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Costa Rican Rice & Beans:
Gallo Pinto

What's The Big Idea?

Regarded by many as Costa Rica's national dish, Gallo Pinto can be eaten at any time of day, but is particularly popular at breakfast. The name literally means "speckled rooster", and may derive from the appearane of the red pepper and beans in the rice. The balance between the rice and the beans doesn't appear to be too critical, so feel free to vary the mix to your personal taste. Small amounts of "extra" ingredients can be added, e.g. bacon, ham, chorizo sausage, etc. We've gone with ham here as an example, but it's up to you.

It is traditional, especially if serving Gallo Pinto for breakfast, to serve it alongside a portion of scrambled eggs.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, very finely chopped
  • 2 red peppers, very finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, very finely chopped
  • 8oz long grain rice, cooked and drained
  • 2 x 400g tins red kidney beans (or other types of beans if you prefer), rinsed and drained
  • 8 slices of ham, very finely chopped

What To Do

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion, pepper and celery gently for 5 minutes
  • Add the ham and fry for a further 5 minutes
  • Add the rice and beans and continue to fry gently, stirring to ensure everything is well mixed
  • Once the rice is heated through, cover and allow to rest for 5 miutes
  • Serve with scrambled eggs

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