Nica Gallo Pinto

(if you read my personal blog,  this is a repeat)

Now, not all gallo pintos are made the same. I tried and tried to recreate what my husband ate on his mission in Nicaragua, but failed miserably each time for almost 4 years.

About a year ago, we got the recipe from a wife (who has a cousin or something who married a Nicaraguan) of my husband’s mission comps and when I made it, Dave said, “that’s the stuff!!”

I was never so proud of myself.

‘Cause it was that good.

Even with the few changes I made.

So with out further ado, here’s my adaptation of:

Nica Gallo Pinto

2 c small red beans*
2c dry white rice
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
real butter (no margarin)
canola oil (no olive oil. don’t eat this for your health)
paltains**, diced (optional)

Rinse and wash the beans, then cover with water and soak them overnight. In the morning, drain them and rinse (a trick we learned from Dave’s nutrition prof to get the proteins out that are hard for your body to digest and give you the gassies).  Put beans in a large stock pot, cover with water and let them boil on medium temperature for 3 hours or until tender. You will notice that the beans changed the color of the water to a dark reddish brown. 

Once the beans are cooked, reserve the water. Measure 3 1/2 c out the water for the rice. A lot of the flavor is in the water, so make sure you have plenty left over from cooking the beans.

After the beans are tender, add them to a buttered pan and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped onion. Make sure to keep the pan well buttered. Saute until the onions are slightly tender. Add the diced plantain (if using) and cook for an additional 3-4 mintes.

Add the rice to mix and pour some canola oil over it and add salt to taste, using enough oil to rehydrate the rice.

Serve with crema (or sour cream) and heated corn tortillas.  Fry with eggs the next morning for a hearty and tasty breakfast.

*First of all…you HAVE to get the right beans. The beans that the Nicas use are red beans, but you can’t get these beans just anywhere. If they don’t have the Spanish brand at your local grocery store, just look for your local Mexican store and buy their bagged red beans. The flavor is like night and day. They normally use white rice, but I sometimes mix in brown rice for health’s sake or you can use all brown. 

**Platains are those nasty looking giant black bananas that you can occasionally find at the grocery store. They are denser than a banana and are less sweet, which means they don’t turn to nasty goo when you cook them.  They also have a really thick skin, so to peel them, take your knife and run it down one side of the plantain and then peel the skin away. These may take some getting used to. I’ll eat them fried and Dave thinks I’m crazy, like all the Latins he ran into down in Nicaragua. He never did get used to eating them plain.

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