Gallo Pinto, Bull Penises, and Getting Lost in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Entree



1 medium onion (1 more onion later) 2 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later) 1½ cup white rice 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth ½ teaspoon salt 1 medium onion 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 pound cooked red beans (Drain if from can) 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro


Mince 1 onion and garlic cloves. Add 2 tablespoons oil, 1 minced onion, and garlic cloves to pot. Sauté on medium-high heat or until onion softens Stir frequently. Add rice. Sauté rice for 3 minutes or until grains are shiny and coated with oil. Stir constantly. (Sautéing the rice will keep it from becoming mushy when boiled later.)

Add broth and salt. Bring to boil using medium-high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and bubbles appear on surface of rice. Cover and reduce heat to warm. Simmer on warm for 15 minutes. Do not stir rice. (The rice can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.)

While rice simmers, mince 1 onion and dice cilantro. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 minced onion to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add red beans and this batch of sautéed onion to pot. Cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Garnish with cilantro.


1) The people of Masaya celebrates the Festival of San Lazaro by dressing up their dogs in elaborate costumes and giving thanks at church for their pets good health.

2) By all means go to the towns of San Juan de Oriente, Diriá, and Diriomo for their fiestas. Their dancing warriors beat each other over the head with bulls’ penises.

3) There are no street names in Nicaragua! Addresses are given by referring to major land marks. My home would be three blocks south from the restaurant where I believe that guy got murdered a couple of decades ago. Then turn left at the first intersection past the one with traffic lights. I have an olive tree and a few cacti in front. Of course, you might get lost trying to find that restaurant. It happened long enough ago that most people don’t know about it. Let me know if you’re in the neighborhood and I’ll send up a flare.

– Chef Paul


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3 thoughts on “Gallo Pinto, Bull Penises, and Getting Lost in Nicaragua”

  1. My brain just short-circuited itself trying to figure out how all those guys could get enough bulls to give up their penises.

    Of course, if the bulls were already turned into steaks, that would explain it.

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