Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto is a traditional Costa Rican breakfast. It is usually served with scrambled eggs, and sometimes with fried cheese and a soft flour tortilla. I’ve had a lot of GP, and this version seems to be the most savory.

What You Need

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 1 can of red or black beans (if you want to use dried beans, see instructions below)
  • 1.5 Tbs Alfaro Salsa or Salsa Lizano (or purreed onion, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, cayenne pepper. do not use standard red snacking salsa. this is completely different. some people recommend substituting Worcestershire sauce.)
  • oil
  • water or broth

What You Do – Using Canned Beans

  1. Add a little oil to the bottom of a soup pot and brown the dry rice
  2. Add onion and garlic to the rice and keep stirring the rice
  3. Add your canned beans (do not rinse) and a cup of water
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Add Salsa and reduce heat to a simmer for about 30 min
  6. If you are using the simmering dried beans, dump the whole pot (with water) into the rice, boil, add salsa, then simmer for 30 min

If you are using dried beans: (start this 3 days in advance)

  1. Soak 1 cup of dry black or red beans in water for 3 days (day one on the counter, days 2 & 3 in the fridge). Rinse and change water once a day.
  2. To cook the beans, put fresh water in a pot with your rinsed beans. Add 4 inches of water, boil for 20 minutes then simmer covered for 5-10 hours (depending on how soft you want them to be and your altitude).
  3. This is best done in a crock pot ot a big pot on the stove. You will need to check in every 30 minutes or so to make sure there is enough water.
  4. About 1/2 way through your cooking process, all 1 TSP cumin, 1 TSP crushed red pepper, 1 TBS minced garlic, 1/2 cup chopped onion.
  5. Cook your rice in advance.
  6. Add an additional 1 TBS minced garlic, 1/2 cup chopped onion into the cooked rice.
  7. Add the beans & Salsa. Cook until the onions are done.
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