September 29, 2009
Arepas con coco, sal y panela.
2 cups masa de harina
1/2 grated coconut
zest 1 lime
1tbsp brown sugar/panela/jaggery
enough water to form soft dough
Mix all the ingredients together until you have a soft plyable mass. Form these with your hands by patting a ball of masa against your palms until flat and round. You can either cook these in a dry frying pan or directly over a fire on a griddle, they take about 10 minutes each side. I ate these every day for almost a month and became highly addicted – you can also make arepas with egg inside, they are even more dangerous.
September 26, 2009
After a sleepless night feeling like I was stuck in a hairdrier, I got up early to look for a juice near the market. Came accross a little man with a steaming copper cauldron full of this amazing soupie stew – he pretended not to understand me when i asked what was in it… so i guess it will remain a mystery forever.
August 15 2009, Santa Marta, Colombia
September 21, 2009
the acidity of the green mango and lime juice is balanced by the sweet oil released by grating fresh coconut, I ate this with fried eggs, rolled up in tortillas or just on its own with a big spoon.
1/2 small red onion, sliced finely
2 tomatoes, chopped up
1 big green mango (green as in unripe, this is how they are eaten all over latin america as a snack with salt,pepper and vinegar) chopped up
handfull of coriander leaves, torn up
1/2 grated coconut
juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper
mix it up, sit it for 10 minutes to allow flavours to meld… eat.
April 23, 2009
Ceviche is a mix of raw fish and vegetables that is marinated in lime or lemon juice. The acid in the juice ‘cooks’ the fish and results in a texture thats easier to deal with then sashimi style raw fish. You need to find really fresh fish to make this – ie nothing you will find in a supermarket – go to a fishmongers or market and see whats fresh. You can put any seafood in a ceviche – octopus, prawn, mussles, mackerel, coley, eel. Be conscious of over fished species – do your research and buy what is abundant at that time of year in your area/country.
This is a recipe for mexican ceviche from my friend Joy Tostada who gifted me a beautiful japanese fish knife when we parted ways back in Palenque, South Mexico. To many more amazing meals Joyeeeee!………………………………….
1 pound of fish fillets/seafood
1 onion, chopped quite fine
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 head garlic, chopped
enough lime juice to almost cover the mix
1 hot chilli, small bunch chopped coriander
Chop the fish fillets into the same size chunks as the vegg making sure to get rid of any bits of skin or tough brown flesh – you want little cubes. Mix everything together with a good pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Let it marinate in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours. Serve alone or with crusty bread to mop up the juice. For Panamanian style ceviche (as in the picture), omit the tomato, garlic and coriander.
You could also serve this like carpaccio – slice the fish as thinly as you can accross the grain – lay it out on a plate, squeeze over the lime juice and some olive oil, salt and pepper – this you can eat pretty much straight away as the lime juice cooks the thin slices much quicker.
April 23, Panama City, Panama
April 21, 2009
Dulce de Mani y Cocada: Peanut and coconut brittles. I didnt get a picture of the Cajeta which is just like fudge. They use raspadura to make these which is unrefined sugar cane – the sugar still contains the molasses and consequently has quite an irony aftertaste and the texture is crumbly and sharp. After eating my fourth it felt like all my teeth were going to fall out of my head.
Early january, Esteli, Nicaragua.
April 21, 2009
These are from the same family palm as the coconut, in fact in the centre is a tiny intensely falvoured coconut which you can crack open with a rock. The husk is boiled and then pealed and eaten with some salt and tastes a little bit like pumpkin – really soft and nutty.
April 20, 2009
‘Panama’ means ‘an abundance of fish’ – i found this rich seafood risotto in a grotty little cafeteria in old town, Panama city. At $1.15 served traditionally every friday lunchtime – I’ll see you there fren…
serves 5 or 6
for the rice………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
1 onion, chopped very finely
1 stick celery, chopped very finely
2 cups of white rice
4 cups of stock – chicken or fish, fresh is best otherwise stock cube, just make sure it doesnt contain MSG. it needs to have a good strong flavour so you could preboil it with the shrimp shells and heads and/or some fish heads to intensify the flavour.
2 pounds of mixed shellfish – cockles, mussles, shrimp, crab, squid…anything you like just dont buy that horrid premixed seafood meddley, it tastes like old dishwater
some milk or cream
for the tomato sauce………………………………………………………………………………………….
5 tomatoes, chopped very small
2 onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp tomato paste
This sauce goes on top of the guacho at the end. Prepare it and leave it to simmer while you get on with the rice. Fry the onion first for 5 minutes in some olive oil, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the paste and lime juice, and sweat under a lid for 5 minutes. Add a cup of water, good pinch of salt, pepper, the lime juice, tomato paste and a glug of hot sauce and simmer for 15 minutes until saucey.
In a pot, fry the onion and the celery gently in some butter, fresh lard or virgin olive oil with the lid on until soft. put the rice in and stir it around for a couple of minutes, then add the stock and cook until rice is al dente (all rice is different but i would say 10 – 12 minutes for most white). At this point you want to start stirring the rice frequently to get it to release the gluten to create a risotto-like texture. Put the seafood into the rice with the cream/milk and lots of ground pepper and a pinch of salt and keep stirring for 5 minutes until the shells have opened (if you left them in their shells) and the prawns are pink. Is it the consitency of risotto – slightly sloppy yet with a bite to the rice? If it it still a bit too al dente just add a bit more milk or cream and keep cooking until its better.
Serve this with bit spoonfull of the tomato sauce on top in a shallow bowl with a spoon.