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You are viewing blog entries tagged chef+melissa+de+leon.

La Receta del Dia: Pan de Coco Panameño (Panamanian Coconut Bread) edit


Hace unos dìas recibimos un e-mail de una de nuestras lectoras, YADIRA BROWN quien es una Panameña que vive en los Estados Unidos. Yadira nos cuenta como le gustaría que publicaramos una receta de "Pan de Coco" como los que preparan aquì en su tierra. Por lo que hemos preparado una receta deliciosa y facilìsima, para que todos Uds. la disfruten!


  • 1 taza de coco rallado
  • 4 tazas de harina para todo uso, cernida (para cernir, pase la harina por un colador seco, deshaciendo todos los grumos)
  • 2 tazas de azùcar o morena
  • 1 cucharadita de canela
  • 1 cucharardita de nuez moscada (nutmeg)
  • 2 cucharaditas de vainilla
  • 2 cucharaditas de polvo de hornear
  • 1 taza de leche
  • 1/2 taza de crema de coco (cream of coconut)
  • 4 cucharadas de crema agria (sour cream)
  • 1 cucharadita de sal
  • 4 huevos grandes, ligeramente batidos

Mezclar todos los ingredientes hasta que la masa tenga una textura homogènea (quedarà gruesa). Este procedimiento puede hacerse en el procesador de alimentos, con un batidor de mano, o con una cuchara batiendo a mano.

Separar la masa en dos moldes de budìn engrasados y hornear por 1 hora en el horno pre-calentado a 350° (o hasta que un palillo insertado en el centro salga limpio).

Este pan puede servirse SOLO, calentito, o con queso. Tambièn es delicioso tostadito para acompañar un plato de sopa.

Rinde: 2 panes, aprox. 8 porciones cada uno

  • by Chef Melissa
  • March 03, 2004
  • 11:35 am

La Receta del Dia: Keki de Coco y Miel (de Panama) edit

...Bueno, bueno...ha llegado la hora en que finalmente les presento una receta que me piden muy a menudo mis lectores: "Keki de coco y Miel", muy similar al que tradicionalmente se vende en las panaderias y dulcerias de Panama (...quizas hasta mejor!). Todos (o casi todos) los que hemos tenido la dicha de vivir en este hermoso pais, tenemos memorias de cuando hemos devorado una de estas galletas con sabor profundo a miel de caña, señorial, maravilloso. Y del coco, que les digo: tostado es mejor por su aroma y sabor tropical...hmmm, que tiene matrimonio perfecto con el jengibre fresco, para no olvidar lo picoso.

El asunto es que de buscar y buscar me canse entre mis recetas. De preguntar a mis amigos y familia...a todo el mundo, quede exhausta tambien, triste, pues nadie me supo dar una tradicional receta para keki, keke, quequi, kequi, Queki...o como lo gusten llamar. Por lo que como toda una inventora, creativa de la cocina...me dispuse HOY a preparar Keki!

Entonces...sin mas preambulo, aqui les va:


Rinde: 18 galletas

8 onzas (1/2 libra) de mantequilla sin sal

1 taza de azucar

4 huevos grandes

16 onzas de harina (1 libra)

2 cucharaditas de polvo de hornear

1 cucharadita de canela molida

1 cucharadita de clavito de olor molido

1 pizca de sal

1 taza (8 onzas) de miel de caña (unsulphured molasses)

1 cucharadita de ralladura de jengibre fresco

1 taza y 1/2 de coco rallado seco, tostado


1. Batir la mantequilla con el azucar hasta que este cremoso. Incorporar los huevos uno a uno, batiendo bien despues de cada adicion.

2. Cernir la harina, polvo de hornear, sal, canela en polvo y clavito molido. Agregar poco a poco a la mezcla alternando con la miel de caña o molasses, batiendo bien despues de cada adicion.

3. Incorporar la ralladura de jengibre y el coco seco tostado. Batir hasta que este bien mezclado. Dejar enfriar en el congelador por 20 minutos.

