Grilling in the Highlands of Panama | The Boquete Gourmet
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Grilling in the Highlands of Panama

iCal Import
December 31, 1969 7:00 PM

Living in the high mountains of Panama has lots of advantages, especially when it comes to outdoor grilling. It’s easy to stop by the fresh, open markets, then fire up the gas grill, and prepare the best backyard meals imaginable anywhere in the world.

My shopping list is short, a whole chicken or rack of baby-back ribs, whatever fresh vegetables are plentiful, and a pineapple.

The weather is always pleasant for firing your grill, even if it’s a rainy day, because the temperature is usually just right, about 72 degrees in the late afternoon. A 5-dollar gas tank will last for months of grilling, and they’re available at almost every mini-market in Panama.

Our favorite meat to grill is chicken, it never fails to please everyone. Chicken is low in calories, high in nutritional value, and very reasonable in Panama, as everyone knows. David loves to buy a can or two of Panama beer, punch holes in it along the top rim and perch the whole chicken atop of it. It cooks in about an hour on the closed grill, just in time to have your vegetables grilled and ready to eat.

The vegetables can be pre-cut and ready to toss in a grill pan.  Any kind of vegetable can be sliced thinly, tossed in a bit of olive oil and your special blend of herbs and set above the flames. Each time you glance into the grill, give the vegetables a little stir. The top photo shows our favorite grilling pan to use for any small ingredients. They cook slowly and never fall on the flames.

Dessert is easy when you’re grilling in the Highlands of Panama. Just slice off the bottom of a juicy, fresh pineapple and stand it on end. Holding the green top, slice off the skin from top to bottom. Divide in half from top to bottom and lay on cut side. Slice lengthwise again into quarters and remove the core.   Cut each quarter into 2 or 3 long pieces, depending on the size of your pineapple. Lay the long pieces on the hot grate after you remove the chicken. Wait for grill marks to appear, then turn over to brown.

You will have a luscious, grilled finish to your fresh, healthy and tasty dinner. Boquete Gourmet Host Chef, Greg Henry, on, inserted a skewer into the ends of his spears of grilled pineapple and placed them on a dessert plate with a small dish of dipping sauce similar to Dulce de Leche.

The sauce is easy to make the day before your dinner. Simply boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for about an hour and a half. When you’re ready to serve your pineapple, open the can and fill small dishes with your “homemade” Dulce de Leche sauce.  You may need to thin it with a bit of white wine.  Shave chocolate or sprinkle coconut flakes over your pineapple and serve.

You can enjoy this spectacular grilled dinner wherever you are, but it’s especially good when you’re in the Highlands of Panama!


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