Drain the beans, place them in a saucepan, and cover with water by a few inches. Bring to a boil and skim the foam. Toss in the peeled garlic cloves and simmer them together, uncovered, until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 75 minutes (if your beans are older it will take a little longer).
About forty-five minutes into the bean-simmering, rinse the rice grains several times and cook as per usual.
Heat the oil in a heavy pan and saute the onion gently until soft and golden.
When the beans are tender, drain them, reserving the liquid. Remove the garlic and bay.
Add the beans to the sauteed onion and stir. Add the rice. By the spoonful, add just enough reserved liquid to color and moisten the rice, but not so much to cause clumping and goopiness. Easy does it. Salt to taste.
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