With the weather this stinky our thoughts turn ever more readily to the comforts of the kitchen.
Thanks to a tip off from Rudy, who has researched the matter exhaustively, we are now properly acquainted with Pollo Frito Pinulito, whose patented recipe for fried chicken is by some way the best in Antigua. (We used to patronise Alina's, but they started roasting lower quality birds and at the same time put their prices up.)
Rudy and I met up again recently for another agreeable lunch at Ubi's. We both road-tested the Sopa de Curry con Mariscos, which was delicious. The recipe is based on a Thai red curry paste, diluted to just the right consistency and piquancy to function as a soup. Jeremías is a very competent Asian chef. If I could alter one thing at his restaurant it might have to be the presentation: I'd have preferred a bit of crockery to the plastic bowl my soup was served in.
The pargo in the pic above was a leftover from one of Felipe's weekend festines. We pan-fried it and prepared separately a Malaysian-style fish sauce with red chiles, shallots, coriander, cumin, tamarind, a dollop of honey, y un toquecito de chipilín!
V's sister Silvia is a very different kind of cook. Whereas V can hardly ever bring herself to make the same dish twice, Silvia delights in re-creating the staples Guatemalan cuisine. A couple of Sundays ago she prepared one of the largest ollas I have ever seen of pepián de 3 carnes (costilla, lomito de res and gallina) for a family gathering. It was really delicious; her chiles rellenos are scrumptious too.
If nothing else the elotera metiche seems to have convinced a number of the locals in Panorama that there's money to be made from selling grub to transients and construction workers. This week one of our neighbours opened up a little cafe in their garage selling 'delicious lunches'. I'm looking forward to trying their atoles, especially the arroz con leche.