Mara's Gallo Pinto

This is the staple food in Costa Rica. It’s name means “Speckled Chicken,” though the recipe doesn’t necessarily include chicken or any other meat. I often make mine meatless and eat it with a fried egg on top for breakfast, as well as use as a side dish for either lunch or dinner. The Salsa Lizano is what gives this dish its authentic sabor tico, but you can substitute for any vegetable-based mild sauce.

*Red Onions, finely chopped, about 3-4 tablespoons
*Celery, finely chopped, 2 stalks
*Green and/or red bell pepper, about 3 tablespoons
*Garlic, finely chopped, 1 or 2 cloves
*Black beans, small can
*2.5 cups cooked white rice
*Olive oil
*Lizano (or another vegetable salsa)
*Scrambled eggs or chopped-up, left over chicken or steak

1. Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan (cast iron works well for this), and put over medium-high heat.

2. When hot, add first four ingredients—sauté a few minutes, until soft.

3. Add white rice, cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

4. Add can of beans and reduce heat to low.

5. Pour in Lizano or other vegetable salsa to taste.

6. Add handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves and salt and pepper.

7. Stir in meat, if desired.

Tuna and Rice
Also a rice dish I learned to make in Costa Rica, tuna and rice is quick, cheap and tasty. It’s best to use can tuna from the Hispanic section of your grocery store; try one or a combination of Goya or Sirenita’s atún con maíz (tuna with corn), atún con vegetales (tuna with vegetables) and atún con jalapeños (tuna with jalapeños).

Follow steps 1 and 2 from the “Gallo Pinto” recipe, then dump two cans of tuna (no need to drain if using recommended types) and heat a couple of minutes.

Reduce heat and follow steps 5 and 6 from the “Gallo Pinto” recipe.

No comments: