Recipe: Plantain Chips with Sea Salt | Tostones

panama.food.recipe.img_9688

Fried plantain chips are a slice-it and deep-fry-it situation that you'll find all over Panama (and beyond). They're the kind of yummy you can enjoy whether you're grouchy and glum or over-the-moon happy. Today I made a nice "thick cut" chip - for a little crispy-chewy action, although tostones are often shaved skinny, like potato chip. Either way you'll find it helpful to use a mandolin for nice, even slices. This is nothing like a sweet banana (looks can be deceiving). This is … [Read more...]

Recipe: Midnight Mocha Rum Cake

panama.food.recipe.img_9743

Let's talk about world peace for a second. Pretty much everyone I know agrees we need a big dollop of it to make the world a happier place, but not many people know what this world loaded up with peace would actually look like. Except for that one image of children holding hands. While the notion of all our children holding hands is a beautiful image, I can't help but wonder where all the adults are. Why is it always just children? Are we so jaded that we think they're the only ones who … [Read more...]

Menu: Panama (& Giveaway)

Panama-menu-recipes

I'm happy. Not only did I get to dig into an amazing rum cake this week, I also get to give one of you beautiful readers a nice treat. (More on that in a moment.) For now, I need to focus on one very special man - my husband. This week's Global Table was Mr. Picky's birthday luncheon. Happy Birthday, my love! The meal was hearty, delicious and, as always, a bit challenging for him. I must apologize for the fact that his birthday plate included such offenders as cilantro, olives, capers, … [Read more...]

About the food of Panama

View of Isla Taboga, with Panama City in the background. Photo by Osopolar.

The skinny squiggle in Central America is Panama. Her spine crackles with mountains, while her shores undulate with soft, green hills. This is the tropics and, even in the winter, skirts and flowers flow freely, rum punch spills willy nilly, and banana leaf tamales make an all-star appearance with the likes of arroz con pollo (spiced rice with chicken and olives) [Recipe]. But it's the butterflies that catch my attention. With more than 1500 species in this tiny country, Panama has the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Palau

palau.food.recipe.img_9295

Keith left me last week. He didn't leave-leave me, but he went away for an extended business trip that meant he'd be at a motel in Vermont for his birthday. If that isn't wretched enough, in an unfortunate twist of fate, I came down with an incredible self-induced illness caused by accidentally inhaling an aleve pill into my lungs. Ka-plunk. (That's the sound it made as it plopped into the soft tissue normally dedicated to taking oxygen to my bloodstream). To give you an idea of how … [Read more...]

Recipe: Tandoori marinade for fish or chicken

palau.food.recipe.img_9081

"It smells good in here." That's what Keith said as he wandered by. I was leaning in, photographing spoonfuls of spices that I'd later mix with yogurt for beautiful tandoori marinade. There was sweet, grassy coriander and bright lemon juice. Tangy yogurt and earthy garam masala. The ingredients slid together into intoxicating deliciousness - not without a bit of sass thanks to the fresh ginger and spicy garlic. Tandoori is enjoyed from Pakistan to India ... even, as we learned this week, as … [Read more...]

Recipe: Grilled Mussels Dabbed with Barbecue Sauce

palau.food.recipe.img_9387

Someone help me, but up until a few days ago, I was not a lover of mussels. I blame those times when, as a little girl, we dug them out of the sand in Cape Cod and drove them in the summer heat all the way back to Boston.  The drive took over an hour and half.  I don't think I need to tell you the rest. It's a shame, really, because good mussels are sweet, mild, and tender... a bit of romance for your mouth. But we're here to change perceptions, and I knew I had to give them another try. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ginger Peach Barbecue Sauce

palau.food.recipe.img_9212

Way out in the Pacific ocean sits a bumpy, bumbling little island country called Palau. From what I hear, the fine people (20,000 strong) slather barbecue sauce on just about anything. Fish. Chicken. Even mussels. Some say it's the American influence on their cuisine, but I detect a nod to the rich gingery-garlic barbecue sauces of Asia as well. I immediately knew that I had to make homemade barbecue sauce to experience our Palauan Global Table to the fullest. And if I was going to … [Read more...]