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Volume 15, Number 17
November 12, 2009

lifestyle

Also in this section:
Some traditional architectural details
Coronado Social Association Bazaar
Bomberos' Torchlight Parade
Although the city noise drowned out the howling...
Dining
The champion trains to defend his title
Working out at the Gimnasio Pedro "Rockero" Alcázar in Curundu
San Carlos pays its respects to the Republic
Snapshots of the Indigenous and Campesino March

Are you getting ready to cook up a holiday storm?
Cooking tips, ideas & news
by Marlene Alexander
  • When you are still learning your way around a kitchen, it is easier to improvise when you are making easy dishes like soups or paninis or guacamole; when you are baking cookies or muffins, it is better to stick to the recipe to a T --- especially when it comes to the flour or the baking powder (I ended up once with muffins that didn’t seem to want to stop growing).

  • Be careful with oven temperatures --- many recipes call for a 375 degree heat, but sometimes it is better to stick to 325 or 350 and leave the dish in the oven a little longer --- sometimes really high heats will leave you with a cookie well made on the outside (it burns easier this way) --- and still unmade on the inside despite being true to the time allotted for the cooking time in the recipe.

  • Make your oven light your best friend --- opening and closing an oven to check on the cookies or cake is not a good idea as the heat will flow out and extend your cooking time --- save yourself the trouble by peeking through the oven window for most of the time.

  • When opening an oven to remove your baking dishes, move aside for a second to let the brunt of the heat out. It will help make the heat more bearable when you do lean in to fetch your dish.

  • One of the most well-known Panamanian chefs right now is Sofy de Duran --- her self-titled magazine is fresh, full of fun tidbits, current culinary trends, and contains recipes with colorful glossy pictures. You can also find many of her recipes online at her website: http://lacocinadesofy.com/panama/


Piva nuts. Photo courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture

 

Call them pivas, pibas, palm peaches, pixbae or whatever...

Eric's piva soup

 

Ingredients

• 1 stem (about 2 or 3 dozen fruit) of pivas

• 1 pound of boneless smoked pork chops, diced

• sufficient water

• 1 Spanish onion, peeled and diced

• 1 potato, peeled and diced

• 1 carrot, peeled and diced

• 2 packages of sour cream (about two cups)

• 1 cup cooking sherry

• salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

• Take the piva nuts from the stems, put in a pressure cooker with sufficient water to steam them
• Steam for about 45 minutes, allow to cool
• Remove the seeds, scoop the pulp out of the skins, discarding seeds and skin
• Mash the piva pulp
• Combine piva pulp, pork, onion, potato, carrot and plenty of water in a large kettle, set to simmer
• Add black pepper to taste, remembering that this is a cumulative spice that releases its oils slowly as it cooks and thus gets stronger and hotter
• Simmer for an hour or more, reducing the liquid, stirring frequently
• Allow soup to cool
• In little batches, put soup mixture through a blender and thoroughly liquefy
• Combine back in the kettle with the sour cream, heat through on low, stirring
• Add sherry, stirring well, just before taking the soup off the heat
• Add salt to taste

 

The result should be a thick, creamy, light orange-colored soup with a slightly smoky flavor.

Variations: Use a smoked turkey leg instead of the smoked pork chops and omit the sour cream and sherry and, depending on how strict you are about how the turkey was slaughtered and on the implements you use, you get a version that passes muster before kosher and halal dietary restrictions. Eliminate the pork without substitution and you get a vegetarian version.



Also in this section:
Some traditional architectural details
Coronado Social Association Bazaar
Bomberos' Torchlight Parade
Although the city noise drowned out the howling...
Dining
The champion trains to defend his title
Working out at the Gimnasio Pedro "Rockero" Alcázar in Curundu
San Carlos pays its respects to the Republic
Snapshots of the Indigenous and Campesino March

News | Economy | Culture | Opinion | Lifestyle | Nature
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Tankless Water Heaters --- http://www.eztankless.com/
Panama Hotel: Luxury apartment rentals in Casco Viejo, Panama City
Panama Real Estate: Original travel and investment articles on The Panama Report
Make the Executive Hotel your headquarters in Panama City
Find the boat of your dreams through Evermarine


© 2009 by Eric Jackson
All Rights Reserved - Todos Derechos Reservados
Individual contributors retain the rights to their articles or photos

email: editor@thepanamanews.com
Cell phone: (507) 6-632-6343

Mailing address:
Eric Jackson
att'n The Panama News
Apartado 0831-00927 Estafeta Paitilla
Panamá, República de Panamá