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Gallo Pinto (Speckled Rooster )

This national plate of Nicaragua and surrounding countries, is generally eaten three times a day. Some variations call for green pepper or dry white cheese crumbled on top. This dish is typically served with eggs or meat or a salad of cabbage or corn tortillas. This is how I was taught by the locals on one of my trips to Central America.
  • 1 pound (2 ½ cups) small red dried beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound (2 ½ cups ) long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 2 medium white onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the beans in a large pot with water covering by an inch.
Continue to heat until the water boils, then add a pinch of salt and the garlic.
Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until beans are tender. Add more water when necessary while cooking to ensure the beans do not dry out.
Around 20 minutes before the beans are ready, start cooking the rice with about 3 ½ cups of water.
Add a few drops of the oil and 2 thick slices of onion.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the rice is tender.
When both the rice and the beans are fully cooked, set them aside.
Over medium heat, heat the oil with the remaining onion, chopped fine, in a large frying pan.
When the onion begins to turn a light golden color, stir in the beans. Fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring turning frequently. Now add the cooked rice to the pan, adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix the rice and beans well, turn heat down to low, cover and let cook 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

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