4. Pre-calentar el horno a 350 por 10 minutos por lo menos.

5. Engrasar 2 bandejas (cookie sheets) con aceite en spray y retirar la masa de los kekis del congelador.

6. Con una cuchara grande o una cuchara para servir helados, sacar porciones de la masa de keki y poner en las bandejas bien separadas. Yo diria que unas 6 por bandeja.

7. Hornear por 15 minutos o hasta que los bordes esten doraditos (hay que estar muy pendientes). Remover del horno enseguida y dejar refrescar en la bandeja por 5 minutos. Luego, remover de la bandeja y colocar en una parrilla para terminar de enfriar por completo.

Chef M

  • by Chef Melissa
  • February 04, 2005
  • 7:07 pm

La Receta del Dia: Camarones al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Panamanian Style) edit

Aj_2 Today's QUESTION: "Why is True Love like STRANSKY Steel Ware? Visit Tasty Design to know the answer!

Now, lets talk garlic:

The use of garlic is just about as old as man himself. And the herb's medicinal properties have been known for about as long. Immigrants in the early part of the past century, and our ancestors from pioneer stock, where quite happy to eat a clove or two of garlic whenever they needed an energy boost or simply to fight off a cold.

If you look through the ancient stories from just about any part of the world, you will find garlic mentioned as a curative and tonic, able to help solve minor medical conditions and a few major ones as well.

Without doubt, garlic helps digestion and elimination. Country after country, story after story all relate to garlic's ability to soothe the stomach and cleanse the system. How else do you explain the same stories cropping up in Spain, in India, in Egypt, in Iceland, everywhere there are written records? These stories did not travel from one geographic region to another. Each was created in the country of origin, and was based on the simple, empirical fact that when you give people garlic they generally get better!

If you are a garlic lover like me, do not miss my previous post and recipe: "The Joy of Garlic: Olive Roasted Head of Garlic". Besides keeping you all healthy, you will keep vampires and mosquitos away. That comes really handy sometimes!

Now, the scrumptious recipe to prepare "Camarones al Ajillo, Panamanian Style!"


ajo ajos garlic recipe recipes receta panama cookingdiva chef melissa delicious gourmet personal panamagourmet
  • by Chef Melissa
  • November 25, 2005
  • 6:31 pm

Still Kickin’ - Divine Wine from South America edit


The confession: The popping noise gives me goose bumps. I have always loved wine, but now The Enthusiast woke up and life would never be the same. Being passionate about the world of wine makes my mission in life to search and purchase wine to enjoy with family and friends. If this requires traveling the world, then so be it.

Nothing gets my juices going like a wine tour in the most exotic of places, wearing, of course a t-shirt that proclaims me as the "Wine Diva." Nevertheless I am not afraid any more to spit and criticize or swirl and admire as a wine demands.

Now, I am finally back home from the Wine Tour.

Dsc03346_1 I missed you very much, but have to admit the Wine Tour was an unique and espectacular opportunity to explore my beloved Argentina and Uruguay in a new way. Loved to argue over a chardonnay and found the romance of corks irresistible.

Andres Rosberg, a fine gentleman that happens to be the President of the Argentinian Association of Sommeliers, traveled with our small group trough the top vineyards of his country and Uruguay. Winery after winery, I lost track of how many wines we tasted, but I sure remember the places we visited:

First, Cafayate in the Salta province. There we stayed at the Cafayate Wine Resort.  We visited Bodega El Esteco, and later we went to Bodega Laborum and vineyard. We had lunch at the home of the Laborum owner, Marcelo Romero, who is the brother of the governor of the province.

Dsc03183 October 8 was the perfect day to visit the Domingo Hermanos Winery. It was sunny with a refreshing breeze that accompany us through our journey. Thirty minutes away was the San Pedro de Yacochuya winery waiting for us. The delicious lunch was as good as their wine.

Then, Mendoza. What an unique place. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Hotel, and to tell you the truth I could NOT resist the temptation to nurture my wine-loving body with one of their beauty treatments with wine. Oh my! It was quite sticky, but I loved every second of it. Ahhh...

Tomorrow I will write about the places we visited in Mendoza, including a great video featuring "the making of empanadas in a rustic oven made of mud." Stay Tuned!

