Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto

If you're not familiar with "Gallo Pinto" (Guy-oh Peen-toh): it's basically rice and beans stir-fried with onions.  There's not much to it, but it's delicioso!  It's usually served with cream and/or cheese ("cuajada").
After asking several women how they make their gallo pinto, I think I have a pretty good recipe here...

First, how you make the rice makes a difference.  After several failed attempts at rice (too sticky, unflavorful, etc), I started asking around about that one too, and whattaya know!  Our rice is fantastic now!  This recipe also works much better with day-old rice.

Serves about 4 if it's the main dish (more than 8 if it's a side)

You need:
approx 3T oil (we use olive, but vegetable is more authentic)
1 large onion, chopped (2 if you really like caramelized onion flavor)
2+ cloves garlic minced (optional)
3 c beans - red or black (with some bean juice)
4 c cooked (day-old) rice
Salt to taste (approx 1t)

Heat up the oil in a wok or pan and start sautéing your onions.

(Garlic isn't entirely authentic, but we love it, so if you like, you can add it after the onions have browned and about 30 seconds before you add the beans.)
After your onions have caramelized, add in the beans, without the juice (but set it aside to use later), and let it sit there half a minute.  Stir, and let sit for another 30 seconds to a minute.  Repeat a few more times (stirring and letting it sit).

Now add the rice.  Let the rice sit for about a minute between stirs if you like for it to be a little crunchy.  After getting the rice hot (and crunchy if you like it that way), add up to half a cup of the bean juice/water, and salt; now stir.

Let it cook for another minute, and you're done!
Hope you enjoy a little taste of Nicaragua!


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