I live a pretty unscheduled life in the weekends, but sometimes a girl has got to be organized.

My weekend was crazy with attending a friend's wedding, catching up and conversing with old friends (and eating far far too much candy in a short timeframe) and cooking a three course dinner for some friends in their home. I had to pre-prepare the food so meat wasn't finely sliced and salad wasn't tossed when conversing with them.

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.

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. Despite my short stay there; the two occasions I ate Gallo Pinto 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.

This is the breakfast for supermen and women everywhere.

‘Pura Vida’. Enjoy.

Gallo Pinto
 Adapted from Lazy Smurf Blog
Serves 8

1 cup rice, (I use jasmine rice)
1 tsp vegetable stock or half of a vegetable broth cube
1 cup black beans (if dried, they need to soak for 8 hours prior)*
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp chili pepper
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves or garlic, chopped
1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 medium chili pepper (or alternatively half a bell pepper), chopped

Simmer the rice with the vegetable broth for 40 minutes (time may vary according to rice being used) on a low to medium heat until cooked. You want the rice to be quite dry but not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Cool and cover overnight.
Placing the rice in the refrigerator results in it drying out better.

The next morning:
Fry the onion, garlic, seeds and chili pepper in oil then add the dried rice.
Saute for a few moments on low to medium heat to get the rice heated through.
Add the beans (I used canned. If using dried beans see instructions below).
Stir the beans through then add the tomato and chili pepper.

Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, letting the flavors come together.

Serve by placing tightly into a mold and inverting onto a plate.

Eat the Gallo Pinto as is or as a side with a savory breakfast.
*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.

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