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Archive for the ‘Central America’ Category

Rondon Post CardI was thrilled to receive a postcard from one of my closest friends who, after a few years of being a very successful lawyer, realized that suits and contracts weren’t for her. She quit a year ago, has been traveling round the world and currently lives near a beach in Costa Rica.

Kate and I bonded while living in Paris in 2002, over our shared love of food—dinners with my home-stay mother Victoire, crepes from Costas, extravagant mixed cocktails from our friends’ bars, prix-fix bistro lunches, market specials and the like. When I told Kate about this blog and my attempts to chronicle the street food I eat at home and around the world, she excitedly emailed me about the fresh mango and coconut treats she was buying off the street in Costa Rica. And three days later I received a postcard with a recipe for a traditional Costa Rican and Nicaraguan soup, Rondon.Costa Rican Stamp

Rondon is patois for “run-down” as the cook needs to run-down or chase the ingredients necessary for this fish soup. The ingredients and ratios in this soup are flexible and should be adjusted to suit personal taste and available ingredients. For example, I couldn’t find breadfruit so I substituted potato.

Rondon Recipe

The soup was sweetly flavored, although the combination of coconut milk and so many starchy ingredients was too rich for me. Also, I had misgivings about adding the fish in the first stages of cooking, but I decided to follow the recipe—bad choice. The fish was over cooked and disintegrated into the soup as fish-flavored flakes.

Rondon Ingredients

But the soup still had excellent flavors and with the following modifications it would be an easy dish to make and well worth serving. It would be a chance to impress dinner guests with typically Central American flavors:Rondon cooking

1. Ñame=yam, Ñampi=taro

2. Use a ratio of 1:1:1 for the liquid, coconut milk, chicken stock, water

3. Chop onion in quarters

3. Add few cloves of crushed garlic with the onion

4. Add 5 additional stalks of thyme when you add the liquid

5. A handful of jalapeños, sliced in half, will give the soup a spicy edge (clearly I like my food spicy)

6. Add the fish into the soup at the end and cook ’till just opaque and still tender, 5-10 minutes.

7. Serve with fresh ground pepper and slices jalapeños.

Rondon Soup Served

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