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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving turkey’

Don’t You Love “Non-Traditional”?

Written on November 14th, 2009 by one shout

turkeyWhat a lovely turkey, roasted in a “non-traditional” way, like our forefathers did it 200 years ago.  The key word here is “roasted”, not baked in a bag, deep fried, covered, or wrapped in foil, but “roasted”, plain and simple in an open roasting pan.  Nowadays, this is called “non-traditional”.

Throughout the evening in this, the second cooking class hosted in my Boquete Gourmet’s kitchen, Chef Lauretta put the emphasis on the way it was when real flavor was savored and enjoyed, when real fresh green beans were key and when jacket potatoes were baked to perfection in a real oven for at least an hour and a half.  This was real “gourmet” fine dining!

potatoesYes, we’re getting back to the days when flavor was the most important thing, when gravies were dark, when stuffings were rich flavored and when succulent turkey meat was the most important dish of any Thanksgiving dinner.

When the combination of good friends having a good time cooking together, using the finest, freshest foods available anywhere and cooking with a top chef  like Lauretta from The Bistro Boquete, the meal is the icing on the cake.

No wonder everyone had such a good time preparing this very traditional, “non-traditional” Thanksgiving Dinner together.  When we sat down to dinner to enjoy  the meal, we knew this was something special, in special surroundings in this special town of Boquete, high up on the side of a volcano in Panama.

It was an unforgettable evening, so far from our home-land.  Yet, something seemed so familiar and comfortable, was it the crispy, crunchy crust of the golden-brown turkey skin?   Yum!      classaprons

Turkey Without Sage? No Way!

Written on November 13th, 2009 by no shouts

turkey1Of all my years of preparing Thanksgiving dinner, I always baked a turkey with lots of sage.  The stuffing was often quite different, depending on the fashion of that year.  One year, I made wild rice with roasted grapes and walnuts stuffing, another year was croutons, apples, apricots and almonds, even corn bread, pancetta and prunes, on and on.  But, one ingredient every stuffing recipe had to have was sage, and lots of it.

When Chef Lauretta was designing the turkey she was to cook at the Boquete Gourmet cooking class last night, I was afraid that she wasn’t going to use sage in her “Non-traditional” Thanksgiving turkey recipe.  But, I was wrong.  At the first glance of her recipe, I could see she was using poultry seasoning in her stuffing, 2 teaspoons of it.

This was my opportunity to blend my favorite herbs in proportions of my choice to make “Boquete Gourmet” poultry seasoning.  By mixing my own seasoning, I could use as much sage as I wanted.  Here’s my recipe for this delicious blend of herbs and spices that are easily available here in Boquete:

“Boquete Gourmet” Poultry Seasoningpestle

2 tablespoons sage
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme (tomillo in spanish)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Mix and grind all herbs and spices in small coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Store in tightly sealed jar.

The flavor of Lauretta’s dried fruit and sausage stuffing was outstanding, especially when she used my very favorite blend of poultry seasoning.  I have enough left over to use when I roast my very own turkey this Thanksgiving.  I think I’ll try it in Pablano Chile and Pumpkin Seed stuffing.  I hear it’s all the rage this year!

Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Class - Nov. 12

Written on November 4th, 2009 by no shouts

thanksgivingclassExecutive Chef, Lauretta Bonfiglio, from The Bistro Boquete Restaurant, will present a Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Class on Thursday, November 12, 2009, beginning at 5:00pm.  The class will be hands-on, so you will be able to cook along with Lauretta!

You can read about Lauretta on my blog, “Lauretta’s a Star!”. Her style of cooking was developed in Colorado, where she was chef and cooking instructor for many years. Her paired wine dinners are very popular at The Bistro and tickets to those events sell out quickly.

LaurettadavidThe menu for next week’s class includes the Thanksgiving turkey, Lauretta-style, with dried fruit stuffing and giblet gravy. She’ll show how she makes her signature twice-baked potatoes, real green bean casserole and pumpkin rum mousse.  She’ll also include a few surprises.

The fee of $35 includes the hands-on class, full Thanksgiving dinner, recipes and a glass of wine or eggnog.  Please bring your favorite knife, as your knife skills will be sharpened, as well.

The class will be held in my kitchen, just above the castle in El Santuario, Boquete.  Lauretta and David are the perfect team to make each class so much fun, Lauretta cooks and David pours!

Please email me for reservations at or my cellphone number is 6614-9514. You may pick up your tickets at The Bistro, but go quickly, there are only 4 tickets left!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at this “Very Non-traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Class”.  TBG

Non-traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Class

Written on October 27th, 2009 by one shout

thanksI, The Boquete Gourmet, will again host Chef, Lauretta Bonfiglio of the Bistro Restaurant to cook in my kitchen in Boquete, Panama.

The first class I hosted in my kitchen was presented as a fundraiser for the Bid 4 Boquete Charity Auction event.  The class was a sell-out and a huge success, raising $569.00 for this year’s auction.  If you’d like to read more about that first  class, go to “Lauretta’s a Star”, on this site.  You’ll also see a lovely portrait of Lauretta and a couple of photos of the event.  Click the Bid 4 Boquete link for more information about this year’s auction.

This second class to be held in my kitchen features a full, “Non-traditional” Thanksgiving Dinner, prepared “Lauretta style”.  Students attending Lauretta’s first class experienced what “Lauretta style” is all about.  Cooking creatively with Lauretta, laughing with friends and enjoying really fine food and wine, make for an evening long to be remembered.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, at 5:00pm at the Kent’s kitchen in El Santuario, just above the castle.

Lauretta’s menu includes her very special glazed Thanksgiving turkey with dried fruit stuffing and giblet gravy.    The dinner will include a twist on the traditional favorites; a real green bean casserole (no canned beans, soup or fried onions, please) and twice baked potatoes.  The dessert will be pumpkin rum mousse made with real heavy cream, the perfect ending to this “gourmet” Thanksgiving dinner.

The fee for this Thanksgiving Dinner cooking class is $35.00, including the hands-on class, the complete Thanksgiving dinner, printed recipes and a glass of wine.

Lauretta’s first class sold out quickly, so please contact Lauretta or me as soon as possible to reserve your seat.  You may make advanced reservations my commenting on this blog, or you may call me (507) 6614-9514, Lauretta at (507) 6678-6017 or email me at

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