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Posts Tagged ‘David’

Explore the New Kitchen Store in David

Written on September 16th, 2010 by 2 shouts

La Cocina has recently opened their doors in David, offering low-cost housewares of all types, lots of plastic containers and cookware.

To get to La Cocina, take the first left off the highway and drive past Romero’s until you get to one of the 3 traffic lights in David. Elmec is on the left and the new La Cocina Kitchen Store is on the far right corner, right across from Elmec.

The owners are very helpful, and they have items that are not readily available in other shops. Actually, I believe this is the only exclusive kitchen store between here and Panama City.

The first thing I noticed was the huge selection of mixing bowls beginning at only $1, the stacks of aluminum cookware and good-quality 5-piece wooden spoon sets for $2. I bought a set of spoons, which are just right for mixing up some artisan bread dough. I painted orange stripes on the handles to match my kitchen and to make them easy to find in my drawers.

If you are looking for plastic containers, pitchers, plastic and ceramic plates or bowls, La Cocina is the place to visit.

You won’t find any electrical appliances at La Cocina, which is unfortunate. I’d really like to find a place to buy an electric juicer, a big electric fry pan and a milkshake maker. With Lauretta’s “Gourmet Burgers & More” cooking class coming up, I know I’ll need a milkshake maker.

The owners were very glad to have us visit their shop. They are trying to bring items for the kitchen together into one place, making it easy for cooks like us. I asked if they handled wooden cutting boards, and the response was “Yes, we will be getting them soon.”

A very nice stainless steel thermos bottle was $4, just what I needed to keep a delicious cup of Boquete’s fine coffee hot to drink anytime. It fits perfectly into my car’s console.

I love kitchen gadgets, and La Cocina has a limited supply of basic gadgets. In the photo below, you can see their selection of gadgets on the back wall.

I’ll keep checking back to see the new items La Cocina will be offering and pass along interesting acquisitions to you, as they appear.

Upon leaving La Cocina, I turned left and walked one block to the new Cuidad De David Hotel, the perfect place for lunch!

Don’t you just love David?

Getting Ready for Chef Juan

Written on August 2nd, 2010 by 3 shouts

Our next Boquete Gourmet cooking class features Juan Linares, Professional Chef and exceptional teacher, presenting “Famous Historic Dishes”. Juan will tell stories about six historic dishes and he will demonstrate how to make them, explain how they figured in history and share how they can be replicated today in Boquete and in your kitchen.

The class is totally filled at this time, and a waiting list of eager participants are standing by, in case someone is not able to attend. The dishes are unusual; Beef Wellington, Antipasto, Crepes Suzette, and three other unique dishes, making a full-course dinner for the attendees. This is culinary history revisited.

I have received the recipes from Chef Juan and they are all very interesting, full of unique techniques and blends of ingredients to be prepared on Thursday.

One of the tips we’ll learn is where to get ready-made puff pastry, right here in Boquete. There are two main dishes, Beef Wellington and Chicken Marengo, each of which have interesting and unique histories.

My shopping list is now complete and it should be quite easy to find everything the chef needs. Almost everything is available within 5 minutes of my kitchen. Juan uses ingredients that are mostly found locally, except for one.

The item that may be a bit difficult to find is real French foie gras, or fat goose liver pate’. We have a small delicatessen on Boquete’s main street, so I’ll begin my search there. If I can’t find it here, I may need to go down to David, a city about 45 minutes from Boquete. Almost everything can be found in David’s many huge supermarkets.

If you’d like to read more about foie gras, go to Wikipedia for the complete history, methods of preparing and serving this delicacy. Wikipedia provided this idea of serving it with pickled pears, it really looks delicious.

The entire menu from the class will be posted soon, along with one of the recipes from Juan’s recipe book.

Please keep checking this site for more details on this one-of-a-kind, historical class, and especially of how Chef Juan plans to use the foie gras.
Wish me luck shopping!

World’s Largest Hotel Chain is Here!

Written on May 17th, 2010 by no shouts

In my attempt to find gourmet connections in Chiriqui Province, I found one of the “World’s Largest Hotel Chains”, David’s new Best Western Hotel. It’s a beautiful 7-story remodel of the old El Panama Hotel, that was built back in the early 70’s. Over the years, the old hotel became a bit scary. Then, in the last few months, it morphed into a fine, beautifully-located, modern, upscale hotel in mid-town David.

