Saturday, 21 July 2012

Costa Rican Rice and Beans

Have I already mentioned Costa Rican beans and rice? Well if I have, it bears repeating. First of all because I have nearly reached the age where I can repeat myself endlessly and nobody has a right to question that, but mostly because it's so delicious that it surprises me every time I make it. I found this recipe on the internet last year because Kelly was doing an internship in Costa Rica and I wanted to feel a connection to her. She hated that time in her life, but I've stayed with the recipe because my life is one big, live, relentless episode of Dinner Wars and rarely do my partner and I find a dish we both mutually like.
He is Portuguese and of course I have that Newfie background, so we go grocery shopping together and literally, he takes his cart and I take mine and we meet outside back at the car when we're finished shopping. When we get home, he puts his groceries away and I put mine away and we have both agreed not to ask what the other one bought. The law of the land in our house that the first person home is in charge of cooking dinner. Since he is a seasonal construction worker, it goes without saying that he cooks all of the meals in the winter during his layoff time and I cook the summer dinners when he is back to work.
BUT! There are the few days of the year when it rains hard enough for his crew to be sent home early! I watch the skies like a hawk and I have a weather alert alarm programmed into my cellphone for just these occasions. These are the days that I come roaring through the neighbourhood and into the driveway on two wheels to beat him to the stove! I can put up with the pig's ears and cow gut lining stews during the winter, but I somehow can't tolerate it during my six month cooking shift. My rule is that I promise to at least taste everything he makes and I usually end up putting the fork down immediately thereafter. I don't blame it on the national cuisine of Portugal in the least. He just simply can't cook. Even the dogs refuse his cuisine. Poor him. But luckily he has me, and here we go with a dish we both love!
Pre cook a cup of long grain rice. You know the deal by now. No instant rice or you take a slap to the hand with my spatula! Long grain rice toasted first in a bit of butter and your liquid will be chicken stock.
While that is cooking, prepare the rest. You'll need:
1 finely chopped onion
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
a generous splash of Worcesteshire sauce
a few drops of hot sauce (not too much)
1 can of black beans
3 sliced green onions
chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
Saute the onion in some canola oil or vegetable oil. When it softens, add the minced garlic and ginger and let that saute for a couple of minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and worcesteshire sauce. Let that all mingle for a minute and add the cooked rice and the beans. You'll need a pretty big skillet to cook this. I should have mentioned that in the first place! Keeping the heat on Med Low, cover it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and cilantro and the hot sauce and some salt and pepper and the lime juice and stir it all up and serve. Theoretically this should be a side dish, but when mystery offal is for supper, it becomes the main for me! Thank God it tastes good! Hahah Enjoy and serve this with anything such as they do in Costa Rica!

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