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What's Cooking Panama!
a few interesting recipes from Panama
By Sherry Boyd

Click on the recipe name to see the recipe.  Click on part 1 through 4 to see specific information about some of the recipes or ingredients.

What's Cooking Panama Articles and Recipes
Part 1 Patacones (Fried Green Plantain)
Part 1 Tentacion (Candied Plantain "Temptation")
Part 2 Chicha de Papaya (Papaya Fruit Drink)
Part 2 Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)
Part 3 Sancocho (Chicken Soup)
Part 4 Tortilla de Maiz con Queso Blanco (Corn Tortilla w/ Farmer's Cheese)
Part 4 Carimañolas (Stuffed Yucca)

Patacones (Fried Green Plantain)

3 green plantains
1 teaspoon salt

Peel plantains and cut into ½ inch slices. Fry in hot oil until golden. Place on cutting board and smash the slices with a glass bottle or rolling pin. Sprinkle with salt and return to pan to fry again. Fry until crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Ketchup is optional! 6-8 Servings.

Tentacion (Candied Plantain "Temptation")

3 large ripe plantains
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
½ teaspoon vanilla
Dash of cinnamon, optional

Hit the plantains on all sides with a wooden spoon to soften. Peel and cut into 5 pieces each. In a large skillet, melt butter and oil on high heat; add plantains. Fry until brown. Combine sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and water. Reduce heat to low and pour liquid over plantains. Continue cooking until the liquid thickens, about 15 minutes. 4-5 Servings.

Chicha de Papaya (Papaya Fruit Drink)

2 cups cut up papaya (peeled and seeded)
1 cup pineapple juice
¼ cup lime or lemon juice
1½ cups papaya nectar (or peach or apricot nectar)
1 cup ice cubes
2 cups sparkling water, ginger ale or 7-Up

Blend thoroughly in blender. Pour in a pitcher and add 2 sups sparkling water, ginger ale or 7-Up. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

2 large chicken breast halves
2 chicken thighs
1 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon achiote spice (or achiote substitute--see below)
3 cups rice
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup whole green olives
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
¼ cup raisins
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup frozen peas
salt to taste

Cook chicken with one-half of the chopped onions, one-half of the green bell pepper, salt and 4 cups water. Cook until tender. Let cool. Strain broth and add enough water to make 5 cups broth. De-bone and shred chicken. Set aside. Heat oil with achiote spice in a large pan; sauté remaining chopped onion and green bell pepper until tender. Add rice, carrots, olives, capers, raisins, Worcestershire sauce, salt and the 5 cups of broth. Cover and cook until rise is tender, 25-30 minutes. Stir in peas. Keep on low heat until ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 8 servings.

[Achiote spice substitute: Mix 1½ tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, ¾ teaspoon dried oregano, 1 minced garlic clove, and ¼ teaspoon ground cumin.]

Sancocho (Chicken Soup)

1 stewing hen (2-1/2 lb), cut in serving pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 Tablespoons green pepper, chopped
2 lbs. ñame, peeled and chunked (potatos can be substituted)
2" section of corn on the cob for each serving (optional)
salt to taste

Put chicken pieces into a stock pot with 2 quarts of water. Add onion, cilantro, oregano and green pepper. Cook for 1 hour. Add salt to tasted. Add ñame, cook until ñame is tender. Add corn last 15 minutes of cooking. Served with steamed rice on the side. Serves 5 to 6 people.

Tortilla de Maiz con Queso Blanco (Corn Tortilla with Farmer's Cheese)

2 cup masa (corn flour)
1/2 cup white farmer's cheese (grated)
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together all ingreditents and form into disks 1/2 inch thick and about 3 inches in diameter. Fry in oil on both sides until slightly browned. Serve.

Carimañolas (Stuffed Yucca)

2 lb. yucca
1 lb. ground beef
3 Tablespoons chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1 hard boiled egg; chopped
salt, pepper and tobasco to taste

Boil yucca until tender. Mash as you would mash potatos. Meanwhile, cook all other ingredients except egg for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add egg. Take 2 tablespoons of yucca and form a ball. Flaten to a circle. Add a tablespoon of meat mixture and form yucca around it and shape into a 3-4 inch roll. Try in oil until lightly browned.