Are you ready for the second installation of a Puerto Rican Christmas? I hope so!
But first, I have to share a testimony with you! Last week I posted two videos from a cooking channel called Elbacooks4u. I sent Elba, the host of the channel, an email to tell her how much I loved her pernil, and that I shared her recipe on my blog. Well, to make a long story short — Elba and I are still reeling over this unexpected providence; it turns out that Elba is not just an amazing cook, but also a precious sister in the Lord! Is God sovereign, or what? Elba loves the Word of God, loves to read John MacArthur, likes the Puritans and the Valley of Vision, and even cooks deviled eggs for her church fellowships! Now that’s a blessed congregation, wouldn’t you say?
More and more I see that our lives simply are not ours to direct. Jeremiah 10:23 says, “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” The knowledge that God is at work in this broken world, working all things out according to His divine will, is for me, a most comforting and blessed assurance. There is no such thing as chance or happenstance in the big things, or the seemingly inconsequential things in our lives. God, He reigns!
Now, back to the arroz con gandules. Arroz con gandules, or rice and green pigeon peas, is the signature dish of the Puerto Rican culture. Growing up in grandma’s house in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, this dish was a staple in our household. While there are many different variations of arroz con gandules, it is essentially a combination of rice, pigeon peas, pork, and sofrito all cooked together in the same pot. The caldero is the pot of choice for most Puerto Rican cooking. As Elba explains in her video, “All pots are not created equal.” I love that!
In the video below Elba will teach you how to make arroz con gandules. Each time I watch her prepare this dish, I can practically smell the aroma from here!
As I mentioned earlier, there are many different variations. Elba likes long grain rice and my preference is medium grain. Also, my grandmother used to put aluminum foil over the pot and then covered it with the lid. I think she did this to not only the keep the flavor, but also to make sure the rice was not hard. When she moved back to Puerto Rico she used banana leaves!
So, are you ready for Elba’s teach-in on how to make arroz con gandules? You won’t be disappointed!
And before I forget, would you please take a moment to support Elba? You can subscribe to her You Tube Channel, and also her blog. I am here to tell you that her cooking is as authentic and creative as it gets!
Later this week I will post on how to make flan, a Spanish egg custard. Then, your Christmas meal will be complete!