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Caribbean Style Rice – Eric Meier Cooks

Caribbean rice
Eric Meier/TSM

I have a long-standing love affair going with Central New York’s Spanish food restaurants,  Joel’s at Oneida Square and El Barajo in East Utica.  Thier Domnican and Puero Rican – inspired fare is some of the best food in the area.  Everything you get there is served with the most amazing yellow rice.  I set out to see if I could create the taste at home.

After reading up on Caribbean cooking online, I think I’ve found the secrets to the yellow rice:  sazon and sofrito.

Sazon is the Spanish word for seasoning.  The Goya sazon with coriander and annatto is responsible for turning white rice yellow.

Sofrito is the aromatic blend of finely chopped and cooked tomato, garlic and onion.  It’s available in jars.  I’ve tried cooking my own but find the jarred variety works just as well.

To make my rice, I start by melting a pat of butter and cooking about 4 teaspoons of sofrito mix.  Then I add 1 package of sazon along with some garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and pepper to taste.  I add the rice dry and cook for just a minute or two.

I add 2 cups of water, cover and let the rice cook on low for 20 minutes.  You could add some diced green olives at this step as an option as well.

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