Calentado (Colombian Breakfast)

Cuisine: Colombian
Servings: 2 servings
This traditional Colombian recipe is all about turning your leftovers into a scrumptious and hearty breakfast.

Calentado, or calentao, which is what many of us like to call it, is a very popular Colombian breakfast. It used to be the traditional breakfast that our paisa ancestors (from the coffee region) used to eat to use all the leftover food from the day before. During that time, much of the Colombian population used to live in extreme poverty, and throwing away even a grain of rice or a single bean was pretty much a sin. The solution? Reheat everything the next day for breakfast so nothing would go to waste.

The recipe is not really a recipe because you simply reheat everything in one pan. However, the ingredients that are usually used are Colombian beans, white rice, plantain, and steak, which is what most people in the Antioquia region love to eat. Then, you serve it with eggs, arepas, and coffee or hot chocolate. The hogao is optional. You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, but don't complicate life by making everything from scratch because that's not really the point of this dish. You just have to use whatever you have available and that's it.

Today, a calentado is mainly served on the weekends because the amount of food can be overwhelming; besides, now that we live in an era where we can refrigerate our food, it's not really so important that we eat any leftovers the very next day.

¡Buen Provecho!


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  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat and add the beans, rice, steak and chorizo. Stir well until all ingredients are reheated. You can also add Hogao to taste.
  2. Serve immediately with arepas, eggs, hot chocolate or coffee.
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