Cooking while in Panama

Peppers were always in abundance.  We roasted them in huge batches to add to most of our meals.  This was a hot project but definitely fun.  Nothing like roasting peppers outside under some wood gathered from around our campsite.  I would jar the roasted, peeled, and chopped peppers in olive oil with garlic.  These were great gifts for the families who helped us while we were down there, especially since they had never had roasted peppers.

Our Fire Pit

Almost Done

Delicious!

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As you can imagine a town on the coast indulges in ceviche.  Mussels, Oysters, Octopus, Fish, Shrimp, Crab, and more.  They came in little cups each costing $1, packed solid with seafood.  Wonderful snack or add on to any meal.  We enjoyed these almost daily.

 Papaya is the one fruit we could not get enough of!  I have always loved papaya and it is one of the things I miss most from home.  They cost entirely too much in the states so we ate as much as we possibly could.  Most of the time we would eat it plain but every now and then I made papaya sticky rice.  White rice cooked and chilled with coconut milk topped with cubed and lightly sugared papaya.  YUM.

Patacones: Fried smooshed plantains!  We made these constantly.  Since our kitchen was outdoors we didn’t have to worry about splattering oil.

Local Ceviche and Papaya Sticky Rice with Patacones

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Salad greens were hard to come by so we used cabbage.  Here I used chopped cabbage, diced tomatoes, canned corn, white vinegar, olive oil, s&p, white rice, queso blanco.  Just a way to eat some sort of salad with what was available.

Salad for Lunch

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There came a point when I was tired of the greasy food.  Everything and I mean everything is cooked in palm oil.  So I started making soup.  It’s amazing how simple you can really cook!  I used local small beans and black eyed peas along with culantro, garlic, carrot, tomato, onion, pepper, and yucca.  Beans were first soaked and then I put them in a pot with all of the raw chopped veggies.  I added water, s&p, and a bit of Panamanian curry (which tastes nothing like the curry we know) and simmered until tender.  We ate this many many times sometimes with rice, chips, or queso blanco.

Sopa

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Another meal we cooked quite a bit was lentils.  Nothing fancy but definitely filling.  Whole red lentils, cooked with carrot, choyote, pepper, onion, garlic, and 5 spice.  Served with patacones and rice.

Whole Red Lentils and Patacones

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Another lentil meal, whole Brown Lentils cooked with culantro, carrot, onion, garlic, s&p.  Served over cabbage for a change from rice.  We had great tomatoes for a short while and were enjoying them raw with queso blanco slices.

Brown Lentils on Cabbage with Tomato and Queso Blanco

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