Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gallo Pinto Recipe.

Gallo Pinto, black beans and rice, is a staple here in Costa Rica. Commonly eaten with scrambled eggs and plantains for breakfast or with chicken or fish as part of a Casado, later in the day.

YS loves it ... any time of the day!

Instead of buying it ready-made from the supermarket, or eating out in soda's in order to consume this national dish,  I have been trying to replicate the recipe. And after several attempts, I'm almost there. Not quite authentic tasting yet, but not bad.

Just as YS likes it ... with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

So, as requested a while back from a few readers, here is the recipe for an' almost authentic' Costa Rican Gallo Pinto.



2 cups cooked black beans, plus 3/4 cup bean cooking liquid (can be made days in advance)
3 cups cooked long-grain white rice, cooled (can be made days in advance)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 large cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped coriander (cilantro) for garnish (optional)

  1. Soak beans in water overnight. Cook as packet instructions. (You could substitute canned beans and just add water in place of the reserved cooking liquid). These can be prepared days ahead and kept in fridge until needed.
  2. Cook rice as per packet instructions. Again, this can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge.
  3. Add small amount of oil in large pan. Gently saute onion, for a couple of minutes. Add celery and red pepper and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds.
  4. Gently pour the black beans and reserved 3/4 cup of bean cooking liquid into the pan. Stir well to combine, and try not to break up the beans. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Then, add in the rice, breaking up clumps with your fingers as best you can.
  5. Stir the rice and bean mixture together so that all of the liquid coats the grains of rice, turning them a brownish color. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander/cilantro for serving, if you wish. Parsley will do, and I have also substituted basil when I have run out of coriander.
  7. Serves 4-6 as a side dish, (although it has been known to be eaten on its own in our house!).

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