Sunday, March 1, 2009

On today's menu a Costa Rican staple

It is cold and dreary. It is going to snow tonight and frankly I am in no mood to do a thing except veg in front of the TV. But then again, I am always in the mood for that. I am the laziest thing in the world.

But today I have some ribs I will broil up and serve with a cilantro chimichurri sauce. I adore chimichurri. I make my own version using cilantro but you mainly make it with parsley. But I hate parsley. Some people just adore parsley and use it in everything. I don't. I use it sparingly if a recipe tells me to but I avoid it when I can. So instead of parsley, I use cilantro. So I make the chimichurri with cilantro, garlic, lemon and olive oil. I toss it into the food processor and BAM! (channeling Emeril) it's done. It can be served so many ways. Think of it as a pesto. I also make fresh pesto when I can find basil and I adore that as well.

So I am making ribs and then I decided for some unknown reason to make gallo pinto. Gallo Pinto translates into "painted rooster." Gallo pinto is just rice and beans cooked with onions and bell pepper and Salsa Lizano. Salsa Lizano is a sort of Costa Rican Worcestershire sauce. It is fabulous. It's hard to find here but I get my supply from Costa Rica when my parents visit. An interesting tidbit is that one of my great uncles invented this sauce and then sold it to the Lizano company and they made a fortune while he did not. He got some money but the Lizano's are the ones who made a fortune because the sauce is a Costa Rican staple and used in everything.

So I just have the urge to make Gallo Pinto today. I am cheating and using canned black beans because I am lazy and hate making real beans. Yes, yes, I should make my own beans but oh well. So anyway to make gallo pinto you take some onions and garlic and bell pepper (red or green it doesn't matter) fry them up and then add the beans and rice. That's it! Easy peasy but so delishy. Usually you eat this for breakfast with a fried egg on top but today I am making it as a side dish. You can also add cilantro, which I will because I am cilantro fiend! And you should also serve it with natilla (sour cream) on top and eat it with fresh baked pan (bread).

I am lucky that Tom actually loves this dish. My mom always makes it for him when we visit. She loves Tom. And I always get yelled at because I don't serve him. My mom is of that generation that thinks to get and keep a man you have to be a good little wife. And that's okay because way back when that was true. But I always remind her that I am a gringa. So we think differently. But when we go stay at her house Tom takes advantage and allows her to serve him. I get the hairy eyeball when I tell Tom to wash the dishes. He does it at home so why shouldn't he do it there too? But he, like I, try to be sneaky. Anyway, he actually like this Costa Rican dish. Like I said before he won't try the oxtail and he is not a huge tamale fan.

So tonight I eat gallo pinto and think of Costa Rica and the family. You know what's funny is that I crave rice and beans. I think it's because I grew up eating them. I can't go for more than 2 weeks without having them. YUMMO!


  1. ooh tonight im making the lamb stew again... enjoy your memories!

  2. I could eat black beans and rice a couple times a week; in fact, I do!

  3. Been baking and cooking all day here too! Having Roast Beef, potatoes, carrots and fried corn bread. A Southern Sunday fave. Been working on some secret deserts too. You're dish sounds great. I love beans and rice, first thing I learned to cook because I love them so much. Any variation I love. Stay warm. And I make my husband do the dishes, trash, and laundry (he he)

  4. i love your memories. i find it amazing that for some of the best chefs in the world, their preferred meal would be something that their mothers made at home. i think the meals eaten at home have SO much influence over our palates later on in life.. and i think it's adorable that you share your childhood memories with your family now, too, through meals :)

  5. wow the way you describe what you're cooking makes my mouth

  6. wow..that sounds yummy!! I'm hungry already:)

  7. the gallo pinto sounds delicious! That stinks about your great-uncle though..... he should have gotten the credit/money that he deserved for that!