Gallo pinto is the national dish of Nicaragua; however, the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts have different recipes. Here are approximate “recipes” for each. Buen provecho!
Gallo Pinto, Pacific Coast Nicaraguan style (passed along from Nica SST 2009)
2 c. cooked red beans (for cooking instructions, see below)
2 c. cooked rice (cooked Nica style, for instructions see below)
2 T oil
1/2 onion, pureed
In a large skillet or sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add oil and onion puree. Once the oil is warm add the drained beans. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until heated through. Add rice and mix well to incorporate. Heat through. Serve hot.
To make beans: Place beans, enough water to cover beans, and garlic in a pan, cook until beans are cooked through. You’ll probably need to add water a couple of times as they’re cooking. And like other dry beans, it takes a couple of hours to cook them. (1 c. dry beans = 2.5 c. cooked; to cook 1 c. beans use 4 c. water).
To make rice: Fry rice in oil. Add salt to taste. Cover with water and cook. [Don’t fry too long. When the grains just barely start to brown, add the water and cook. And add however much water you usually do when making rice — usually 2x the amount of dry rice.]
Gallo Pinto, Atlantic Coast Nicaraguan style, based on Dalena’s (local program coordinator) instructions
2 c. cooked red beans, with some of cooking liquid
To cooked beans add:
whole onion (peeled)
several cloves garlic, whole (peeled, to taste)
1-2 sweet peppers, quartered
1 can coconut milk
Simmer 2 minutes. If there is foam, skim foam before adding rice.
Add 1 c. rice (uncooked), salt to taste, and additional liquid as needed (use bean cooking water) to cook rice. Stir once, then cover and allow rice to cook undisturbed.
If you want to, place a whole chili de cabra on top of rice just before you leave the rice to cook. Make sure to remove the chili whole (before it explodes) before serving.