Tag Archives: antipasto

Pigeon Peas Escabeche

20 Feb

This is a recipe from my friend Jeanette Quiñones from Sazón Boricua

When she read about my fascination with the gandules Lula made for our recent baby shower, she told me she had a great recipe she always serves as an appetizer for parties and family gatherings. She offered to give it to me and you all… she only needed the pictures.

I am glad to have waited because the pictures are gorgeous!!!! I have not had time to make the recipe myself, but if you do, please feel free to write me a comment so we can all let Jeanette know how we feel about it. OK??


If you like to invite people over to your house and feel you always end up making the “same old, same old” appetizers as always, I invite you to make these pigeon peas in escabeche. It’s an easy and delicious alternative I am sure will please many.

escabeche de gandules 1


2 cans of green pigeon peas, drained (KarmaFree highly recommends organic brands)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 small bay leaves
2 tbs sofrito, optional
1 tsp of black peppercorns
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
½ cup of pimento-stuffed olives
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
½ cup celery, chopped finely


  1. Cook the onion until translucent over about 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sofrito, peppercorns, vinegar, bay leaves and the rest of the olive oil. Take off the heat.
  2. On a separate bowl, add the roasted red pepper, olives, celery and jalapeño. Transfer the cooked sofrito mixture and add the drained pigeon peas to the bowl. Stir well to combine. Finally, add the fresh cilantro and season with salt.
  3. Let the mixture stand and macerate for at least 2 hours before serving them.


You can serve these pigeon peas with mini pita breads, pita chips, salted crackers, home-made tortilla chips or even as a filling for tostones made into small baskets, we call these tostones rellenos. I feel a class is coming up on how to make those… OK???

escabeche de gandules 023-001


Jeanette is the CEO and founder of Sazón Boricua. She started her blog from Puerto Rico on 2008 to share recipes, advice and tips for the home. She collaborates with Qué Rica Vida, has been selected as a Top Bloguera by LATISM 2012 and is also the founder of Red Bloguera de Puerto Rico. You can follow Jeanette on Facebook, on Twitter @sazon_boricua or via her blog Sazón Boricua. Contact her via email mensajes@sazonboricua.com.

Gandules de Lula

19 Dec

Inspired by the Shop Small movement… I want to encourage you to gift things that were made by you or someone you know. I am a small business owner and ever since becoming one I am a firm believer in helping out other small business owners.

Last weekend I took to my sister’s baby shower a batch of Gandul Antipasto, or Pigeon Peas Antipasto, made by Lula. Lula is a girl I know from where we get our mani/pedis done. She also can cook a mean gandul. Lula sells her Antipasto de Gandules from her home. Is a small operation, so if you call her to the number on the flyer, she can certainly hook you up with some.

gandulitos  KFC

These gandules were one of the HITS of my sister’s baby shower. Everyone thought I had made them and were asking me for the recipe. But no… I flew them in from Puerto Rico. I do not eat beans that much. You know this already… but these are DELICIOUS!! Tangy and savory with garlic and a touch of cilantro.


So if you’re interested, call LULA at 787-410-0630. Tell her Madelyn from KarmaFree Cooking sent you.


I’ll even go one step further and encourage you to give of YOURSELF this holiday season. Give your support, your time, your wisdom, your smile, your hugs, your shoulder… giving of yourself is so much meaningful than any bought gift you can ever give.

Let’s honor this season the way it’s supposed to be celebrated.

Merry Xmas…


Tuno Antipasto

19 Jan

Antipasto… when you hear the word you probably think of a platter of salamis, deli meats, Italian cheeses, olives, roasted peppers, etc.  And you would be right…

However, don’t ask me why or how, but in Puerto Rico, a party delicacy served warm made out of tuna or chicken, stewed with lots of onions, peppers and in a rich tomato sauce is also called an antipasto.  My version, of course, is made with Tuno – a brand of frozen soy protein flavored with seeweeds to taste like tuna.

You can have this as a warm party “dip” or  it goes great on top of rice or even pasta.



1/3 cup of Tuno, defrosted
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 medium cubanelle pepper, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely minced 
1/2 cup pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 laurel bay leaf
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 tbs capers or sliced green stuffed olives
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, pour olive oil and onions.  Sautee for a few minutes, add peppers and garlic.  Add some slat and pepper to help the mixture release some moisture.  Sautee until softened.
  2. Add frozen Tuno.  Cover saucepan, this will help the Tuno defrost completely.


3.  Add tomato sauce, vinegar, roasted peppers, bay leaf, capers or olives. 

4.  Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

Serve warm with crackers as a warm dip.  Or serve on top of whole grain rice as a main course.


Buon Appetito!!!

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