Once again another month is ended and the time flew by so quickly, it's fascinating how months and years seem to pass quicker and quicker the older you get. As usual, I've cooked and shared a whole pile of recipes inspired by this month's featured country - Costa Rica. As usual, time ran away and I didn't get to try out all the things that I had planned. Those few days less in February would have come in handy :)
I hope you have enjoyed this month's world feast - I certainly have. Costa Rica has so many wonderful dishes to offer and I hope to try out a couple more even though February has finished. So, for your perusal - here is a summary of the Costa Rican dishes featured this month. I'd love it if you'd let me know which one was your favourite this month, or let me know if there is a fabulous Costa Rican dish which I should try!
|Paprika de Papa|
I'm not sure that this dish is particularly unique to Costa Rica, but I found reference to it online and I simply can't resist the opportunity to fry up some potatoes in delicious paprika. Because I adore potatoes and I adore paprika even more! This dish is simple and easy but it is an absolute winner, proving that in life sometimes the simplest things are the best. Check out the recipe here.
|Chayote con Maiz|
This recipe was emailed to me by a fabulous Costa Rican reader, for which I am so grateful! Sometimes it's so hard to know where information comes from when you find it on the internet, so it's great to be able to communicate with someone directly who has some authority on Costa Rican cuisine. This recipe was possibly my favourite of the savoury dishes, easy to make but simply bursting with flavour. This one comes highly recommended. Check out the recipe here.
Gallo pinto is the ubiquitous rice dish of Costa Rica. It's eaten as a breakfast food and is a great way of using up leftover cooked rice. It also makes a delicious accompaniment to any meal. Check out the recipe here.
|Hearts of Palm Salad with Lime & Coriander Dressing|
I've been looking for a chance to use hearts of palm for some time - and this month I had the perfect excuse. A simple salad in which a classic Costa Rican ingredient is the star: hearts of palm. I asked some Costa Ricans for tips on an appropriate salad dressing and got this one - a simple and sublime dressing of olive oil, lime, coriander and salt. Check out the recipe here.
This one was a bit of a gamble and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out! Why did I attempt this crazy idea? Because when I was researching Costa Rican dishes ceviche just kept coming up again and again. I finally decided to give it a try and decided I would try using mushrooms instead of the traditionally used fish. It worked beautifully and makes for a really special dish. Check out the recipe here.
|Orange & Passionfruit Pudding|
This pudding was inspired by Atol de Naranja - an orange thickened dessert which can either be eaten as a cold pudding or apparently as a hot drink. I went with the cold pudding option and jazzed it up with some juicy fresh passion fruit. Even though this is very simple and easy to make, it is seriously impressive and went down a treat with my taste testers. Check out the recipes here.
|Arroz con Leche|
This is my veganised Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding), with a few personal modifications - like using currants instead of the more traditional raisins. I loved this rich creamy pudding, it's perfectly suited for a cooler evening in when you just want to treat yourself. Check out the recipe here.
|Resbaladera - Rice & Barley Milk Drink|
I was so excited to make this drink because it's quite similar to the Mexican horhcata (sweet cinnamon rice milk) - and I love horchata. The difference is that Resbaladera is made with rice and barley. It was so much fun to make this because it was sort of like making my own dairy free milk, which I think I might be experimenting some more with now. I loved this, it's such a great alternative chilled drink. Check out the recipe here.
|Home Made "Salsa Lizano"|
Salsa Lizano comes up a lot when people talk about Costa Rican food, but sadly I couldn't find any that I could get in this country. So I decided to have a bit of a go at making my own. I've never had the real stuff - so I can't make a judgement on how similar it is to the bottled stuff, but I just had a look at the ingredients on the bottle and had a go at putting them together myself. I'd love to hear what a Costa Rican thinks though. Check out the recipe here.