Arroz amarillo con garbanzo y tostones: Tasty 4th

So this fourth of July was kind of lame.  Felt like any other weekend day with the exception of the blasting outside.  I was supposed to go visit Ryan but that didn’t work out unfortunately.  So I stayed home in my pjs all day, away from crowds and explosives, but certainly within hearing distance.  I spent most the day watching an America’s Next Top Model marathon and making a cup out of rolled magazine paper and glue to hold my pencils and pens on my desk at school.  Sounds weird but it looks really cool.  Adapted it from the Big-Ass Book of Crafts.  However, I did cook dinner for me and my parents.

I made arroz amarillo con garbanzos and tostones: yellow rice with garbanzo beans and twice-fried plantains.  The rice was really easy since I used canned beans and mixed veggies and also because I’ve gotten used to cooking rice.  It’s a simple formula really: sofrito (the sauteed onion, pepper, garlic, and various seasonings and additions) + beans, veggies, and rice + water.  My parents are continually impressed with my rice.  My mom says I’ve gotten a real taste for it.  I’m still not sure if it’s luck or skill.  : D However, I’m starting to get to the point where I don’t need the recipe in front of me.  My dad LOVES my picadillo, and like I said, he used to not like it.  He said, “You’re the world’s best picadillo maker!”  He also told me I need to teach mom to make it since I won’t be there to do it when I start school again–in front of mom.  She made a face and rolled her eyes in half-way feigned offense.

I also made tostones since mom FINALLY found green plantains around here.  (Another disadvantage of living in small town, Tennessee.)  It was so bizarre handling green plantains.  I’ve mentioned how strange plantains are.  When they are green they are starchy and when ripe they’re very sweet.  But the weirdest part was that as I was peeling it (which was very difficult since it’s very stiff and tough when green) it smelled EXACTLY like a cucumber.  So weird.  Tostones are a great salty side to lots of Cuban dishes and dangerously addictive.  Since you fry them twice they’re nice and cripsy.

Dinner turned out pretty great.  Dad cooked some steaks on the grill (didn’t eat any–Dad’s steaks are great but I’m not a big carnivore).  As we were eating Dad said, “I feel like I’m eating in Miami.”  “Then I’ve accomplished my goal,” I said.  So the fourth of July wasn’t a total waste I guess.

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