Latin Stove Top Rice

rice (you choose amount of cups)
water - follow diagram posted below
salt - to taste
garlic - to taste
oil - approximately 1 tsp. per 1 c. of rice
optional ingredients - achiote, chopped raw vegetables, or any seasoning you would like to try 

Rinse uncooked rice in a fine mesh colander.  Rinsing removes the outer layer of starch from the rice and helps it to be less sticky after it's cooked.

Pour rinsed rice into a large kettle (the exact size of the kettle doesn't matter as long as it is big enough for the rice to expand 5x and to keep water from boiling over).  

Add water until it covers the rice up to about the length of the first segment on your pointer finger (Scroll down for diagram).  

Stir in desired amounts of salt, garlic and oil, you can experiment with adding other ingredients like achiote seasoning, chopped raw vegetables like carrots, celery, onion or canned pigeon peas.  

Cover kettle with a well fitted lid (a glass lid is helpful but not necessary). 

Bring the rice to a boil over high heat. 
Slightly lower the heat at times so that the water doesn't boil over. 

When the water is absorbed at the surface of the rice, turn down the heat to the lowest setting.  Cook for 10 minutes more.  No need to stir.  

(Carefully watch the rice at this step so that the bottom doesn't scorch.)

After turning off the heat, the rice will continue to absorb any remaining liquid if you leave the lid on.  The rice should remain hot and ready to serve for at least 15-20 minutes.   

Leave a comment below. Tell us how your rice turned out!

Achiote / Annatto

Achiote is a natural, yellowish-orange food coloring and seasoning that comes from an achiote tree.  It can be found in powder, liquid, paste, or seed form.  For our Arroz con Pollo recipe we use the paste.  You can look for achiote in the international food section of your grocery store or buy it online.  

achiote seeds in a pod

Salsa Lizano

Some of our recipes here on call for Salsa Lizano. It is a tangy sauce with a unique "South of the Border" flavor.  For authentic tasting Tico food - Try it!  It's available on Amazon. 

Costa Rican Snow Cones

1 Serving

1c. shaved ice
1/4 c. kola syrup  (scroll down for image)
2 heaping tsp. Pinito powdered milk
2 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk


Step 1 - shave ice

Step 2 - add syrup

 Step 3 - add powdered milk

Step 4 - add more shaved ice

Step 5 - add more syrup

Step 6 - top with sweetened condensed milk

Syrup used for Costa Rican Granizados
(This can be purchased online)

Tres Leches

Provided by Mary Chinchilla
9 servings

Part 1- the cake
1 cup of flour
6 eggs separated
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla

Part 2 - the milk
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 cup of heavy cream

Part 3 - the topping
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 tsp of vanilla
2 tsp of sugar

Separate the eggs and beat the whites until stiff. Keep beating the whites while adding the sugar. Mix in the flour a bit at a time, next add each egg yolk, one at a time, the vanilla and the baking powder.

Pour batter in to a greased 9x9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

After the cake comes out of the oven, stab it every inch or so with a knife, then blend the three milks together (sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream) and pour over the cake. Cool the cake and refrigerate.

When the cake is completely cool you may add the topping.  To make the topping start with putting the ingredients in a mixing bowl that has been placed in the freezer to get very cold, you can also freeze the beaters.  Make sure the heavy cream is chilled in the refrigerator - do not freeze.  Pour the heavy cream in the chilled bowl and beat evenly until the cream thickens, add the vanilla and sugar and mix well, then pour the topping over the cake.  Serve or refrigerate the cake.

Pico de Gallo

Provided by Rosi Palacio
10 servings

2 chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 to 2 limes
cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper 

Combine the chopped tomatoes and onion with the lime juice, add about a teaspoon or more of freshly chopped cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Lime Cabbage Salad

Provided by Rosi Palacio
10 servings

6 cups shaved cabbage
1/2 to 1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 to 2 limes
salt and pepper
(salsa lizano, optional) 

Squeeze the lime juice into a small bowl.  Mix the chopped onion with the lime juice and add a few drops of salsa lizano if you wish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until right before serving. When it is time to serve, toss the shaved cabbage, chopped tomatoes, and chopped cilantro together with the lime juice and onion in a medium sized serving bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!