Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cook: Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto with Homemade "Sour Cream"

When J-Fur visited her fortune teller last weekend and was informed that a world of rice and beans was in our future, I have to admit that the news was not well received. Rice and beans are good for an occasional foray but on a weekly basis? Hmph. I can think of a number of other dishes that I would rather repeat.

Not completely buying the fortune teller's story, I called in my own expert, the spotted rooster on my neighbor's balcony. Old Florida tradition says that if you attach a tourniquet consisting entirely of Spanish moss and Sabal palmetto to the foot of a spotted rooster, your future will immediately be clear. I did just that. The only response I got from the spotted rooster was what I thought was a hollow gesture towards himself. But when I got home and started doing research, I realized that the rooster had been trying to tell me that it was in total agreement with the fortune teller. Seems that there was a Nicaraguan (and Costa Rican) dish called Gallo Pinto which is Spanish for "spotted rooster."

So I did the spotted rooster dance. It consists of rice and beans, caramelized onions and a vegan sour cream. The sour cream was supposed to be all cashews but I didn't have enough, so I did half cashews, half walnuts. I never understood why walnuts couldn't play the role of cashew in creamy white vegan dishes. It become clear when my sour cream came out brown. No worries, the dish is full of brown rice so no one even noticed. Here's how it all went down:

Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto with Homemade "Sour Cream"
(printable version)

For the Gallo Pinto:
-2 cups cooked brown rice
-1 cup small red beans
-1/2 of an onion, finely diced
-olive oil
-salt to taste

For the "Sour Cream":
-1/2 cup of cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
-1/2 cup of walnuts soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
-1/4 cup of water
-1 Tbs. lemon juice
-splash of apple cider vinegar
-salt to taste

1. To make the sour cream, drain the nuts and place them in a food processor with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary.

2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion. Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion has caramelized (about 15-20 minutes).

3. Add the beans and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the rice and heat for about two minutes. Stir in the salt and sour cream. Serve on a tourniquet of Spanish moss and Sabal palmetto.

This recipe sounds like a trio of original numbers.