Thursday, April 28, 2016

Isabo's Yellow Rice from the Double S Ranch

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!

You'll need:

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.


  1. MMMMM! I love yellow rice! I've never had it with carrots and corn before. But my mother in law makes the most delicious seasoned rice... except I'm allergic to the MSG in the Sazon seasoning. So, I found a way to make home made sazon without the MSG! And by found I mean, I watched a Youtube video. LOL

    I just love Mama Rosa. She has great dishes.

    Hm.... I have some delicious tuna steaks in the freezer. Maybe I'll make tuna on yellow rice tomorrow!

    1. I've never thought to make my own!!!! Mary Jane, that's a great idea, and Gladys always used the corn, and I wanted a flash of veggie texture.

      It's so good! I wonder if this would work with quinoa, to flavor it up? I haven't gotten to be a liker yet, but maybe if it wasn't overcooked and was seasoned, I'd love it????

  2. This looks yummy. I've never heard of sazon seasoning though so I'm glad that Mary Jane shared that link. There's only one ingredient in that list that I've never heard of but I bet my bulk food store knows about it. :-)

    1. Kav, I love the Sazon flavor, but I'm open to new ideas too. And I love the ease of opening the packet!

      Sazon is sold here in grocery stores in the seasoning/spices department. But either way, Kav, this is a wonderful veggie-friendly treat. And it would be great with some chopped up water chestnuts tossed in, too.

      I love the crunch of water chestnuts.

  3. Very interesting recipe. What does this taste like.

    1. Tina, it's got a delightful, not-too-spicy flavor makes the rice "pop". And I love a strong-textured rice, because then it doesn't get gummy.

  4. Hi Ruthy, I so agree with your statement about immigrants loving it here. Most of my teaching career was teaching children of immigrants so I really know this to be true. Also, travel to another country and you'll come home and never complain about taxes again because they provide us with so much.

    PS love the recipe also.

  5. PS A delicacy in Ecuador is Guinea pig roasted on a spit. Very tasty. When you walk along the streets of Ecuador you see vendors roasting guinea pigs. Kinda gross looking but they do taste yummy.

    1. Haaaaaa!!!!! That's terrible!! :P You're braver than I am...

  6. This looks so delicious! I can almost smell it cooking from here :)

    I'm going to have to try the homemade Sazon seasoning (like Mary Jane, I don't do MSG), but it's worth the work to get tasty flavors in the recipes!

  7. I never thought about adding corn to rice ... talk about a crowd pleaser. I'm thinking shoepeg corn and basmati rice. Yum. Another non-MSG person here so thanks for the link to Mama Rosa's recipe, Mary Jane.

    Isabo is an interesting character, Ruthy. Adaptive, intuitive ... and a good cook to boot :-)

    Nancy C

  8. I've never heard of Sazo. Must try this! I assume is has saffron from the color. I love that.

  9. Cate's Yellow Rice from Brooklyn comes via either GOYA or Carolina Saffron rice. It does not, however, have the added carrots, celery and onions. ;)

    My husband has always been a fan of yellow rice. When he was a young single living in NYC, he would often go to a restaurant that was a curious mix of Spanish and Chinese food. He almost always ordered Spanish rice and pork chops.