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Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Red Cabbage Makes a Comeback

Written on March 23rd, 2010 by no shouts

When I asked Caroline if she would like to contribute one of her favorite recipes to the new “Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook“, she immediately said “yes”. One of Caroline’s very favorite recipes is for a dish that she and her mother have made for years, Traditional Braised Red Cabbage with Apples.

Red cabbage is very plentiful in Panama and especially in Boquete, where large fields of cabbages can be seen the year around. The photo above shows a red cabbage that must be growing in alkaline soil, as it’s a bit greenish in color compared to our deep red ones. According to Wikipedia, acid soils are needed to produce the beautiful red cabbages that are grown here in Boquete. We have the perfect moist, cool weather it takes to grow such a gorgeous, nutritious vegetable.

When choosing a cabbage, I buy the firmest, heaviest, most colorful head available, one without many loose outer leaves. Cabbage, whether red or green, is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein and fiber. It’s also mildly anti-inflammatory.

I used my new Cuisinart food processor and my largest bowl when preparing Caroline’s cabbage dish and mixed all the ingredients together first.  By reading Wikipedia, I discovered the vinegar in the recipe is not only for taste, but it helps to keep the red color during the cooking process. Don’t you just love Wikipedia?

Traditional Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

2 pounds (1kg) red cabbage
1 pound (450g) onions, chopped small
1 pound (450g) green apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
1 clove garlic, chopped very small
1/4 whole nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 level teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15g) butter
Salt & freshly milled black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C). First discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it in four quarters and remove the hard stalk. Then shred the rest of the cabbage finely, using your sharpest knife, mandolin or food processor. Next, in a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of chopped onion and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in. Now pour in the wine vinegar and lastly, add dots of butter on the top. Cover tightly with foil and let it cook very slowly in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking. Red cabbage once cooked, will keep warm without coming to any harm, and it will also reheat very successfully. It does freeze well. You may use more spice, it’s a matter of taste.

This colorful and delicious dish compliments fresh, steamed red snapper and rice with garbanzo beans so well. All three of these recipes will be featured in the new “Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook”, coming out soon.

Cabbage is becoming popular lately. At a recent dinner party, hostess Martine Heyer, served homemade sauerkraut, it was really good. It was made with green cabbage, also grown in Boquete. I wonder how sauerkraut with red cabbage would be. I’ll use a “traditional” sauerkraut recipe, like Caroline does with her “Traditional Braised Red Cabbage with Apples”. Why not?

I’ll try it!
Cora

Chasing Rainbows

Written on November 22nd, 2009 by one shout

rainbow

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”, it seems.  I grab my camera and run out into our gardens to take photos of the most lovely rainbows seen anywhere on earth.  Boquete is famous for rainbows, as you know if you’ve read much about Boquete.

As I’m focusing my camera, I’m singing that song about rainbows.  The tune is unforgettable, probably because it was written by Frederic Chopin back in the early 1800s.  If you’d like to hear the tune, go to Wikipedia and scroll down to the recording of “Fantasie Impromptu”.

castlerainbow

The words were written by Joseph McCarthy and it was published in 1918 for the Broadway show, “Oh, Look”.  Since then, over 50 recording artists have recorded it, including Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Liberace.  It’s no wonder I sing that song on my way to record rainbows in Boquete!rainbowcloud

As I’m seeing all these rainbows, I try to focus in on the deepest colors and I try to get as much in the frame as I can.  People with wide lenses get gorgeous shots.  See the one at www.boquete.org, it’s an amazing photo.  This rainbow may have been enhanced a bit, but I’ve seen them exactly like that one, from the same location.

One of these photos is of a triple rainbow taken from my balcony and another of a rainbow above the castle next door. I chase rainbows all over Boquete!

My favorite photo is the one I took of the “rainbow cloud’.  It might not be a real rainbow at all.  Does anyone know what is is?

When you come to Boquete, be sure to bring your camera and carry it with you at all times.  You’ll find rainbows when you least expect them, and you don’t want to be caught in the chase without your camera.

dobrain

Are You a Gourmet? Take this Test

Written on October 19th, 2009 by 8 shouts

diningcoupleSince I started this website, many folks have asked me why I call myself a “gourmet’.  Good question!  Do they ask because they think I’m a snob or is it that they don’t know the meaning of the word?

I have  known the meaning of the word for many years, I know I’m a gourmet, and I’ve been one as long as I can remember.  But now, I’d better research the word to make sure I wasn’t wrong about its meaning.

Both Funk & Wagnalls and Webster’s Dictionaries say that a gourmet is “a connoisseur of good food and drink”.

More updated Wikipedia says a gourmet is “a person with defined or discriminating taste or one who is knowledgeable in the art of food and food preparation.”  In ancient France where the word originated, it was said that ” A gourmet makes a meal beautiful, tasteful and memorable“.

My favorite definition is also from Wikipedia, “gourmet is a cultural idea associated with culinary arts of fine food and wine - which is characterized by elaborate preparation and presentations of large meals of small, often quite rich courses.”

Several food sites boast their gourmet services as “stylish and carefully decorated with artistic flare.”

OK, I’ve got it -take this test and if you can answer these questions with “yes”, you are a gourmet!

1. Do you know how to properly pronounce “gourmet”?

2. Do you prefer some wines over others?

3. Can you tell when your dinner has been prepared especially for you?

4. Are you impressed when your dinner looks as good as it tastes?

5. Can you remember where and when you had a really fine meal?

6. Can you taste and smell the difference in many herbs and spices?

7. Do you know how to prepare and serve a special dish that receives compliments?

8. If you were dining in a fine restaurant, would you ask what the house specialty is?

9.  Do you collect cookbooks?

10. Do you know fine food when you taste it?

If you answered “Yes” to 8 or 10 questions, you’re a “GOURMET”!  Congratulations!

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