This rice dish is very hearty and delicious, it also brings back lots of childhood memories of my Grandma. She used to make this rice dish often and serve it with different types of meat dishes, especially her famous mustard pork chops. It’s also one of my favorite ways to make rice when I’m in the mood for “arroz con huevos” (rice with scrambled eggs).
This recipe will render about 4 servings. The ingredients needed are the following:
1 Cup of crushed Thin Spaghetti or Angel Hair
3 Cups of Rice
4 Cups of Chicken Stock (may substitute with a chicken bouillon and 4 cups of water)
1 Cup of Water
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Celery Stalk
1/2 – 1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 Habanero Chiles (aji gustoso)
2 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
To begin, I like to use thin spaghetti to make this recipe because I always have some on hand. You can use angel hair noodles if you prefer, just make sure to use thin noodles. 1 cup is about 1/4 of noodles from the 1lb box of pasta.
The easiest way to crush them is to put them in a ziploc bag and break them until they are small pieces (be careful to over-crush them,, you don’t want to pulverize the noodles),
Add about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to a pot (I am using a caldero, which is an aluminum pot) and put on high heat, then wait a couple of minutes for the oil to get hot, then add the noodles,
The noodles will start to fry quickly, keep moving them around so that all of the noodles cook evenly,
As the noodles cook in the oil, keep moving them and they will start to get crispy and golden,
You don’t want the noodles to burn, just get golden brown,
Then add the crushed (or chopped) garlic, make sure to have the garlic ready before hand so that you can work quickly when you need to add it,
Have 2 habanero chiles seeded and finely chopped ready to add to the pot. Habanero chiles (aji gustoso) are very flavorful little chiles that give the dish a punch of flavor. They can be found in most Spanish stores and lots of larger supermarkets are carrying them depending on the season. Just remember to use the green ones because usually the red ones are very HOT,
Then add the finely chopped habanero chile (aji gustoso) to the pot and stir well,
Cook the noodles with the garlic and the chiles for a minute or two, you don’t want the garlic or noodles to burn, just develop some flavor, then add the chicken stock. I prefer using natural chicken stock instead of chicken bouillon (sopitas), but you can substitute the stock with 1 bouillon and 4 cups of water,
Then add 1 more cup of water,
Cut the celery stalk into 3 or 4 large pieces and add it to the pot, stir well,
Then add some salt, usually 1/2 tsp is enough but you can adjust the level and add less or more if you prefer just give it a taste,
Then add some ground black pepper,
Cover the pot and let the items in the pot come up to a boil.
When when the items int he pot come up to a boil, take 3 cups of rice and wash it,
When you wash the rice, make sure to change the water a couple of times until the water is translucent,
When the rice is clean and drained, add it to the pot,
Stir well and then let the rice absorb the water,
Stir every few minutes and keep an eye on it until the rice absorbs most of the water,
A way to check if the rice is ready to be covered, is to take the spoon and open a “path” with it running it from the edge towards the center. If the rice stays put and doesn’t run into the “path” you open, then it’s ready to be covered,
Pile all of the rice in the center of the pot,
The common method that most Dominicans use to cook their rice is to cover the rice with a plastic bag and then cover it with the pot lid. I prefer to use aluminum foil, but you can skip this step and just use the regular lid. I find that with the aluminum foil the rice cooks better,
Put the lid on, put the heat on low and let it cook for 30 minutes without uncovering,
After 30 minutes uncover the rice and it should be fully cooked,
“Voltea” which is the term we topically use, which just means to turn and mix the rice to bring the rice that is on the bottom towards the top and fluff it up,
Cover it for 5 minutes before serving.
This delicious rice can be served with anything from meat, eggs to even soup! Yum!