Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua that has a population 1,146,000 ; pretty impressive since the entire population of Nicaragua is only 5,891,199 (based on 2009 statistics). We're just waiting for our fearless leader and tour guide - Joan of Foodalogue .The land area of the country is 46,430 sq mi and if you've followed the tour thus far and compare it to San Salvador, Nicaragua has a much larger land surface. It is, in fact, the largest of the central American countries and the most sparsely populated. Nicaragua borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. It is slightly larger than New York State. Nicaragua is mountainous in the west, with fertile valleys. Two big lakes, Nicaragua and Managua, are connected by the Tipitapa River.
The Pacific coast is volcanic and very fertile. The swampy Caribbean coast is aptly called the “Mosquito Coast.” (Something tells me nobody has been to Winnipeg for a while. The mosquitoes air lift your dogs off the front lawn)
"La comida Nica," as Nicaraguans call their cuisine, is a Latin creole mix of indigenous and Spanish dishes and ingredients. Corn, beans, plantains, yucca and pork are popular ingredients. Seafood is common along the Caribbean coast. Nicaraguans make extensive use of a wide variety of tropical fruits. Typical dishes include nacatamales, vigorón, indio viejo and gallo pinto. We've arrived in time for breakfast and I'm so hungry. What does one eat for breakfast in Nicaragua? Well, Casamiento of course!!!
This hearty, healthy and filling dish is your basic rice and beans. The beans in this case are black (you can easily use red pinto beans), and the colour of the beans on the rice gives casamiento its name. Especially popular is serving the casiamento with scrambled eggs for breakfast.
4 to 6 servings
- Oil -- 2-3 tablespoons
- Onion, finely chopped -- 1
- Bell pepper, finely chopped -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 2-3 cloves
- Cooked black beans, drained, liquid reserved -- 2 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Hot cooked rice -- 2 cups
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high flame. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Stir in the drained beans, some of their reserved liquid, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until heated through.
- Add the rice and stir into the beans and heat through. Adjust seasoning and add a little more bean liquid if necessary. Serve hot.