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  Meals & Recipe  


"Very very  important in any   fishing trip...


I am please to offer a mix  of Local meals  and International cooking basically French and Italian...


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In this Page


*  What for Dinner?  Catch of the day, or River Scrimps? Click

*  Basic daily "Menu ", Plat du Jour, Casado...  Click 

River scrimps, Langostinos, Camarones de Rio, Ouassou... Click

*  Cooking: My favorite French Sauce... Click

*  Bernie's  Martini and Daiquiris  Click



What for Dinner?  Catch of the day, Bao, River Scrimps?

Costa Rica and Nicaragua are  not Gourmet destinations... Meanwhile in San Jose, Managua, Granada there are some  good restaurants.

I am living in the area since 20 years, I have my address book, Asseri ( Local Surtidas ), Le Chef Jacques ( Basic good French cooking ) ,  Fellini  ( Really Gourmet Italian ) are some of the places I like and recommend.

Around and on our fishing ground where we will be most of the time, the basic of Meals is Rice and beans, Beans and rice... it is called Gallo Pinto, Casado, or Arroz con Frijolles  whatever the name It is the same in all central America...

As in no way I can give to my guests rice and beans for Breakfast, Lunch and dinner during seven days   I had to do something...  What I done is than I decided to  add some basic French dishes , and international cooking I learned from my Travel...  

Meanwhile we have here  some interesting Typical local Dishes: the Gallo Pinto, El Bao, The Tortillas, El Casado, Los Picadillos....

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 Basic daily " Menu "

In the morning  Traditional Gallo Pinto with eggs, on witch I add hot fresh bread, Butter, Various excellent Marmalade , Fruits according to season Pineapple, Banana "Jardin", Mango , Fresh fruit juice..

At Lunch , Normally our lunch is at friends Ranchos on the river banks.. Obviously there will be some rice and beans around, but then we add Potatoes or  Yucca or Tiquisque , and Morning catch that can be filet or whole...,  Chicken is always around , and some eventual  exotics surprises as Deer, Turtle or Turtle eggs...   If around lunch time we have a tarpon on then we will go on fighting it and eat aboard...we always have enough ( Just in case ) in our coolers, various Fruits , a lot of Cookies, Ham, Marmalade,  Butter, bread etc...

Dinner are more "sophisticated ", we generally have them at my lodge or in local restaurants, Kaoma, El Mirador in San Carlos, Hospedage in Solentiname and El Castillo... We generally have our catch of the day , It can be grilled , or filet, with different sauce, French style with wiping cream and Mushrooms, In tomatoes and Oignons, In Garlic sauce etc....We also may have some of our famous River scrimps, or  Chicken, or meat ( some time deer..)  All this can be cooked at La parilla o a la plancha, Pollo a la crema del Kaoma is also  good.. etc.. What we do is than many time I pass in the Kitchen to be sure ..and  eventually give all this cooking a French touch... If I do not go in the kitchen it's because I already  teach the cook...

River scrimps, Langostinos, Camarones de Rio, Ouassou...

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 They are still some in our area more and more difficult to get but we always try... and are the opportunity to survive for some  family located in the jungle.
Wild Camarones de Rio almost disappear every where in the world ( For Example No way to find them in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the FWI , Long ago it was the delicatessen  Ouassou ... now  gone but people are still "Crazy for them " , a gentleman  from there asked  me to send some... he wanted to send me a Charter Jet every week.!!!..).
Around San Carlos people fish them at night in the Jungle river aboard small wooden pirogue. No way to use conventional Trap, they use an open on top wooden box with stones in it , 10/15 feet rope and a buoy they put a Bait ( Any dead fish would work but The best is a Machaca ) wait a few hours then slowly lift the basquet ...if there is 3 River scrimps in the box at this moment they will probably get one in the boat. Per night using 20 traps they will probably collect between 5 to 10  River Scrimps...A tuff fishing  but enough to make a living....
These river scrimps are around 1lb each.. Almost a lobster ...body is around 8/9 inch long , claws up to 12 inches!!!
Very very aggressive they are really dangerous to catch , the bit do cut a lot..the only way is they catch your hand or finger is to not move...  Easy to say....
I am always impressed when I see the little boys catching them, they have a very precise technique they distract their attention with one hand and with the other grab them by the back....Not easy
In most of our trip we buy some from our friends on the river banks and have a Special dinner with our guests...this is a Unique meal...in my opinion much better than lobster.
Our area is one of the few place in the world where you can eat this wild specie it is impossible to eat in Europe or in state , whatever the Restaurant you go , whatever the price ...Exist  farming  of somewhere similar specie in the Caribbean also in Costa RICA ,  the great producer are in Asia , Please Trust me I also did try this Farm ones  NOTHING COMPARE to the wild one we have here...
I forgot this is  also one of the favorite meal of our Tarpon.


phil1.jpg (28586 bytes)Cooking: My favorite French Sauce... 

Will match almost all fish,

( A new experience for me to write a Cooking Recipe in English...not easy I hope it is understandable...)

