After one of many many weeks I’ve spent in Costa Rica, the place monkeys howl and waves crash and the locals envelop you of their unimaginable heat, I used to be impressed to attempt making one in every of their customary dishes referred to as casado. The phrase “casado” means “married individual” in Spanish, and since I’m mainly married to this meal each time I go to Costa Rica, it really makes plenty of sense to me!
Whereas my handmade corn tortilla method continues to be, um, a growing talent, and the meal appeared …rustic, it was really tremendous yummy—my entire household liked it. Through the use of retailer purchased corn tortillas and canned black beans, prep time might drop to about quarter-hour, making it a sensible dish for working households, too. If it is a Sunday and you feel affected person, attempt making the tortillas by hand, whereas chanting the next mantra: ugly tortillas are folks too.
VEGETARIAN CASADO INGREDIENTS
- One bag of masa harina
- Scorching water per masa harina directions
- 2 cans of natural black beans, rinsed
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon floor cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon floor coriander
- 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled (omit for a vegan meal)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 cups cooked, natural brown rice or quinoa
- 3-4 plantains
- 3 T vegetable oil of alternative for sautéing
- 2 avocados
- 2 limes, one halved, one quartered
HOW TO MAKE CORN TORTILLAS
Ideally, you will wish to make the dough an hour forward of time, and save the tortilla cooking for the final 20 minutes earlier than the meal so they’re served toasty and heat.
I used the gluten-free masa harina from Bob’s Purple Mill, however any masa harina flour will do when you’re not super-sensitive to gluten. Masa harina corn flour that is been handled with a lime water answer to make it extra digestible. Making the dough is absurdly straightforward: you simply add heat water. The exhausting half comes with rolling it to the suitable thickness and cooking for the correct amount of time, however the one solution to determine it out is to start out making them! Costa Rican ladies make these by hand, however I used parchment paper, a slicing board, and a rolling pin. This is my method: pull off golf-ball sized piece of dough, roll it into slightly sphere, and put it between two items of parchment paper. Then, use the slicing board for the preliminary smoosh of the dough right into a disc. Pull the paper away on each side, after which use the rolling pin to roll it right into a thinner disc, peeling the paper away and flipping the disc usually, till you will have what appears like an raw tortilla to you. Place the tortilla right into a sizzling, dry forged iron skillet over medium warmth and prepare dinner for 1-2 minutes per facet, or so long as essential to make you’re feeling that you just now have a cooked tortilla. Hold heat within the oven or in a tortilla hotter whilst you end cooking the others. Like I stated, do not be mad if the primary one seems scary. They’re like youngsters—the primary one is the toughest, and then you definitely get the cling of it.
Really easy! Warmth black beans on low warmth with 1/4 cup of vegetable inventory, a beneficiant squeeze of lime, cumin, chili powder, and coriander. Hold heat and put aside.
Have you ever labored with plantains earlier than? They’re like grumpy bananas. Not as candy, very fibrous, and more durable to peel. Utilizing a pointy knife, slice the pores and skin alongside the size of the plantain in two locations and peel the pores and skin. Reduce every diagonally into 1.5 inch slices. Warmth vegetable oil in a skillet and add the plantain slices, sautéing for 4-5 minutes till brown on one facet. Flip and brown the opposite facet, then take away and drain on paper towels.
ASSEMBLING YOUR CASADO MEAL
Placing the dish collectively is very similar to placing paint colours on a palette. The part elements of the meal aren’t all heaped collectively however served in little, adjoining piles so you’ll be able to customise every chunk. It is so pleasing, actually.
To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup of rice or quinoa and 1/2 cup of seasoned black beans onto a plate. Add 3-4 slices of avocado, just a few tablespoons of cotija cheese, 5-6 slices of plantain, and a handful of cilantro. Place a contemporary, heat tortilla within the middle, and serve with a juicy wedge of lime.
As you take pleasure in this wholesome, vegetarian meal, contemplate these two Costa Rican phrases that permeate their tradition and infect your spirit in probably the most optimistic means. First, fairly than saying howdy or goodbye, they are saying “pura vida,” which interprets into their life philosophy: “An actual residing—to dwell a peaceable, easy, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, household, and associates.” Second, as a substitute of claiming “de nada” for you are welcome (“it is nothing”), they are saying “con mucho gusto,” which implies “with a lot pleasure.” These small nuances in vocabulary make a profound distinction within the tradition of the nation, simply as a small kindness can have an effect on the entire taste of somebody’s day.
With love and lumpy corn tortillas,