Costa Rica (N. America) 19 December 2021

Costa Rica is located in the continent of North America. It has Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast and east, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest.

The capital is San José.

The official language is Spanish.

The climate is wet during May to October because of the Pacific Ocean winds, and in the north from April to December.

The staples are bacon, steak, sausage, gallo pinto bean, rice, plantains, vegetables, chicken, pork, potatoes, seafood and much more (https://www.entercostarica.com/information/what-is-the-food-like-in-costa-rica).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Costa-Rica

COSTA RICAN CASADO (https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/costa-rican-casado/d204d6e5-0006-424b-84f4-71b2a10019b0):

  • 4 pork chops,
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ C beef broth
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small head of lettuce (Iceberg)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • Vinaigrette, to dress the salad
  • 3 C white rice, cooked
  • 3 C black beans, cooked
  • 4 eggs, fried or hard boiled
  • 1 C queso fresco, sliced
  • Tortillas, as preferred
  1. Begin by seasoning the pork chops with the salt, pepper and garlic. In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat and cook the pork as desired on each side. Then ‘deglaze’ the same pan (create a sauce from the drippings) by adding ½ cup beef broth and bring to a boil. Let reduce to 1/3 cups and set aside.
  2. In a separate frying pan, fry the plantain slices in a bit of oil until golden-brown.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the salad by combining the grated carrot and tomato slices. Season with salt, pepper and vinaigrette; set aside.
  4. To assemble, cover four large plates with banana leaves and place the prepared portions side-by-side: one pork chop with a little salsa for each dish, with a serving of fried plantains to the side, followed by salad, rice, beans, one fried or hard-boiled egg and some slices of quesco fresco. Make sure to have plenty of tortillas ready as well.
  5. Serve immediately with a good cup of Costa Rican coffee or ice cold cerveza on a hot day.
Here is how my Costa Rican Casado turned out. It was super good!!

FLAN DE COCO (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/108362/flan-de-coco-coconut-flan/):

  • 1-1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ½ C milk
  • ½ C fresh shredded coconut
  • 6 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place 1 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook gently, without stirring, but shaking occasionally until the sugar has melted. Continue cooking until the sugar has completely melted and turned golden brown. Pour into a large, glass baking dish (or ramekin’s). Spread the caramel evenly over the bottom of the dish, then set aside to cool for 15 minutes before proceeding.
  3. Pour the condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, eggs, ½ cup sugar, and coconut into a blender. Blend for 3 minutes until smooth. Pour into baking dish over the caramel.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes until set. When done, remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the dish to separate the flan from the sides. Refrigerate overnight.
Yea my first try at a flan failed, but I will make this one again and post how it goes when I do make it! It tasted good at least!

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