I guess today is Cinco de Mayo. No, we’re not Mexicans, but unknowingly I ended up cooking Latin American food today. Today’s recipe is Gallo Pinto, which is Costa Rican and Nicaraguan national dish. It’s basically rice and beans with fried eggs. It’s mostly eaten for breakfast, but they also serve this for lunch and dinner. I found this recipe in one of my favorite magazine “Fine Cooking”.
Another recipe I tried is called “Krazy Kake”, no, I didn’t misspell the name. My friend Aiko found this recipe in her 6th grade (I think) Home Economics’ class – I saw this recipe on her blog and thought it was interesting.
On another note, not that I’m patting myself on my back, but I was so darn tired today. However, dinner had to be prepared, but I resisted the urge to order out, despite the temptation, and I pressed on and cooked!
Gallo Pinto: serves 4
This dish uses Costa Rican condiment called “Salsa Lizano”. I didn’t have time to order this (because none of the Latin American stores had this). You can substitute with Worcestershire sauce.
3/4 cup long grain white rice (I used 1 cup)
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
1 15-1/2 ounce can black bean, drained and rinsed
3 Tablespoons Salsa Lizano
Freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Put the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1-1/2 cups of water (I used 2 cups) in a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice has absorbed the water and is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside with the lid on.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt; cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and stir for 1 minute. Add the beans and 1 cup of water and simmer until the liquid reduces to the level of the beans, about 4 minutes.
Add the rice to the beans and mix well. Stir in the Salsa Lizano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling the pan to coat evenly. Gently crack the eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook until the yolks’ edges have just begun to set, 2-3 minutes. (The eggs should cook gently, so lower the heat if needed.)
To serve, put a heaping spoonful of the rice and beans on a plate and slide 2 eggs on top. Sprinkle with the cilantro.
My opinion: Simple and absolutely delicious!! I also pan fried some plantains (if you are like us and like sweeter plantains, buy it a week in advance and let it sit on your kitchen counter. I bought the darker skinned ones to begin with).
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar (1/2 white and 1/2 dark)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extrace
3 Tablespoons vinegar
5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water
Sift first 5 ingredients into an 8 inch round cake pan.
Make 3 wells and put vanilla in one, vinegar in the 2nd, and oil in the 3rd
Pour water on everything and mix well until smooth
Bake 350F for about 30-35 minutes
** Note: I didn’t grease the pan. The cake came out fine after letting it cool down a bit.
Make the cream topping: whip 150ml heavy cream with 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar. Melt 100 gm dark chocolate and drizzle in the whipping cream. Let the topping set in the fridge and ice the cake.
For melting the chocolate, you can carefully melt it in the microwave, however, I used the double boiler (simply cut up a good quality dark chocolate and put in a smaller pot, in a slightly larger pot, add water and let it come to boil. Put the smaller pot in the boiling water and carefully watch and stir until the chocolate melts).
**Instead of making single cake, I made double cakes and layered them. I also added cherry jam in between the layers (along with some of the cream).
My opinion: I am soooo glad my friend found this recipe and posted on her blog!! I think we all agreed this is one of the best chocolate cake we had!! Despite not adding eggs, and adding vinegar instead, the cake came out fluffy, but with substance. I don’t particularly like buttercream icing, so melted chocolate added in the whipped cream was perfect for me! It’s a simple recipe and it’s definitely a keeper!