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Passport & Plate - Plantain Chorizo Hash + Panama Fruit Smoothie

Panama | Tuesday, 3 March 2015 | 5 photos

Over the summer I visited Bocas del Toro in Panama. I stayed on Isla Cristobal near Dolphin Bay, so named because of the mammals that would play within its protected waters. I stayed in a tiny house perched above the waters of the Caribbean. Because of the island surrounding us, the waters below it were placid and felt like bathwater. I took a hike on our island and walked through a virtual grocery store hanging above us in the trees: limes, coconuts, breadfruit, bananas, passion fruit, and even cacao pods.

Back at our little island hut, I was acquainted with my open-air bedroom above the rustic kitchen. My hosts gathered a number of different ingredients during our time together, and on my last morning I put some ingredients together into the oven, pan, or blender to create a meal as my way of thanking them. The meal was like any other meal I prepare at home: it was made with local ingredients and love. We sat together and shared a meal, marveling in the freshness of every bite and the warmth surrounding us.

That meal was special because of that place. During my time at Bocas we had just entered a new moon cycle. The nights were darker since we did not have the moon’s spotlight. I took a paddle board into the Bay and would paddle for hours, looking up at the night sky illuminated by billions of stars. I would then look down at the water as I paddled through it and would watch bio-luminescent plankton and algae stir around my vessel. I would jump into the dark water and would feel like I was swimming within the stars overhead. I would lay on my back, watching the Milky Way slowly forge a path across the night sky and losing count of the shooting stars whizzing past. During those moments I felt that this incredible life we have is an amazing one. I felt so fortunate to be able to live on that board, on that sea, in that country, and in this life for even that one moment. I knew that I would not take any day—or any night—for granted ever again. And I haven’t since.

Even if you aren't on an island in Panama, you can recreate your own savory breakfast hash and sweet smoothie.

For the hash:
3 plantains (green for savory; yellow if you would prefer sweet)
1 lb chorizo
1 medium sweet yellow onion
1 bell pepper or jalapeno (to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic (to taste)
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp cumin
1 lime
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
(optional) 2 eggs prepared as desired

For the smoothie:
1/8 breadfruit (trimmed, steamed, and cooled in advance)
1/4 watermelon
1 passion fruit
1/3 cup Coconut milk or coconut water

For the hash:
Preheat oven to 375˚. Peel plantains and slice approx. ½” to 1” thick. Spread 1 tbs coconut oil on baking sheet, then add plantain slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning plantain slices about midway through.

While plantains are baking, mince garlic and set aside. If chorizo is in sausage links, either remove from casing or slice chorizo sausage into ½” slices and set aside. Dice onion and pepper.

Add 1 tbs coconut oil to skillet and cook onion and pepper on medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add chorizo and cumin and cook until sausage is cooked through, approx. 7 minutes.

Remove cooked plantain slices from oven and add to sausage mixture while still hot. Stir together, and finish with freshly-squeezed lime and salt and pepper to taste. (Optional) Top with eggs and enjoy!

For the smoothie:
Place all ingredients into a blender; blend until smooth and enjoy!

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