All posts filed under: Panama


Monday Meal Review: Panama

A canal cuts straight through Panama, dividing the skinny country and two great continents. Ships no longer have to pass around the southern-most tip of South America to circumnavigate the globe as they once did. They just slip right on through her middle. Each time a ship passes, 200 million liters of water slosh and gush through the opening. Incredible, the effect of a “little divider” like the Panama canal. Keith’s new job means he’s traveling a lot. One week of every month he just … vanishes, while Ava and I muddle through our “normal.” I spend the time he’s gone a little divided, like the canal, trying not to let all my energy rush out with his ship… trying ever so hard not to miss him (I’m a Cancer, need I say more?). It’s always hard to be the one left behind – the one not on adventure. The one living the normal, everyday, here I am, still hanging out life. Yet, after spending a week so divided, there is nothing better than coming back together. For …

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Arroz con Pollo

Pneumonia make cause my heart to race, my nerves to slacken, and my breathing to rasp, but it will never stop me from making my sweetheart his birthday dinner. To celebrate in style, I cobbled together the most unexpectedly glorious arroz con pollo. Unexpected, because I honestly wondered how great could chicken and rice be? Fantastic, turns out. Put your trust in centuries of Latin American and Spanish history; the next time you have a big dinner party, make arroz con pollo. Under a gracious layer of 100% love, you’ll find a one-pot chicken and rice dish which delights in bright bursts of briny olives and capers, blushing rice (thanks to a sprinkling of ruddy ground annato and a whole lot of chopped tomatoes), and a flurry of vivid green cilantro. Arroz con Pollo is traditionally made in a giant pan – something like a paella pan which can go gracefully from oven to table – although a Dutch oven would work nicely in a pinch. I used that $20 pan I got at the Indian …

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Plantain Chips with Sea Salt | Tostones

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 her savory cousin – full of good fiber and lots of potassium. I like to remind myself of that, as I reach for my second and third helpings. Serves 2-4 as a snack Ingredients: 2 green plantains vegetable oil for deep frying sea salt cracked black pepper Method: For starters, peel your plantain. Tip: Peeling a green plantain can be a little tricky. The easiest way is to cut off the top and bottom and score a line along the length of the plantain. Lift up from this line to remove the peel. If …

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Midnight Mocha Rum Cake

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 can do it? Are we past the point of no return? Is it really too late to lead by example? I’ve put some thought into this lately. I think world peace will be a lot like chocolate cake. Delicious. Lovely. But definitely not overly sappy or idealistic. Sure, everyone would wear the smile of the dove in their heart (they’re eating chocolate cake, after all) but there would still be varying points of view. Disagreements. People need to be able to have opinions, …

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Menu: Panama (& Giveaway)

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, plantains, rum, and coffee. He really dislikes all of those things. I promise, it wasn’t on purpose. At least there was chocolate. And cake! (Not every country serves cake, ya know…) Right? All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Plantain Chips with Sea Salt [Recipe] Long slices of green plantain deep fried and sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Finger lickin’ and totally craveable. Make a believer out of your picky eater. Arroz con Pollo [Recipe] A hearty helping of annato-seasoned …

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

About the food of Panama

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 “winged workforce” to fly our dreams into the hills for safe keeping. These butterflies are as plain as can be when resting, but their wings unfold into an electric rainbow of glory in flight. Some say Panama’s namesake is in reference to this “abundance of butterflies.” Friends of ours are potentially moving to Panama, so of course they had lots to say about this week at the Global Table. They assert that ceviche, or fish chemically “cooked” in lime juice is a grand way to spend an afternoon by the seashore.  For those who want …

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