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You are viewing blog entries filed under Valle Econdido - Boquete, Chiriqui (Panama).

After the Storm: What’s UP in Boquete (Chiriquí, Panamá) edit

Boquete is back on track and the town wants to put the spotlight where it belongs: on its beauty and its people

Page_1_4BOQUETE, PANAMA: Boquete was in the spotlight this past week, not for its natural beauty, award-winning coffee and friendly people, but because of the damage caused by the Caldera River. The dramatic footage and photos don’t tell the whole story: Boquete didn’t experience long-term flooding. The river grew quickly during a short period of time and affected some structures in its immediate vicinity. The fact is, the majority of Boquete, including the downtown, roads, tours and activity businesses and most restaurants and hotels, were untouched. The people of Boquete and the business community have come together to invite the public to experience Boquete today.

“Boquete is back on track,” says Charlie Collins, Owner and Executive Chef, Panamonte Inn and Spa. “Of course, it has been a difficult week for the people of Boquete and our hearts go out to the families affected. My family has been in Boquete for three generations and some things never change: the things that Boquete has always been known for—its natural beauty, relaxing environment, fresh air, friendly people and welcoming spirit—were 100% unaffected.”

Earlier in the week, media, websites and blogs were reporting on the situation in Boquete. But the photos and footage was limited to a very small section of Boquete, the rest of the town was untouched.

“Everybody saw the photos and footage, but it’s important to remember: the story didn’t stop there,” continues Chef Collins. “The Boquete community rallied together to help the people in the areas affected by the river. The speed at which those vulnerable points were fixed was truly amazing. It speaks volumes about the character and spirit of the people in Boquete.”

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  • by Chef Melissa
  • December 02, 2008
  • 1:40 pm

From the Tropics: Bienmesabe Chiricano edit

Bienmesabe_1It has been a long time since I last surrendered to the fragrant aroma of the delicious "Bienmesabe." It was not because I was on a diet program or something absurd like -that-, it was because it is an uncommon Panamanian dessert prepared less and less mostly in the counrtyside. It takes almost a day to prepare in a wood stove, stirring constantly. But, the result is fantastic, delicious and such an unique flavour.

It is prepared using fresh raw milk from happy caws, rice, raspadura (panela) and spices. Cooking it at low temperature for long hours, stirring with a wood long spoon makes the trick for this sweet. Then, we make rounds using a leaf called "bijao" which we use for covering rices or stews, and desserts of course. We place the small round on top of a piece of bijao and let it cool completely before eating. Although I would easy devour a few warm if I am around. LOL!

But, what is the panela?, where does it come from?, and what can we prepare with it? Good question! ...I knew that your fancy would be triggered by my almost inadequate suspicion of your panela ignorance. Right? Do not take it personally, because you are not the only one. I know that it is a sad situation to be in, but I promise you will get over it. Well,...if you stick with us at least until you finish reading this post smile Tricky huh? Read the CookingDiva on Raspadura now!

First I found it at the "Mirador" going to the town of Volcan, about 45 minutes from Boquete. Then, I discovered at the Bus station in David a few days ago when I dropped off some friends that were visiting in town. Oh my my dear sweet tooth, I am so glad I have it haha! It was difficult to take the time to take the photos, but the end came when my tastebuds danced of pure happiness!

Bienmesabe_2Afortunados los que hemos probado "Bienmesabe"! Pasaron muchos años desde la última vez que mis papilas disfrutaran de la textura única de este postre tradicional Panameño, y no fué porque escogiera privarme por seguir una dieta absurda de esas muchas que he hecho en mi vida, sino porque cada vez este dulce es más escaso.

El procedimiento para prepararlo es largo, toma casi un día de cocimiento en fogón de leña, revolviendo constantemente con un cucharón de madera de mango largo para no quemarse el cocinero.