This wasn’t my first visit to the hotel, I’m returning because it is a friendly, quiet, cool place to have a light lunch. When it first opened, Matt, one of the managers, welcomed us to the very nice bar and reception area. Below, Matt and David are enjoying the waterfall wall in the Wine Bar. They both have much in common, as they each have experience building and remodeling large construction projects, and in solving concerns relating to such projects. A lot can be settled over a glass of wine!

Surprisingly, Matt had read my blog previously, and he was happy to meet David and me “in person”. I must say that Matt was one of most gracious innkeepers I have ever met. He showed us several of the rooms, and he shared his adventures in updating this old building into the “state-of-the-art” facility it is today. All the furniture, decor and appliances were especially designed and manufactured for this hotel.

All modern conveniences are available in the new hotel; 108 luxury rooms, 7 are equipped for physically challenged, Itanello’s Grill and Wine Bar, meeting rooms that accommodate 150 people, a fully-equipped fitness center, lots of secured parking and so many amenities, they can’t be listed here.

The rooms are modern with sleek fixtures, flat-screen TVs and high-quality linens. The color scheme throughout the hotel shows how much the new owners paid attention to every detail, making sure guests find comfort and convenience during their stay in David. The service and quality are up to world standards, as set by the Best Western Corporation.

Chef, Carlos Taylor, prepared grilled ham and cheese sandwiches especially for us. If what you want isn’t on the menu, ask Chef Carlos to prepare it for you. The French fries served with the piping hot sandwich, were the BEST I have EVER tasted, and David agreed!

I would like to include a stay at the new Best Western on a “Gourmet/Jazz Tour of David” soon. Please check back to find dates and details of the “first-ever” Boquete Gourmet’s overnight outing in David. We may be able to spend the day and night at the new Best Western Hotel, enjoy one of Itanello’s gourmet dinners, as well as to attend some of David’s fine entertainment offered after dark.
Keep watching!

Serrano Ham - Good to the Last Bite!

Written on March 2nd, 2010 by 2 shouts

My holiday Jamon Serrano has been a treat for so many people for almost three months. I’ve made dozens of gourmet dishes with it and served it to lots of guests. Many bags were filled with slices of Serrano and shared with friends and family members.

David finished slicing off the last piece of Serrano this past week and I discarded the bone, probably prematurely. I could have sawed it into several lengths and boiled it for making broth, soup, stews and many other tasty dishes. If you have ever used a leftover bone from your Jamon Serrano, please let me know how you did it.

Almost any recipe you make with ham can be made with Jamon Serrano, the premier ham from Spain. My Serrano came from Felipe Motta Wine Store in Panama City, Panama and it sat on the top of my buffet for almost 2 months, no refrigeration is needed. It was the center of attention for many gatherings, as most guests had never seen or used Serrano freshly cut from the bone.

Above, you see a photo of David’s creative “Serrano Omelet with Smokey Cheese”. Then, my “Chicken Embeded with Jamon Serrano” served with garlic mashed potatoes. I embeded Serrano and manchego cheese in wafer-thin chicken breast, wrapped it torpedo-style in GladWrap, steamed it and served it with plum sauce. This was one of my favorite dishes using Serrano.

Reflecting on the different dishes I made with this ham, “Celery Seed Potato Salad with Jamon Serrano” was my very favorite. A friend gave me this old Swedish recipe 30 years ago. It was published in the Gulfport Gourmet Cookbook in Gulfport, Florida.

Now, with a little tweaking, here it is again using Spain’s Jamon Serrano to make it my very best potato salad ever.

Celery Seed Potato Salad with Jamon Serrano

4 large potatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2cup Jamon Serrano, thinly slice and julienne
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, hard boiled and quartered

Boil the potatoes, no need to peel them until soft. When soft, drain, cool slightly, scrape off the skins, if you like, and dice them into a large bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine celery seed, mayonnaise, sugar, salt and Serrano. Pour over the potatoes, toss and place in shallow, fancy serving dish. Arrange eggs on top, garnish and serve.

Other articles about this particular ham are on my blog, you can see how much I enjoyed it throughout the holidays and beyond. We’re expecting a new Felipe Motta Wine Store to open soon in David and I’m sure they will stock these Spanish hams in their deli section. They’ll be hanging from the rafters as they do in the “Museum of Ham” in Madrid. If you’re looking for a special treat to serve at this year’s parties, you might consider getting a Jamon Serrano for yourself. You would love it and so would your guests!

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