Dsc03185 Now, I leave you with a link to Asado Argentina, a very nice blog on Argentinian Asado. They have an array of recipes and tips to cook the perfect asado and side dishes to accompany such a delicacy.

AND, if you are in the mood for some Argentinian Empanadas and Chimichurri Sauce, check out this scrumptious recipe. You WON'T regret it.

Have a tasty afternoon!


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  • by Chef Melissa
  • October 20, 2006
  • 12:09 pm

The foodie reason: Why 2007 is Panama’s year! edit

Jan2007_1 Panamá is an easy country to fall in love with. The tropical bounty, gifted by our location and climate offer a spectacular opportunity to experience some of the most exotic and unique produce that mother and father nature have to offer, ranging from the complex herbs and seasoning of the tropical forest used by the indigenous tribes to the organic farms of vegetables and edible lowers.

From my terrace, in an 80-year-old building overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I can see all the lights that at night silently invite you to visit the hot spots and restaurants. Sometimes, if the lucky mood arouses, the flashy colours from the casinos will hypnotize you. The new ones showcase with endless luxury the glorious tropical-delicious and international food at very reasonable prices. Now you are warned.

Guac_1_1 Panama City is full of energy and excitement, with unlimited options to having an epicurean adventure every time, including the delight that would be to eat one of the creations from the internationally famous chefs that have found home in this land.

Of course, Panamá can be approached in a hundred different ways, but for those who don't already know it well, there are three emblematic places that you might want to visit, three snapshots that will give some perspective on the heart and soul of the country.

First, the Chiriqui province, where the coffee plantations and most of the dairy farms are. The weather is outstanding, and the fresh wild trout served are simply scrumptious.

Pescao_1_2 Second, the Panama Canal and the Gatun Lake, there you will enjoy the most unique fishing experience. At the end of the day, your guide will help clean the fish so you can take it and cook it for dinner.

Kun_1 Third, take a trip to islands of San Blas or Bocas del Toro, the less explored path of the Caribbean, where the turquoise waters and the simplicity of their people embrace your hunger for adventure and the most incredible food. People say their tribal concoctions are magic, let’s find out!

Un abrazo,

Chef Melissa

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  • by Chef Melissa
  • January 10, 2007
  • 8:06 am

Whole Foods Culinary Center, Austin: Join Panama Chef Melissa De Leon for “a Taste of the Tropics” edit

Thursday, September 20th    6:30–9:00 p.m.    $45

Chef Melissa has an extensive background in food and has trained in the United States, Panama, South America and Asia. She has worked to promote the tropical ingredients of Panama through the development of numerous pastry recipes, as well as cooking classes and a website. Her class will allow us to experience the best of the tropics and guests will learn how to prepare plantains (patacones), green mango and coconut!Guests will enjoy original topical creations that include Patacones with Salsa Chimichurri; Tropical Crab Cakes with Tomato Chutney and Mango Salsa; Flan de Coco y Chocolate served with Panamanian Coffee.  Register online

Vertical_green100w Whole Foods Market Culinary Center
525 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703

Panama Boutique - Select Travels and Treasures

  • by Chef Melissa
  • September 14, 2007
  • 3:39 pm

Chef Brings a Taste of Panama to Austin edit

This has been a marvelous trip! Austin is a beautiful City and I have been delighted to cook here. I will sure blog later about my experiences, but now I am leaving you with this review that Kay Marley posted in her Dancin' Down Congress Avenue Blog: Chef Brings a Taste of Panama to Austin. Thank you Kay!

"One mouthful and I fell in love with a country I’ve never visited. A coconut explosion of lime, mint, cilantro and lemongrass marinated tilapia that has woken up my taste buds to the wonders of Panamanian food. The baked banana leaf wrapped fish, paired with rice and black beans and accompanied by a baby greens salad with coffee vinaigrette was the main attraction of an evening this week with Chef Melissa De Leon." Read the complete review by visiting Kay's blog...

I have posted some photos at My Facebook, and I will be posting more soon...so stay tuned!


