|Moro de Gandules, Tempura Veggies, Romaine Salad|
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup green pepper, small diced
1/2 cup red or orange bell pepper., small diced
1 cup onion, small diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 carrot, small diced, about 1/2 cup
3 mini vegetable bouillon cubes (Maggi is a good brand)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup filtered water
1/2 cup frozen gandules
1 onion, sliced into medium-thick rings\
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thick strips
1 large handful baby carrots, about 2/3-3/4 cup
Veggie Shrimp, optional
Tempura mix, made according to directions
Vegetable or canola oil, a couple inches worth in a pot
1/2 head romaine lettuce chopped into bite sized pieces, washed, dried
1 tomato, sliced into thin slices
1/2 lemon , olive oil, sea salt and black pepper as dressing
1. Start with the moro first - it will take the longest. Put a medium sized saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add all the vegetables and cook till softened. Rinse the rice under water. Add the wet rice and frozen gandules to the pot and cook, stirring, until the rice is no longer wet. Once the rice has dried, add the coconut milk and the water. Add all the spices and stir well to combine. It should taste too salty and too spicy - it will mellow once it cooks.
2. Lower the heat to low and cover with lid. Stir the contents every few minutes until the rice is completely cooked through - this will take at least half an hour. Once the rice is just cooked, allow it to continue cooking in the pan for about 10 minutes without stirring it. This will give it the customary crunchy bottom layer that Spanish people love so much.
3. Make sure everything for the salad is prepped - chop, wash and dry the salad, slice the tomatoes and set aside until ready to use - it will come together in no time.
4. Get the oil ready and turn the heat on medium. Pour about 2" of oil into a medium sized pot and allow it to become very hot.
5. In the meantime, prepare the veggies. Prepare the tempura batter - it should be about the consistency of pancake batter. Once the oil is ready (a drop of tempura batter will immediately begin sizzling and come to the surface of the oil), begin frying the tempura in batches. Dip the veggies/shrimp in the batter, covering the entire surface and shaking off the excess. Carefully place the covered veggies/shrimp one by one into the oil, not exceeding 10-12, as they will overcrowd and not fry up well and will stick together. Turn the tempura covered goodies every minute or so until the outside of the batter has firmed up and the veggie in the middle is cooked all the way through. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Continue frying the veggies/shrimp in batches until they are all cooked.
6. To serve, place a serving of the moro, tempura veggies and shrimp, and romaine lettuce topped with tomato slices, sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper, and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. Serve a sauce for dipping the tempura. I did a mixture of tamari, filtered water, toasted sesame oil, grated garlic and ginger and red pepper flakes. Delicioso!