Gallo Pinto

Today’s recipe involves, Gallo Pinto, a breakfast I had on two occasions during my short stay in Costa Rica and it changed my view of how breakfast should make you feel; satisfied, ready for anything the day has to bring – whether that be hiking, parasailing, rock climbing or running from meeting to meeting.

Like most people, my Monday to Friday has a schedule that begins at 5.30am with an unsettling, horrifying tone scrambling me away from peace. My weekends, however, are rather unscheduled, sometimes though, a girl has got to be organized.

This past weekend consisted of attending a friend’s wedding, catching up and conversing with old friends (and eating far far too much candy in a short time frame) and cooking a three course dinner for some friends in their home.

I had to prepare the food in advance. There I was slicing the meat on Sunday morning still in my pajamas, whipping egg whites and folding the melted chocolate into them, making chocolate mousse so it had enough time to ‘come of age’ and reach perfection. Placing all non perishable food in my picnic basket so I could transport it well.

With those little often time consuming duties out of the way, I was able to cook and converse instead. Making the entire process rather a breeze and enjoyable for us to consume all courses.

With all this going on I had to make the time for some Gallo Pinto, as I simply won’t have any other opportunity before next weekend when I will be setting out to wander, step and hike my way through the Tongariro Crossing – an 8 hour hike where a solid, hearty meal will be required to begin my day.

I’m going back to a recipe that has as special a place in my heart as the country it originates from. There is a saying in Costa Rica called ‘Pura Vida’ – it literally means ‘Pure Life’ and from the first moment of the day to the first meal and everything that comes after that, Costa Rican’s literally live this.

This is the breakfast for supermen and women everywhere.

‘Pura Vida’. Enjoy.

Note: If using dried beans: *Taken from Lazy Smurf Blog
Using Dried Beans:
Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. If you live somewhere that is really hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) you should do this in the fridge. When the beans are done soaking change the water (add about 7 cups), add a couple bay leaves, and bring to a simmer for around 90 minutes. You will need to check the doneness of the beans at around 1 hour because the timing will vary depending on how dry your beans are. You can also do this step in the crock pot. Whatever you do, make sure that you save some of the cooking water with the beans because you will need it later.

Gallo Pinto
Adapted from Lazy Smurf Blog
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup jasmine or other long grain rice
1 vegetable bouillon
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves or garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground, chili pepper
1 cup black beans (if dried, they need to soak for 8 hours prior)*
1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium chili pepper, finely chopped

Directions: 
Place the rice, vegetable bouillon and water into a frying pan on low heat, stirring to cook consistently until the rice is cooked and the rice is quite dry, but not sticking to the base of the pan.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Place the oil, onion, garlic, coriander seeds, ground cumin and chili pepper in a frying pan on low heat and cook, stirring until slightly translucent.

Add the rice in and stir through to heat.

Add the black beans, stirring to heat through before adding in the tomato and chili pepper.

Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

The national dish of Costa Rica is this one and once you try it you'll see why! It's full of flavor, has no gluten, is vegetarian and will make you feel ready for whatevery the day has to bring because this is breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup jasmine or other long grain rice
  • 1 vegetable bouillon
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves or garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground, chili pepper
  • 1 cup black beans (if dried, see note)
  • 1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium chili pepper, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place the rice, vegetable bouillon and water into a frying pan on low heat, stirring to cook consistently until the rice is cooked and the rice is quite dry, but not sticking to the base of the pan.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Place the oil, onion, garlic, coriander seeds, ground cumin and chili pepper in a frying pan on low heat and cook, stirring until slightly translucent.
  4. Add the rice in and stir through to heat.
  5. Add the black beans, stirring to heat through before adding in the tomato and chili pepper.
  6. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Notes

Notes: Directions from LazySurfBlog: Using Dried Beans: Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. If you live somewhere that is really hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) you should do this in the fridge. When the beans are done soaking change the water (add about 7 cups), add a couple bay leaves, and bring to a simmer for around 90 minutes. You will need to check the doneness of the beans at around 1 hour because the timing will vary depending on how dry your beans are. You can also do this step in the crock pot. Whatever you do, make sure that you save some of the cooking water with the beans because you will need it later.

Adapted from Lazy Surf Blog

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