(Photo credits: Kay Marley...Thank you!)

  • by Chef Melissa
  • September 21, 2007
  • 9:48 am

From Mother & Father Nature: Boggy Creek Farm (Austin, Texas) edit

Yesterday I couldn't get out of "Cerro Verde," it was so foggy and misty all day long, so I decided to stay in the premises and walk thorough the pepper's garden trails, check out the growing corn field and the new additions to the veggie gardens, among others. I put on my LONG rubber boots and "fumigated myself" with the bug's reppelent I have developped over the years: a blend of lavender, lemongrass, citronella and...catnip oil! Everytime I grab the blue bottle of bug-repellent, my weimaraner and the short-leggeg aranchist Basset hound, both of them truly beloved companions, start acting really funny. I knew about catnip and cats! BUT, somehow it also makes some doggies BANANAS. Life in the tropics I guess!

Back in the office, refreshing memories of my recent visit to beautiful Austin, Tx, we are sharing with you today an incredibly beautiful video of life and trade in an Organic Farm: Boggy Creek Farm, including an interview with Carol Ann, one of the owners and creators of such a natural paradise. I was in total heaven while I taped this video,...how about you? do you like it?

Have a delicious week! I could not spect less from you :D


P.S. I originally recorded the video in a new Sony video camera, then I found out that it's is not compatible with Macs! From the bottom of my heart I say it stinks! Since I edited the video in a Mac, I had to transfer it from the video camera to the PC, then to my Mac. Definitely the result doesn't compare to the original quality promised by Sony. Anyhow...I hope someday both companies work out a deal favorable to the consummer so we do not have these kind of problems.

  • by Chef Melissa
  • October 09, 2007
  • 10:38 am

Enofilos Panama: November 2007 Wine Tasting in Cerro Azul & Video (ES) edit

Vino1 Somos un grupo de entusiastas que hemos emprendido un viaje juntos para descubrir las bondades y secretos del místico elixhir de uvas. Los mismos que, con los brazos abiertos, invitamos a los interesados en este tema a que se unan a alguno de nuestros eventos que son realizados durante la tercera semana de cada mes. Para mayor información subscribirse al grupo Enofilos, o dejar un mensaje en este post!

Ahora, con mucho cariño compartimos con Uds. los resultados e impresiones de la cata de vinos realizada el pasado 18 de Noviembre en la residencia de Cooking Diva en Cerro Azul, Ciudad de Panamá.

Que tengan una deliciosa semana...


Buen Provecho Enófilos! He aquí nuestra Cata del Mes de Noviembre.

  • Comenzamos con un Viognier 2005 Escorihuela Gascón de Mendoza, Argentina.  Es un vino ligero de una uva del Rodano, que ha sido escogido para comenzar nuestra cata por ser nuestro único blanco seco para preparar el paladar al gran Moscatel. Un vino que es menos seco que un Sauvignon Blanc y menos dulce que un Cabernet.  Muchos novatos nos acompañaron, por lo empezamos a explicar como apreciar un vino, tomando de ejemplo el Viognier.
  • by Chef Melissa
  • December 01, 2007
  • 9:58 am

Video From the Tropics: Chocolate Snowballs with Almonds (en/es) edit

We love the land and the many gifts Mother and Father nature share with us, specially in the Tropics. After traveling the world and experiencing the wonders and learning one step at the time, we feel proud for always coming back to our country Panama to share the bounty. Just share what you know and love, after that...everything will make total sense. It maybe is your purpose in life or just a hobby, but just do it and you will feel reinvented and well loved.

It feels fantastic to me, but...how about you, how do you feel when you share your love?

Oh! Regarding the video, it is show #6, cooking segment of "Living Made Simple in Panama." It has been really exciting to work with Aimee Arnold de Lindo. Now you will be able to learn how to prepare "Chocolate Snowball Cookies with Almonds." Let us know how do you like them!

There will be many good things to come, we will keep you posted. Its a promise!

Have a fantastic and extra tasty rest of the week!


  • by Chef Melissa
  • February 06, 2008
  • 1:28 pm



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