Now I might have to repeat this in the fall when Nick's book comes out, but that's never a bad thing...
Just more delicious goodness!
This basic recipe came from my son-in-law's mother, Gladys Bermeo. Gladys came here from Ecuador, she and her husband Marcos, and they had three beautiful children they had to leave behind.
One by one as they established themselves in NYC, they brought their family to America to become American citizens. Their only child born here is my son-in-law, Otto... They named him Otto after a nice German man who helped them get settled here.
Gladys is great in the kitchen, she has a big heart and she always opened their little home to travelers, to immigrants. She reached out to family, and cooking good, simple food was crucial.
I fell in love with this recipe, and like many good cooks, Gladys goes by feel. And DON'T GET IN HER WAY. When she's in the kitchen, it is her kitchen!
Sazon seasoning (two packets)
1 1/2 cups Basmati or Jasmine rice (good rice makes a difference)
A carrot or two, peeled and chopped fine
2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped fine
3 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups water and add about a tablespoon and a half of chicken base to the water after you add it)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained, or one 10 oz (plus or minus, you can never have too much corn, right?) frozen corn, thawed
Olive oil just to cover bottom of pan
Cover bottom of pan with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning mix over oil. Warm it over medium/low heat to effuse the seasoning into the oil. As it heats, whisk seasoning a few times.
Once oil is hot (not smoking) add water (everything will steam up, into your face, so be careful!). Stir in rice, chopped carrots and celery, bring back to boil, then turn heat way down to simmer.
Cover pan. Cook for 18-20 minutes. Add drained corn for last few minutes. Add pepper to taste.
This is a huge family favorite here. It's spicy enough to be noticed and mild enough that the kids all love it.
And I probably shouldn't admit this but Sazon seasoning??? When you buy the mega box at Sam's Club? It seems to stay good for a VERY LONG TIME.
Luckily I don't read the silly dates on packaging! :)
I used bits of Gladys's history for Isabo Castiglione, a great secondary character in the Double S Ranch series. Isabo and her husband came to America from Ecuador as well, but they had no children. They'd lost multiple pregnancies, but when they came to America they found work and medical care, and their very last pregnancy gave them a daughter, the heroine from "Back in the Saddle", a courageous young woman who grew up to follow in her father's footsteps, a police office in the Seattle Police Department.
Immigrant strength is an amazing thing, because immigrants have the advantage of knowing just how blessed our country is. They take nothing for granted... and appreciate the littlest things!
We are so blessed to be here, and sometimes I just have to give myself a good shake and remind myself of that.
God is good.