Gallo Pinto (costa rica rice and beans)

I fell in love with gallo pinto in Costa Rica. It is particularly hearty breakfast, especially when served with eggs (usually scrambled).

Here in the US, we have a chunky raw salsa called pico de gallo. I mentioned this in Costa Rica and got laughs- apparently it means the beak of a rooster? In any case the name doesn't universally carry the meaning of a food.  What's funny is that they still use rooster to name a different dish in Costa Rica.  Gallo pinto means spotted rooster.

I had extras which I spooned into a metal muffin pan and froze. Once frozen, you can pop it out by putting a little hot water on the bottoms of the muffin pan, or using a knife (carefully!).  Then I put these hockey pucks into a freezer bag. They take up less space (and don't keep a container in the freezer) and you can pull out just as much as you want. 

I consulted a few websites for gallo pinto recipes (this, this and this) and finally made my own variation.  Here's the gist:

Saute 1 diced onion and 3 cloves garlic in olive oil with salt until browned.  Add diced green bell pepper and cook until softening.

Add 1 cup dry raw rice, and 1  ground and cook in the oil to toast- approx 60 seconds.

Now add a few cups water (or broth), 1 - 2 TB tomato paste. Optionally, blend up roasted chiles and raw cilantro with water and use for the broth.  Stir and cover, put on low heat and cook until rice is nearly done.

Add 1/2 C black bean cooking water and 1 C cooked black beans. Stir.  Finish cooking the rice.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

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