Tico Food

3 Sep

There are ten of us currently studying in Costa Rica with Sol Education Abroad, a wonderful program that includes lots of cultural activities and excursions.  Today was our Costa Rican cooking class in La Garita, in la campa (the countryside) just outside of Heredia.  

The class was conducted in an outdoor kitchen, taught by the married couple whose house we were visiting.  They served us café and agua dulce, a popular Costa Rican drink.  If you dissolved a couple tablespoons of pure brown sugar in a mug of hot water, you’d come away with something similar.  We sipped our drinks and chewed pieces of sugarcane while our teacher walked us through a number of recipes (three are featured below).

Gallo Pinto
  • 4 cups beans (cooked with garlic and oregano)
  • 5 cups rice (cooked with garlic and bay leaf)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Salsa Lizano
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of sugar, salt, and cumin

Saute the onions, then add the beans and everything but the rice.  Layer the rice on top and let the steam come up for a few minutes before mixing it all together. 

We ate this with something they called chimichurry (a simple salsa).

  • 2 pounds of tomatoes 
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

Empanadas de Platano

These empanadas use plantains for dough!  Cut the ends off and cook them for 20 minutes in boiling water or just 3 minutes in the microwave.  Remove the peels and mash them.  Roll them into small balls and press the balls into flat circles.  Spread bean paste over one side and place a small piece of cheese in the middle before folding them in half.  Cook the empanadas in a frying pan coated with vegetable oil just long enough for them to brown.  I bet they’d make a great desert if made with a chocolate filling instead of beans and cheese.


One Response to “Tico Food”

  1. scotcherry1 September 4, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

    The food looks SO good!! AND you write SO well!!!!!

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