Tag Archives: rice

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)

IMG_3625We just got back from a vacation in Costa Rica (Playa Flamingo to be exact, go book your trip now!)  where we spent a week in the ocean, hanging at a resort pool (complete with a swim up bar), having beach bonfires, doing yoga with an ocean view and having all sorts of adventures with a bunch of our pals. The reason for the trip was that our friends Nate + Sarah decided to get hitched in the paradise you see in the picture above. Geniuses.

It was great and so was the food. We ate rice and beans as a part of almost every meal for a seven days and when we got home the first thing Brent wanted to do was recreate the recipe, so we did.

photo (6)
Gallo Pinto
adapted from Vegetarian Times

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked brown or rice
  • 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained, rinsed and liquid reserved
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (or Salsa Lizano if you are lucky enough to have it or want to buy it on Amazon.com)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime (or more, to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, and add onion. When onion starts to turn a little translucent, add garlic, and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until onion is golden brown.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the onions and garlic.
  3. Add in the cumin, coriander, ginger with to the onions and garlic, mix until incorporated.
  4. Stir in rice, beans and seasonings, combining well. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid from canned beans, if desired, to make the rice a little more moist, or as the recipe says “dirty.” I did this and it did bump up the flavor a bit.
  5. Cook until heated through, and add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add another tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce or Salsa Lizano to the mix if you feel like your beans are missing a little seasoning. I only used 1.25 tablespoons and I thought it tasted great.

The original recipe called for an additional cup of rice, but I wanted a more even bean to rice ration. If you want to add that additional cup, just add an extra tablespoon of worcestershire or Salsa Lizano. I also used brown rice and it tastes great (and is better for you) I also really like squeezing a bit of lime over the beans after I re-heat them. Feel free to top with cilantro or green onion too.

My view today is of clouds and city, not of beaches and palm trees,  but at least I can eat this at work and pretend I’m back in Costa Rica… right?

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Stuffed Peppers

It’s 2012? Oh shoot. How about a recipe for the new year?! It’s healthy, cheap and really easy. Sounds like a recipe for keeping some of those pesky new years resolutions is stuffed peppers. 

Ingredients:
2 large green or red peppers
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice  – make sure you use less water than recipe calls for so rice isn’t soggy
½ -3/4 cups onions, chopped
½ -3/4 cups celery, chopped
½ cup green peppers, finely diced
1 box mixed vegetables, cooked until fork tender
½ cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
8 ounces extra sharp cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
1/3 cup Panko or regular bread crumbs
1 T butter
2 T Parmesan Cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. To prepare the peppers, put a tiny slit in each one and put in microwave for about 2 minutes. This will soften them up and you can put more filling in them. Once they are a bit soft and cooled, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and set aside.

2. Sauté onion and green pepper in a tiny bit of olive oil until well cooked.

3. Combine all ingredients (EXCEPT stuff for topping) in a bowl. It is ok if rice is hot. Mix well. Taste for seasoning.

4. Prepare the topping: mix all with melted butter.

5. Fill the peppers with rice mixture. Pack it down with your hand to get more rice mixture in it. Coat with topping.

6. Bake in Pam’d pie pan or shallow baking dish for about 30-45 minutes at 350 or until peppers are tender and topping is brown.

Feel free to add more or less cheese, vegetables, etc. depending on how much cheese you like.

Maybe I should resolve to blog more in 2012?

Cinco de April Cheese Enchiladas

I got home really early from Vegas last Monday morning. I stumbled through work and when I returned home to zero food in our fridge. I was going to put off grocery shopping (tired + a post-Monday grocery trip seemed terrible!) but I had heard a “Cinco de Mayo” ad on the radio and looked at my phone to notice it was the 4th.

I alerted my boyfriend. “Ok, we have to go to the store and get stuff to make something Mexican and awesome for my blog. It’s Cinco de Mayo tomorrow!” And off we went.

Whilst in the store, I decided I’d try out my Mom’s enchiladas which I have made once about 2.5 years ago. They aren’t particuarlly good for you but after a weekend in Vegas, I didn’t feel like taking tequila shots or having Coronas (I don’t ever feel like drinking either of those things) and I knew Cinco de Mayo was a holiday deserving of these awesome enchiladas. So, the ingredients went in the cart and we made our way home.

Guys. As I was unloading the ingredients for these bad boys I realized… it was April 4th. Not May. I’m going to go ahead and blame sleep depravation for this one. And Brent, considering he didn’t correct me.

The Ingredient List
(as written by mi Madre, and below that for easy copy/pasting)

  • A pack of 20 yellow corn tortillas
  • 1 large can (19oz) of red enchilada sauce (Old El Paso is the best!)
  • 1 smaller (10 oz) can of red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cans diced/chopped green chilies
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar (Cracker Barrel 2% is the best)
  • 8 oz of Monteray Jack
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, diced

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Dice the onion, shred the cheeses and combine both with 1 or 2 cans of green chilies in a bowl and set aside.

2. Pour all of the enchilada sauce in a huge frying pan and let it heat up on medium (about 1 or 2 minutes). Reduce to low.

3. Coat a large baking dish with pam and pour 1/3rd of the enchilada sauce into it to cover the bottom.

4. Wet some paper towels or a thin towel and place the corn tortillas in this in the microwave for about a minute or until the tortillas are warm. Keep the towel around the tortillas at all times, and if they become cold, just pop ’em back in the microwave. This will prevent cracking and breaking.

5. One at a time, dunk the tortillas in the warm enchilada sauce. This will be hot on your pretty little hands, so get used to it! (or let it cool for a few seconds) Then stuff the tortilla w/ some cheese/onion/chilies mix, roll it up (2-4 tablespoons worth) and shove it in the baking dish.

6. Do this until you run out of room in your baking dish. Make sure the enchilada rolls are very close together and pour all of the enchilada sauce leftover in the frying pan over the enchiladas.

7. Pop these in the pre-heated 350° oven, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes. I like these crunchy so I tend to leave them in longer, and I suggest you do too. Also, these taste better the next day, trust me.

If you have leftover cheese mix… make some rice (white or brown) and add it to the rice hot with enough salsa to coat the mixture. Microwave the mix for a minute to warm up the salsa and boom: cheesy mexican rice. This was a big hit at our Cinco de April dinner, and costs next to nothing to make.

I’ll leave you with a slide show (fancy!) of all the steps and the beauty of the final product. Maybe you could put this recipe on the back burner and make it on the real Cinco de Mayo.

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