I call this sauce , "La tentation du fils de Jean". All of you know how simple we are ( " the Improvised French cooks" ) as soon as we talk cooking ...in reality this sauce apart from it's name is very simple...
Filet a fish , I enjoyed  this sauce with Grouper ( Merou in Greece ) , Flounders ( in Normandie France ), Dorado ( in Florida and St Martin FWI ) , Snook ( in San Carlos), Rainbow Bass ( In San carlos ) etc etc...in reality in my opinion it match almost all fish...
Well LETS GO...Cut your fish filet in steaks, length around 5/7 inch, wide 4/5 inch, thick from 1/2 inch up to 1 inch.....in order these piece of fish do not attach the Frying pan you can put some Flour around them....A FEW please...
Take a small frying pan put in it Butter or Olive Oil...when it is very hot , start to fry some  mushrooms ..( 1 can ) . Once the mushrooms are well fried ( they have to be a bit burn so more testy ) , Stop cooking, add some whipping cream ( 2 cup ) it has to be the Salted one in no way the one used for decorating cake we need NO SUGAR, "Creme fraiche" I WAS ABLE TO FIND in any Super market when I was living in Florida sorry I forgot the exact name or brand.. ,  then add  the juice of half a lime, Chopped Garlic ( a few , but a Must , very thin ) Chopped  oignon ( just a little bit , fewer than the Garlic, also very thin), salt and Black pepper according to your taste, Mix all that carefully while you start to cook with very low heat.......THIS SAUCE must be very hot but MUST NEVER BE BOILING DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS THIS IS THE SECRET...Keep it hot...And taste, taste, taste...adding eventually, lime juice, salt, black pepper according to your preference.....The final touch is to had a bit of chopped Parsley...
Apart, cook you Fish filets...They can be steam ( perfect for some fish ) or better fry in Butter or Olive Oil..( Please Only a few in the Frying pan) .careful if you decide to fry your fish parts when you put them in the Frying pan it has to be very hot....cook according to you taste ...but do not over cook as it generally will destroy the taste of fish...
Once the fish cook and hot, Put it in your most beautiful service Plate, you can add some Chopped parsley and Parts of lime on the side for presentation...( Colors )  , serve the sauce apart , each of your guest will take the quantity he wish....
You can serve this plate with White rice , or Boiled Potatoes...Simple.
As an eventual wine I recommend a Dry white wine...It can be from  France.( a Muscadet , un gros plan, or better a Pouilly fuisse for Example..) ..but they are also excellent dry white wines from California, Chile , or Argentina...( some of my French compatriot will not forgive me for writing this !! but it is true nowadays good affordable wines is no more a French exclusivity )
That's it...and it is easy I do this Recipe in our Jungle of the San Juan river...I think It will be easier in the comfort of your Kitchen...
Bon apetit...

Sometime I feel really sorry for my poor English...if something sound really strange or is totally impossible to understand please E mail me I WILL TRY TO EXPLAIN BETTER 


Bern snook3.jpg (37096 bytes)  * Bernie's  favorite drinks..


They are "Classic" but so special when Bernie make them.. and so fast ... No show ...Efficiency!!!!  ( Thanks  Bernie... it's always with a great pleasure than we think of you and Don...)


# 1 Martini
a glass almost full of good gin..
1 small spoon full of dry vermouth.
3 or 4 large green olives.
1 small spoon full of olive juice.

pour all ingredients into a shaker of ice.  stir and let chill. pour into martini glasses. if
you like, pour over ice (ON THE ROCKS)add 2 or 3 olives or a piece of lemon peel.

#2  a glass full of gin

small spoon full of sweet vermouth, or dry if you don't have sweet.
1/2 a glass of tonic water.
a bit of lemon juice and lemon peel.

mix all together and serve over ice. after 3 or 4 of these, get ready to dance, or fight.................

Bernie cook



14th of July 2003  I got this nice E mail from someone around Mississippi...

E mail is  Gopapat@aol.com        Thank You Philippe


I enclosed a couple of recipes you might like to try.
Here in Louisiana this is the bait we use to catch the really big ones.  However, if you have never eaten alligator gar, you have missed a real treat.  Here are a couple of recipes.  This, as with most recipes, will take a couple of times to get the seasonings adjusted to your liking.
1 lb of ground alligator gar meat from a large one
1 lb of pealed and ground Irish potatoes
1/2 lb of finely chopped green onions
2-3 Tbls minced garlic
2 stalks of finely chopped celery
2 tsps salt and black pepper sprinkled over mixture
2-3tsps Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning or red pepper.  Tony's is best.
2 Tbls of "Try Me" brand Tiger Sauce
Mix well with your hands.  Roll into balls about 11/2" diameter then, flatten to about 1/2" thick.  Roll in yellow corn meal or corn flour and fry.  Hum-hum good.  Try dipping your hands in cold water when fish begins to stick to them.
2 lbs of fresh gar from a large one.
Cut alligator gar meat into steaks about 1/2" thick.  Season with salt, black pepper, garlic, onion and celery powder or Toney's Cajun Seasoning.  Roll in yellow corn flour or corn meal.  Fry until golden brown.  Another hum-hum good.


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