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Posts Tagged ‘Fajitas’

Filled Nubes de Chocolate

Written on February 26th, 2010 by no shouts

Guest Chef Renny Karnich presented a fun-filled cooking class in my kitchen earlier this month. Her menu included fajitas hot off the griddle, Pico de Gallo, and all the accompaniments. The fajita ingredients were sizzled on a red-hot griddle and stacked to make a steaming volcano. You can see her recipe for fajitas in a previous article.

For anyone not knowing, Boquete is situated high on the side of Volcan Baru, the tallest volcano in Panama, so Renny’s fajita technique is apropos. Then, she used her “volcano” technique in a totally different manner, to make Nubes de Chocolate, or “clouds of chocolate”.

At the end of the class, Renny piled filled cream puffs high on a footed cake plate and dribbled them with hot icing.  It was like another volcano had erupted, spurting hot chocolate all down the sides of the mountain.  Everyone cheered in delight as the chocolate kept flowing. “The more hot chocolate, the better!”, exclaimed Renny.

Here’s how Renny made the cream puffy clouds and put it all together:

Eclairs or Cream Puffs

½ cup water
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
2 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating hard until the dough is smooth.

Place 12 rounded tablespoons of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and bake 30 minutes or until golden. While still warm, carefully slice the tops off the puffs. Pull out the soft insides and discard them. Cool the puffs, then fill with cream filling and dust with sifted powdered sugar.

Creme Patissiere Filling

1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 teaspoons flavored extract, vanilla, cherry, almond, etc.
OR 2 tablespoons liquor, Abuelo rum, Tia Maria, Curacao, etc.

Heat the milk in a saucepan until hot, not boiling. Whisk the sugar, flour and salt together in a medium bowl, then add the hot milk until well blended. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and continue to stir vigorously over low heat until very thick and smooth. Add the egg yolks and cook for a few more minutes. Cook, stirring from time to time, then add flavoring. You may add color, to make the filling more festive.

Now that you have the cream puffs filled with your favorite flavored filling, stack them on a pedestal cake plate and sprinkle them with slivered almonds. Heat half a container of ready-to-use fudge or double-chocolate icing in the microwave until it is runny, only about 15 seconds. Slowly drizzle the filled puffs (nubes) with hot icing. Wait for the compliments, then serve with a steaming cup of Boquete coffee.


Renny’s Red-hot Fajitas Off the Griddles

Written on February 15th, 2010 by no shouts

Yes, the word is “griddles’, because Chef Renny Kranich had three (3) griddles all fired up to make her special formula of red-hot Fajitas. Twelve students learned Renny’s griddle techniques in the “Fajitas - Hot Off the Griddle” cooking class held last week in my gourmet kitchen in Boquete, Panama.

The Fajitas were made “volcano-style” on all three griddles at once! It was fun to see. Each participant’s assignment was to make Fajitas in their own kitchens during the coming week, so they were watching intently.

Before Renny prepared the Fajitas, she hand-made 24 flour tortillas by using this recipe:
Flour Tortillas

3 cups of all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup very hot water

Mix dry ingredients quite well. Add the 1/2 cup shortening and cut it into the dry mix. Slowly add 1/2 to 3/4 of the hot water, begin to knead. Continue adding water until the dough becomes slightly glutinous. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead, adding slight dusting amounts of flour until it makes a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes. Pull off little mounds of dough and roll them out into tortillas. Cook on a medium hot griddle (Cure the griddle).

Then, Renny piled up the ingredients on 3 red-hot griddles and completed the Fajitas like this:

1 whole strip of filet tenderloin of beef
3 small-medium Zucchini squash
1 Jalapeño pepper chopped
1 large white onion
1 large purple onion
1 large green bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
2 medium cloves of garlic
2 cubes of ice
1/2 packet of McCormick fajita seasoning
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
3 fresh limes cut in wedges
Sour cream

Heat a very large iron griddle on two burners on the stove, or do the same on a Jennair. While the griddle gets very hot, julienne cut the vegetables. Slice the tenderloin bacon thin, and make the slices narrow. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil onto the griddle and let it get very hot. Add zucchini squash and garlic to the griddle and move it about for less than a minute. Add both types of onion and move them about for a minute or more. Remember, your griddle should be HOT. Push the vegetables to a place on the griddle that is less hot. Add the three colors of peppers. Cook the same. With 2 spatulas, combine and mix all the vegetables. Push them to one side.

Pour the remaining olive oil onto the griddle. To this, add the meat, see photo above. Salt, pepper to taste. Add the McCormick fajita seasoning and mix/cook only the meat on the griddle for about 2 minutes. Pile the vegetables on top of the meat in a hill or heap and open a little “volcano”- hole in the top. Drop 2 cubes of ice into the hole and close the hole up. The steam from the ice will make everything cook very fast. With 2 spatulas, combine and mix all the hot ingredients. Turn off the heat. Squeeze some limes into your ingredients, but do not cook the lime juice because it will turn bitter.

On a fresh, warm and pliable tortilla, scoop a generous serving of the hot mixture and place a dollop of sour cream in the middle. Fold over and serve with Pico de Gallo, lime wedges and sliced jalapeno peppers on the side. Invite a couple friends over for dinner soon and try making Renny’s “volcano-style” Fajitas yourself.

Everyone will love them!

Fajitas - Hot Off the Griddle!

Written on January 10th, 2010 by 4 shouts

hotoffpeppers1Lots of fun and ideas are ahead for the next Boquete Gourmet Host Chef Cooking Class, “Fajitas - Hot Off the Griddle!”, presented by retired engineer, owner of Inglestec Language Institute and Coordinator of the Annual Brisas Cooking Contest and honored Guest Chef, Renny Kranich.

The class will be held in the Boquete Gourmet’s kitchen, high above Boquete, Panama on Thursday, February 11 at 5:00pm.

Renny will be sharing her one-of-a-kind method for preparing “Fajitas”, using the finest of beef filet mignon, fresh-grown Boquete vegetables, as well as her very own “Pico de Gallo”.

The base for Renny’s fajitas are her hand-made “Tortillas”, better than can be found anywhere. They made exactly the right size to use with imaginative fillings that are spiced just right to your taste, whether mild, hot or in between.

To begin the class, enjoy a cool glass of “Margaritas on the Rocks”, made in Renny’s very own nontraditional manner, no blender, please.

The photo below doesn’t show the unexpected ingredient Renny adds to her Margaritas, you won’t want to miss it. Notice the large serving glass, it only needs to be rimmed with salt and filled with Renny’s Margaritas. Yum!

The crowning dish of the evening will be “Filled Nubes de Chocolate”, a tall tower of clouds dripping with chocolate ganache. You’ll want to make this for all your guests, a real show stopper!

To reserve your seat for this unique class, please comment below or email The registration fee is $30, including the class instruction, recipe book, complete dinner, Margarita on the Rocks and a glass of wine. Class size is limited to 12, first come, first served, so please make reservations now for this once-ever event!
See you there,

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