One evening while we were in Costa Rica, one of the locals stopped by the house on his bicycle lugging a big cooler on the back full of freshly caught rock lobsters. One kilo was $12 and you just can't say no to that.
The thought of devouring freshly caught lobster sounded so good to me, and what easier way to cook it than with loads of garlic and butter?
Gallo pinto is considered a Costa Rican breakfast staple, which is partly why I categorized this as breakfast, but gallo pinto can be enjoyed at any time of day!
It is a traditional dish meaning "spotted rooster" because the dish looks like, you guessed it, a spotted rooster.
There are two rules I have learned about real, authentic gallo pinto. One, you should always use day-old cooked white rice, and two, you HAVE to use traditional Lizano sauce. It's the only way.
Whether I am going close to home or 1000's of miles away, I always scope out the food scene. It's in my blood. My parents know what they will order from a restaurant days before they even go. We talk about this together all the time. We are foodies at heart. I love to read menus from far away restaurants and I love to research what kinds of food are going to available where I'm going, so that I can prepare myself to cook wherever I am.
In this case, I am sitting on our porch in Costa Rica, feeling the warmest yet comforting breeze come off the Pacific ocean, with the jungle behind me and birds and butterflies and monkeys all around me. And all I can think about of course, is food.
Paella is one of those comforting dishes I like to make when I want something with a little more kick. Very similar to a risotto, paella is a Spanish dish that uses spices such as saffron and paprika. It is a slow cooking process, usually taking about 30 minutes total, but the finishing product is always delicious.
I love to sprinkle shredded manchego cheese over the top for a little kick. Manchego is basically the Spanish version of a parmesan cheese, giving the perfect nutty, peppery flavor to this dish.
Beans don't get much credit these days, but they are full of protein and fiber, low in saturated fat and sodium, and perfect to add to almost any meal.
In our house, we love to add beans, primarily black beans, to our breakfast burritos, added on top of a salad at lunch, or in enchiladas or pureed into a soup. They are cheap to make too, with up to 12 servings costing barely $5.00 total for all the ingredients when using a bag of dried beans.
Striped bass is a staple in our house due to the fact that my husband is a full fledged, full-time fisherman. Most striped bass recipes involve baking this white flakey fish with bread crumbs, butter and lemon juice is great, but that simple method gets boring pretty fast.
My Striped Bass Ciopinno dish is positively one of my favorite recipes in my arsenal. I've had it so many times out to dinner that I just needed to come up with my own recipe! Any time I'm out to dinner somewhere and this is on the menu, I'll definitely order it.
This is one of those recipes you make when you're craving something comforting, or you're in need of an easy low-maintenance side dish to serve with chicken.
It's incredibly flavorful, cheap to make and so hard not to take a bite out of when it comes out of the oven.
Here in New England, October means freezing your tootsies off in the morning, sweating all your makeup off during the day then freezing your tootsies off again at night. Clearly it doesn't make any sense, but that's New England for you.
This morning, I was FREEZING. Like, couldn't get out of bed so I dragged the cat under the down comforter with me and vowed to never leave our warm cocoon. Until said cat freaked out and we were both out of bed faster than I've ever wanted to be at that time of the morning.
Here in New England, yesterday was like winter, with cold
northeast winds at 50 mph and raining, and today, its a beach day with no winds, blue skies and almost 80 degrees.
They say in New England that if you don't like the weather, just blink and it will change anyways, and that it did!
As I write about my stew today, I feel very out of place, but if I had written this yesterday it would be a whole lot different! Who doesn't love a rich, hearty stew on a cold, wet and windy day?!