Natives say there are as many recipes for Gallo Pinto as there are Costa Ricans. This rice-and-beans dish, which translates as "spotted rooster," is eaten with gusto by the majority of the population every single day-often for breakfast-and there are those who eat it at every meal. Many Costa Ricans add several generous dashes of Salsa Lizano, probably only available in Costa Rica, although vegetarian Worcestershire sauce is a reasonable facsimile. There is a famous saying, "Wherever there is a Costa Rican, there is peace," but in Costa Rica, billboards proclaim, "Wherever there is a Costa Rican, there is Salsa Lizano."
- 2 to 3 Tbs. canola or soybean oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained, rinsed and liquid reserved
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 2 to 3 Tbs. Salsa Lizano, or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, and add onion. When onion starts to turn color, add garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onion is golden.
- Stir in rice, beans and seasonings, combining well. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid from canned beans, if desired, to make the rice "dirty." Cook until heated through, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
A white wine that would pair with the earthiness of the beans, spices and allium, as well as with the flair of the Salsa Lizano, would be one made from the Spanish variety called Albariño. Try Albariño Martin Codax.