The Boquete Gourmet | Tag Archive | Gourmet

Posts Tagged ‘Gourmet’

What’s Better Than Bacon and Eggs?

Written on September 6th, 2010 by no shouts

It’s a good question and one that’s about impossible to answer. But lately, I’ve gone back to some of my old recipes for “new” ideas for Sunday breakfast.

During my school-teaching years, on special “Teacher Training” days when we had to report in early, many teachers would bring a breakfast dish to share during our first break. Usually it was donuts or danish rolls.. But, one day Carmen, a fellow teacher brought in a classic, old-fashioned Quiche Lorraine cut into squares.

When I say “old-fashioned”, I mean this was 1960, and quiche was “upscale”!

Do you know if the dish called “quiche” is originally French or German? You’ll find out after you read this delicious, fantastic recipe for Carmen’s “Classic Quiche Lorraine” from 1960. Believe me, it’s better than bacon and eggs!

6 bacon slices, cooked crispy and diced
1/2 cup Swiss or Colby cheese, shredded
3 eggs
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup onion, minced, optional
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 9″ pie shell
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Sprinkle bacon and cheese in the bottom of pie shell. Beat together eggs, cream and seasonings and pour mixture into pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 325F degrees and continue baking 20 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

The photo at the left appears in Wikipedia in the article about the history of quiche. The first quiche originally appeared in Germany, then it was adopted by the French. In the photo you can see that today’s quiches are baked with spinach, crab, and just about anything the modern chef can imagine.

I hope you can duplicate this beautiful dish that’s just as popular in France today as it was in Florida years ago. This classic remains my favorite Sunday breakfast treat.

It’s even better than bacon and eggs!


Making Artisan Breads in Boquete

Written on August 21st, 2010 by 16 shouts

Boquete is high in the mountains of Panama, not a likely place to find real, artisan breads baked in a clay oven. But, Mort’s oven was all fired up for his bread-making class of students eager to discover how Mort makes such a fine, rustic delicacy in Boquete.

Mort’s recipes are tried and true, baked many times in the high mountain air. The results can’t be beaten, anywhere in the world fine breads are baked.

Some bakers are famous for their baking, such as Rose Levy Beranbaum. She has written several books on bread and cake baking, and Mort studies her techniques and adapts them to our high, mountain location, making his breads just perfect.

The class assembled to find out just what makes Mort’s breads so special, was it the yeast, the flour, or his oven?

Throughout the afternoon, students measured, mixed, kneaded, stretched and shaped dough, making it exactly the right consistency for a perfect loaf of artisan bread. Each loaf must be a work of art, feeling just right, formed just right and having just the right aroma of a fine, hand-crafted loaf of rustic, one-of-a-kind artisan bread.

The smells of the wood fire baking hand-made rustic bread, floated through Mort’s home. Aromas to remember! It was difficult to imagine being a part of making authentic breads like ancient tribes throughout the world made thousands of years ago.

Each student marked, seeded and set their loaf into Mort’s clay oven. The oven had reached 650F degrees, just right for baking “hearth” bread. In only a few minutes, the beautifully baked, golden loaves were finished and set to cool.

The final experience was learning the fine points of bread-making. Mort taught students how to measure by weight, to blend the dough smoothly and to knead it until silky smooth. Each time an additional ingredient was added, the scales were set to zero and weighed again. The ingredients were blended with a wooden spoon, rolled into a ball and kneaded until the dough was exactly right. Only after long practice, was the ball made into a perfect dough.

Learning how to create rustic breads in your own kitchen is an art, and it takes a little know-how and practice.

To learn these techniques, a second bread was made during class, an authentic French bread recipe. This bread is made using the baker’s own feel as the ultimate indicator of texture and tenderness.

The bakers will take this dough home to rest, ferment, rise and bake tomorrow.

The first loaf of warm hearth bread is to enjoy now, as soon as we can gather our family and friends to share this tasty, memorable “staff of life”.

The results will be amazing, an experience to remember!

Thanks, Mort, and happy baking!

Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook is Here and You’re Invited to the Party!

Written on June 8th, 2010 by 3 shouts

Many residents and contributors to the new “Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook” have been anxiously waiting the arrival of the published books themselves. Attendees of Boquete’s Tuesday Morning Market have tasted some of the sweets that are included in the Sweet & Savory Coffee Mates chapter, including Chocolate Truffles and Mounds Drops.

Several recipes are included that have been contributed by Host Chefs participating in Boquete Gourmet’s “Host Chef Program. The world-famous Rumaki first appeared at Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Hollywood, and Host Chef, Greg Henry traveled from Los Angeles to share this delicacy with us here in Boquete. He planned the “ultimate” Hollywood party for students attending his “Golden Age of Hollywood” cooking class, and 3 of Greg’s recipes will appear in the book. Above, Leisure Chef Squirt James assists students in making her unique French bread, see recipe in the cookbook.

Speaking of parties, one chapter is dedicated solely to Fancy Town Parties that have been thrown in Boquete over the past few years. Hosts and hostesses have contributed some of their favorite recipes to the book, you’ll really like making Georgianne and Barry’s Breakfast Casserole. Below, Jane set a lovely party table for a special get-together with friends.

Several Local Charities Helping Others have contributed recipes that connect with some of the good work that is helping to develop lives in Boquete. You’ll enjoy making Aida’s Arroz con Leche and Anayansi’s Empanadas with Ripe Plantains.

One chapter contains many Highland Favorites written by long-term residents and native Boquetenos. The favorite Sancocho Soup is written by my friend Julia, complete with her twist on this old-time Panamanian recipe. This photo is of the otoy she prepared for her soup.

Of course, two chapters are dedicated to coffee, Boquete’s foremost product. Coffee Comes First features dishes made with coffee as the main ingredient. The Coffee Mates chapter includes sweet and savory side dishes to be served with locally grown coffees, such as Bourbon Balls served with Cafe Dos Jefes.

Now, the books are in Boquete and the “Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook” Signing Party is scheduled. Everyone is invited to the party, which will be held in our Cantina in El Santuario on Wednesday, June 16, 4pm-6pm. All the contributors have been invited to come and to bring their favorite pens to sign books for everyone.

The party will be lots of fun, a chance to taste some of the dishes from the cookbook and to get copies of this first-ever Boquete cookbook signed by the author and many of its contributors. The cost of the book is $8.00 and if purchased at the party, books will include a collector bookmark and you’ll have the opportunity to get books autographed by the contributors.

The party is complimentary, only a reservation is needed by email to
Please RSVP as soon as possible.
Hope to see you there,

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!

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