Se prepara utilizando leche cruda, arroz blanco, raspadura (piloncillo, panela) y especias. El cocinarlo por largas horas a fuego lento es el secreto de la textura y sabor único de este dulce. Luego de alcanzados textura y sabor buscados, se coloca una porción en "circulos" hechos con una hoja proveniente de una planta llamada "bijao" que se utiliza en la cocina tradicional Panameña para tapar arroces y otros platos, incluyendo postres por supuesto! Al utilizar esta hoja, lo cocinado adquiere un aroma único ahumado.

Para los que visitan la provincia de Chiriquí, podrán encontrar venta de este delicioso dulce en el "Mirador" casi llegando al pueblo de Volcán, al igual que en la terminal de autobuses en la ciudad de David.

Que tengan una dulce semana!
Chef Melissa

  • by Chef Melissa
  • October 19, 2008
  • 6:23 pm

From the Tropics: Pavlova de Fresas / Strawberry Pavlova edit

Pavlovave1
Por lo que he notado, siempre es temporada de fresas en esta parte de nuestro bello país! Para aprovechar la deliciosura de estas frutas en estado "fresco", compratimos esta receta con uds. el día de hoy: Pavlova de Fresas. Básicamente es un 'merengue' horneado de manera tradicional, a temperatura baja, luego relleno con crema batida y decorado con fresas frescas. Para acompañar, lo servimos con una fabulosamente simple y azucarada a perfección 'crema inglesa' y un coulis de zarzamora. Las fotos hablan por si solas.

Que lo disfruten y que tengan una dulce semana!
Con cariño,
Chef Melissa

Ingredientes:

4 claras de huevo
1 pizca de sal
8 onzas azúcar blanca, fina
4 cucharaditas de maizena (almidón de maíz)
2 cucharaditas de vinagre de manzana
1/2 cucharadita de esencia de vainilla, o de naranja

Para el relleno:
10 onzas de crema para batir, batida
fruta fresca de temporada (fresa, zarzamora, etc)

Procedimiento:
Pre-calentar el horno a 275 grados F / 135 grados C.
En un bol complétamente limpio y libre de grasa, batir las claras de huevo hasta que el volumen se haya incrementado el doble y agregar el azúcar cucharada a cucharada, batiendo despues de cada adición hasta que este firme y brillante. Agregar la maizena, vinagre y vainilla, batir hasta bien incorporado.
Engrasar una bandeja para galletas con aceite en spray o mantequilla derretida.
Rellenar una manga de decoración con el merengue y realizar una base redonda de 6-8". Colocar en los bordes, alrededor de la circunferencia, dos vueltas una sobre la otra, como se aprecia en la foto. Repetir formando las bases de merengue, colocándolas separadas 2".
Hornear por 1 hora y 15 minutos o hasta que empiece a dorar. Remover del horno y dejar enfriar antes de rellenar y servir.


Pavlovave2Ingredients

4 egg whites
a pinch of salt
8oz white fine sugar
4 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspons apple cider vinegar,
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or orange essence

For the filling:
10fl oz whipping cream, whipped
Prepared fruit, such as raspberries or strawberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F/ 135 degrees C
In a clean bowl, mix the egg whites and salt, beat until stiff. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking until very stiff and glossy after each addition, then beat in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence.
Grease a cookie sheet Butter and make 6-8" disks with the meringue, add one line in the edge to form a nest shape, repeat with a second line and third if you want it taller.
Bake for one and a quarter hours, or until they start to golden. Remove and cool completely before filling and serving.
At the m oment of serving, fill the hollow meringue with the whipped cream and top with the prepared fruit. Although this dessert is delicious by itself, serve with the sauces, mint and extra whipped cream if you wish.

Enjoy!

Chef Melissa

cookingdiva chef melissa panamagourmet panama receta recipe postre dessert pavlova boquete valle escondido chiriqui personal chef
  • by Chef Melissa
  • September 08, 2008
  • 8:09 pm

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