Gallo Pinto (Nicaragua)

Gallo Pinto (Nicaragua)

Central American rice and beans make a quick and easy dinner. Serve as a main course, or mix with meat and stuff in a taco shell.


  • 1 cup gallo pinto beans or small red kidney beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 white rice
  • 4 oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Soak the beans overnight in water. The next day, drain the beans and place in a large pot with 2 quarts water.

2. Pin the bay leaf to the onion and add it with the garlic to the beans. Gradually bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and gently simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the beans are tender but not soft, adding the salt the last 10 minutes. Refresh the beans under cold water and drain.

3.Bring 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, cover the pan, and gently simmer for 20 minutes or until the grains are tender. Uncover the pan and let cool. The recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead to this stage.

4. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the onions and fry over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon. (You can use the onion in soups, stews or stock.)

5. Add the beans and rice and cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the rice is lightly browned and the mixture is aromatic. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

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