.

As for the recipe, if someone made it the way it says in your recipe I wouldn't eat it, it doesn't sound the least bit appetizing. If I remember to ask my mom for her recipe I'll post it. HTH
Originally Posted by SarcasmIsBeauty
No, I'm using a gas stove. I normally don't have a problem cooking rice, it's just this particular recipe. I used a large pot because it makes so much. 2 1/2 cups of raw rice cooks up to lots of rice!

It's actually very tasty but I'd like to see your Mom's recipe, for sure!

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
That recipe has so many ingredients!
In the DR, arroz con guandules is white rice with stewed pigeon peas. What you're talking about is moro de guandules for us. Granted we have some differences in how it's made in the DR from PR, but it's pretty much the same.
My mother makes some of the best moros around (seriously, people love her moro, whether pigeon pea, black bean, pink beans, what have you) and I make it as she does: just a few ingredients and actually vegan. I love bean dishes made with some sort of pork, but they don't need it. A Mexican friend of mine was shocked when I told her that my mother's beans (and really, most Dominican bean dishes) contain no lard/pork bones and are completely vegetarian, vegan in fact.

Anyway, with moro it's really about the technique. All it has is onions, the peas, rice, tomato paste, a bit of cilantro, and maybe a clove of garlic if you want.
The secret for my mother's is to really caramelize the onions. You want to get them deeply browned. If you don't brown them enough, they won't disintegrate into sweet, flavorful deliciousness once the rice is done. Just don't burn them though.
Once that's done, in goes the tomato paste, then your peas, then the water. Now, here's where I'm going to scare you. I called BS on the recipe you're using the moment I saw the amount of liquid. It's not too little. It's actually too much. The first thing I check for when I see a Caribbean recipe to see if it's the real deal is check how much water to rice it calls for. If it's a 2:1 ratio, I discount it. We cook rice 1:1, or just a bit above. Daisy Martinez describes it as two fingers of water above the level of the rice, which works out to about that.

So, you brown your onions, get the paste in, then the peas. Add water and bring to a boil, along with the salt (water for rice should taste salty). Add rice. Let that simmer away uncovered until the water cooks out and meets the level of the rice. Bring the heat down to low and tightly cover your rice (we often cover the pot with a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil before putting on the lid). In about 20-30 minutes, you have rice. I'm always a bit hesitant to tell people this because it tends to scare the hell out of them, and then they undoubtedly end up with crunchy rice. But I've seen rice made like this my whole life and I'm not the rice whisperer at every place I work for no reason.

This is Daisy's recipe, which while having more ingredients than what I've enjoyed all my life is still pretty authentic (she's Puerto Rican, so it's more in that style).
One thing though, don't use that much salt. Half of that should be enough. And I say that as someone who is not shy with the salt, but if I make four cups of rice, one tablespoon of salt is just about spot on. Taste for yourself!
http://www.daisymartinez.com/cgi-bin...-con-gandules/

Last edited by Saria; 09-14-2009 at 08:29 PM.
Saria thats pretty much how my mom makes it & that's what I call it too.

I found this recipe from a dominican cooking website if you'd like to try it one day as well:

http://www.dominicancooking.com/rice...s-coconut.html
Turtles: omg please don't put that in your moo moo

Nej: too late... moo moo has been infiltrated.
I will try Daisy's recipe. She is the one who taught me to make my own sofrito. I've made her Moros y Cristianos a couple of times too with great success.

You are correct that her proportion of rice to water is different. I've never noticed that before, I just followed the recipes!

Sarc - I like the looks of the recipe you linked to. Coconut milk = yummy goodness!

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
At first I use this recipehttp://www.elboricua.com/arroz_con_gandules.html then stemmed off and added my own twists to it like adding some meat of course. Sometimes chicken, sausages or pieces of leftover beef.



Last edited by MokahDeeLyte; 09-16-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added link
At first I use this recipehttp://www.elboricua.com/arroz_con_gandules.html then stemmed off and added my own twists to it like adding some meat of course. Sometimes chicken, sausages or pieces of leftover beef.
Originally Posted by MokahDeeLyte
Well, that's interesting! The recipe you posted says "Stirring the rice after it has begun cooking may cause it go get sticky or "amogollao."

The recipe that I first posted says to stir every 10 minutes or so. I wonder if that's part of the reason that it turns out so mushy? Hmmmmm....who knew rice and beans could be so complicated?


I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
Rice has starch which is released as you stir. Think of risotto --- the reason it's creamy is because you keep stirring it and releasing the starch in the rice by doing so.
This is why you also shouldn't overwork potatoes, as they get a gluey texture if you do.

For coconut rice and moro, I just replace half the amount of water with coconut milk. My favorite moro con coco is black bean. The strong flavor of the black beans makes the sweetness of the coconut more noticeable.
The recipe Sarcasm posted still has too much going on for my liking. I HATE oregano in moro and Dominican style beans. I've had it from a couple of Dominican places and it just doesn't belong, to me.
Rice has starch which is released as you stir. Think of risotto --- the reason it's creamy is because you keep stirring it and releasing the starch in the rice by doing so.
This is why you also shouldn't overwork potatoes, as they get a gluey texture if you do.

For coconut rice and moro, I just replace half the amount of water with coconut milk. My favorite moro con coco is black bean. The strong flavor of the black beans makes the sweetness of the coconut more noticeable.
The recipe Sarcasm posted still has too much going on for my liking. I HATE oregano in moro and Dominican style beans. I've had it from a couple of Dominican places and it just doesn't belong, to me.
Originally Posted by Saria
This is true!


I wonder if the first recipe I posted would work better if I rinsed the rice first, removing much of the starch? If I rinsed it, but followed the instructions to stir every ten minutes or so would that improve it? Or... should I just ditch the recipe altogether?

ETA: Just thinking because I do see many, many island recipes that call for rinsing the rice first.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.

Last edited by roseannadana; 09-19-2009 at 10:32 AM.
Rice has starch which is released as you stir. Think of risotto --- the reason it's creamy is because you keep stirring it and releasing the starch in the rice by doing so.
Originally Posted by Saria
Ha! Who knew I was such a risotto pro?

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com