You have under an hour to make something to eat for dinner and you (naturally) want Cuban comfort food. Here’s my quick and easy – shortcuts included – path to making picadillo con arroz blanco.
(Serves 4 people)
- 1-1 ½ lb ground beef, extra lean
- 1 8-oz can of tomato sauce
- ½ cup green pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
- ¾ c white cooking wine
- 1 small onion, diced small
- ½ green pepper diced
- ½ red pepper diced
(or if you can find it, about 1.5 c of frozen sofrito that you can get in the store)
- 3 -4 crushed cloves of garlic (or about 1 ½ tsp of the prepared kind)
- ¼ cup white raisins (black ones will do)
- ½ tsp cumin
- Salt to taste
- Adobo seasoning to taste
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 ½ c white rice
- Frozen plantains from Chiquita (don’t give me grief, you’re in a hurry, aren’t you?)*
- 2 – 3 T olive oil, enough to sautée sofrito
- Brown the meat slightly and drain the fat. Remove to a bowl.
- If you are making sofrito from scratch, dice your onion, core and dice the peppers. If you are using the frozen kind, measure out about 1 cup of the frozen mix.
- In pan, heat oil and add sofrito and the garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft but not soggy.
- Add the can of tomato sauce and cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the wine and cook off the alcohol, about 2 minutes.
- Add back the meat and stir.
- Add the olives, bay leaf, salt, cumin, and a few shakes of Sazón Accent
- Cover and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Uncover and stir in raisins. Simmer uncovered another 5 minutes.
- The liquid should have thickened somewhat into a sauce.
While the picadillo is cooking, rinse the rice (Yes. I know that the package says not to) and put it to boil with salt and oil, as per package. My favorite brand is Uncle Ben’s long grain white rice (the name notwithstanding). Bring to boil and simmer until the rice surface is porous and the water is fully absorbed, about 18 minutes. Flake the rice and remove from heat.
You must have fried bananas on the side, but who wants to fry anything in a hurry? The Goya frozen brand isn’t horrible. Nuke them in the microwave for 3 ½ minutes.
There you go. The dinner my family has at least once a week. Enjoy!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent events, I’d like to suggest that you consider other brands for your cooking needs.