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Posts Tagged ‘Renny Kranich’

Underground Dining with the Stars

Written on October 19th, 2010 by no shouts

It was easy to plan this multi-faceted dinner. The location was overlooking a huge, deep canyon in the highlands of Panama, and the menu was prepared by two very talented chefs.

As the hosts enjoyed their amazing view a few weeks ago, and the stars began to twinkle, the theme immediately became apparent - “Dining with the Stars”. Such a dinner would include dining under millions of bright stars that light the tropical skies over Boquete, as well as with famous movie stars of the past and present.

The gracious hosts, Renny and Austin, opened their home to one of the finest Underground Dinners that has ever been presented in Boquete. The menu included five courses, each building upon the other to make a crescendo of flavors, colors and glamour. To add to the glamour, each guest chose a framed photo of a movie star to mark their position at the table, and to alert the servers as to the entree they were to be served. Red frames were served roast pork and yellow frames indicated grilled white fish. It’s a fun idea that can be used for any such gathering.

The full menu included:
Fusion Consummé
Croistini topped with Eggplant Relish

Green Salad with Shrimp

Intermezzo: Beer-soaked Green Grapes

Roast Pork with Cherry Liqueur Sauce
Grilled White Fish with Asparagus-Bacon Sauce
Broccoli & Garlic Pasta
Cucumber-wrapped Zucchini
Fried Black-eyed Peas

Tres Leches Cake with Blackberries & Beer

Chef Renny, assisted by Chef Marvin Pupino, instructor at the prestigious Instituto de Alto Cocina, assembled each dish moments before serving, and plated each course on a unique serving piece. Diners were delighted with the sparkling decor and new tastes as dish by dish appeared before them.

The movie stars added an extra touch of charm to this unique gourmet dinner. It was fun remembering the films, lives and history of Hollywood, even when such a fine dining experience was happening far away in Boquete, Panama, high upon a canyon ridge and under the brightly lit night sky.

More Underground Dinners are planned in Boquete in the near future. The themes will be different and the locations are always a surprise. The lucky diners won’t discover where the dinner will be held until the evening before the event.

Renny and Marvin’s evening of “Dining with the Stars” will be remembered by everyone who attended. It was a most delightful and “star-studded” event.

Thanks very much to the hosts and their entire staff,

If You Love Salmon - Come to Class

Written on September 6th, 2010 by no shouts

If you come from Canada or north-western US, salmon is abundant everywhere. But, if you live in Panama like me, it’s a bit tricky to find fresh salmon in most markets.

Yes, we can find salmon in Rey or Romero’s, two of the largest supermarkets in Chiriqui, if we’re lucky. Lately, both fresh and smoked salmon have been available at Deli Baru Market in Boquete.

Salmon is the common name for several species in the family “Salamonidae”, which also includes trout, a very plentiful fish in Boquete. Salmon is a healthy, “oily” fish because it’s high in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. More than 80% of Pacific salmon are wild-caught, where 99% of Atlantic salmon are farmed. I wonder which variety tastes best.

Boquete Gourmet will host popular chef, Renny Kranich on October 1, in my El Santuario kitchen to share her knowledge about salmon and some of her favorite ways to prepare this delectable fish. Renny’s class will include several salmon dishes that are just right to be served as appetizers, recipes to use when serving salmon for lunch, and she’ll demonstrate how to create a spectacular main salmon dish in a 5-course gourmet dinner.

While waiting for Renny’s class to begin, you might want to try one of my favorite recipes for an Easy Hollandaise Sauce to serve over poached eggs, accompanied with thinly-sliced smoked salmon.
1 stick butter, melted in microwave
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, poached
2 English muffins, toasted
4 slices smoked salmon or gravlax, thinly sliced

Partially fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring to a simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, and cold water. Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If the sauce begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated, then whisk in the salt, and remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm while toasting the English muffins and poaching the eggs.

To present, place opened English muffin halves on a large dinner-size plate. Top with smoked salmon, allowing the ends of the salmon to touch the plate, then top with poached eggs and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a few rings of thinly-sliced red onions and capers, and serve immediately. No side dish is required, unless serving for dinner. This recipe serves two very lucky diners.

Renny has several new, exciting and tasty ways to prepare and to serve salmon you won’t want to miss. If you love salmon like I do, you won’t want to join this fun and informative class. Email to reserve you seat now. The $25.00 fee includes hands-on class, recipe book, full-course dinner, Renny’s favorite cocktail and a glass of wine.

See you October 1!

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.


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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