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Costa Rica - Costa Rican Cuisine

Costa Rican cuisine does not have the variety and flamboyancy as many other cuisines in the Americas. There is a certain simplicity to the foods served yet that does not mean they are not tasty. Rice and beans are the most popular items eaten by Costa Ricans. Vegetables, such as those in the squash family, fresh fruits, and beef are also prepared in a variety of dishes.
Hearts of Palm Salad

2 16-ounce cans of hearts of palm
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth (remove fat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
ground pepper to taste
very small amount of salt (optional)
lettuce leaves
Drain the hearts of palm, cut them into ½-inch pieces, and put them into a large bowl. Stir in the red pepper, yellow pepper, and chopped parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, chicken broth, and olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the hearts of palm mixture and toss gently. Season to taste with salt (optional) and pepper. Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves, spoon the salad on top and serve.

Costa Rica Tilapia

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, divided
4 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon sugar
6 tilapia fillets, about 5 ounces each
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 cup chopped onions
2 oranges, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) black or pinto beans, drained, rinsed
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the tilapia marinade, combine lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar in a shallow dish. Add tilapia and marinate 15 minutes, turning once.  To prepare the bean and rice mixture, cook the rice according to package directions and keep warm while the tilapia is marinating. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Costa Rican Marinade

1/2 ts Grated lime peel
1/3 c Lime juice
1/4 c Tomato juice
1 tb Chopped fresh cilantro
Or parsley
2 ts Vegetable oil
1/4 ts Salt
1/8 ts Red pepper sauce
2 Cloves garlic, minced
Mix all ingredients in shallow nonmetal dish or resealable plastic bag. Add up to 3 pounds chicken, pork or beef, turning to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate, turning meat occasionally, at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours. Remove meat from marinade; discard.

Costa Rican Rice and Bean

2 cups long grain rice; cooked
1 cup black beans; cooked
1/2 cup onion; diced
1 clove garlic; minced
3 tsp oil
2 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) ; chopped
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat for a minute. Add chopped onions and saute until they are well browned and translucent. Turn the heat down to medium-low then add the beans and garlic. Cook while stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes. Add rice and cook for a 3-5 more minutes. When the rice has been added, sprinkle salt until desired taste. Just before serving, top with the coriander and serve!


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