There is just two of us in our little house, which results in a lot of leftovers sometimes. Especially when it comes to rice. We like rice, no we love rice. Rice is to Puerto Ricans what potatoes are to Americans. Growing up in a Puerto Rican home the standard meal was rice, beans and a side of meat.
It is safe to say that rice is well loved though out Latin American countries. During my visit to Ecuador with World Vision there were many foods and flavors that overlapped with food Puerto Rico. This dish was insipired by our lunch during the World Vision Chosen event. It was a simple rice dish mixed with chicken and vegetables.
It reminded me of the many quick fix dinners that my mother would make with leftover rice. Any given day of the week there would be an array of leftovers in our refrigerator. I seem to have carried this habit into my own home.
I enjoy taking humble leftovers and turning them into something new. If you are in a Puerto Rican home you are sure to have some of these very leftover in your refrigerator in the next few days.
It is possible to make some amazing dishes out of leftovers. A few weeks back while I was standing in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what to make for dinner. My eye landed on some left over rice and pork tenderloin. I didn’t have quite enough for both of us, but I knew if I combined it and bulked it up with some other things it could make a killer dinner.
I fried up some ripe plantains that were sitting on the counter, scrambled a few eggs, tossed in the rice and pork, and TA-DA dinner was made. And, HOLLY MOLLY was it good! These are all elements that I’ve had for a complete dinner, but to toss them together and fry them up a little made it a whole new dish.
Give Back this Christmas with World Vision
You can also make a holiday meal special for a child with World Vision with a meal that makes a difference. Take a moment to think about holiday meals a little differently. Many of us experience the holidays through food and have favorite memories associated with those family traditions. What if you started a new tradition with your family this year through a holiday meal?
There are many food-related ways to give through World Vision’s Gift Catalog such as providing a family with a goat or chickens. I encourage you to choose the one that inspires you, feature it in your holiday meal, and give back as part of your family tradition!
Here are a few other ideas from the food bloggers who traveled with us in Ecuador:
- Mary Younkin: Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark
- Rebecca Lindamood: Pumpkin Cheesecake Milkshakes
- Matthew Brennan: Cooking For Bruno
With tender rice, savory pork and chunks of sweet, crispy plantains, every bite is the perfect bite! It is a great way to use up those Christmas leftovers.
This holiday season consider signing up to be Chosen. It is an amazing opportunity to empower a child to take hold of their future. If you are interested in learning more about World Vision Chosen read my post World Vision | Changing Child Sponsorship with #Chosen.
Puerto Rican “Fried Rice.”
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/4 cup recaito
- 1 small onion, small diced
- 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers or pimentos
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 envelope sazon con achiote
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups parboiled rice
- 1 15 oz can pigeon peas, drained
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 ripe plantains
- vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- Combine, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub pork tenderloin with seasoning.
- Add chopped onion to a slow-cooker. Lay tenderloin over the onion, add water and vinegar.
- Set on HIGH for 3 hours. Once the pork is done, dice pork into 1/2 inch cubes.
- While pork is in the slow cooker, make rice. Heat a caldero or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat.
- Drizzle with olive oil, once olive oil is hot add recaito, onion, red peppers and capers.
- Cook until onion is translucent, add sazon, season with salt and add tomato paste, mix until well combined.
- Add rice and toast rice for about 5 minutes. Add water, pigeon peas and bay leaves, stir gently.
- Bring to a boil, set to low heat and cover for 20 - 30 minutes or until water has evaporated and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Peel and slice plantains at a bias, cut sliced in half.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add just enough oil to fill the bottom of the skillet.
- Allow the oil some time to get hot, but be careful not to get it too hot. Add plantains to the oil, fry both sides until golden brown.
- Transfer to plate lined with a paper towel, set aside.
- Scramble eggs in a large skillet, set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, get the skillet nice and hot.
- Add pork, fried plantains, 1/2 of the prepared rice and scrambles eggs. Toss until heated and rice is crackling.
- Served garnished with cilantro and topped with avocado.
Recipe for homemade recaito and sazon.
*This recipe does make twice the amount of rice that you need for the fried rice, but it's best prepared at this ratio. Remaining prepared rice can be kept refrigerated for up to a week for an easy weeknight dinner side.
The skin of ripe plantains should be yellow and black, The more black on the skin the riper the plantain.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 801mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 11gSugar: 14gProtein: 15g
Just found your website and am excited to say am looking forward to cooking along with you. Everything brings back so many happy memories.
You are the greatest i love every thing you but on your website love you abuelita
THIS SITE WILL BE MY NEW ENDULGENCE … AS A BORICUA MYSELF THERES NOTHING LIKE KEEPING THE TRADIITIONS ALIVE.. SO NENA THANKS FOR THIS SITE… AMAZING….
It sounds amazing but…In your instructions you didn’t tell us where to put in the gandules?
It’s an ingredient but not included in your method.
What would I do without you guys to call me out! I’m so sorry! It’s fixed, thanks for letting me know.
Haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog says
Oh man oh man… this looks so good! I love the latin twist on fried rice. And your photos are so amazing. You must have the best lit space in the history of food blogs!
Heather || Heather's Dish says
I can’t stop drooling – seriously, rice is a BIG LOVE for me! We always had that instead of potatoes growing up and I adore it!
I don’t use parboiled rice. If I use regular long grain rice, will the amount of water be the same?? I really want to give this a try! I had been hoping you would come up with another delicious Puerto Rican recipe:)
I like to use the parboiled rice because it’s more forgiving and you end up with a looser grain since all the starch has already been removed. However, if you do want to use regular long grain rice first be sure to rinse as much starch out as you can. Then for 2 cups of rice use 3 1/2. Normally for a simple white rice the ratio is 1:2 but for this rice I cut the water because the vegetable add water.
Kisha Vargas says
I can’t wait to try this. It has everything I love to eat. Thanks for sharing!!!!
Melissa from HungryFoodLove says
Que ricura! The key to that rice is the pan jajaja – that aluminum pan is always present in Latin kitchens.
Jannese Torres says
Omg, this is brilliant! I’m so doing this with my next batch of leftover arroz con gandules! You rock!