By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3
Is there anything better than, well, absolutely anything wrapped in toasted golden cheese? This was a new thing for me in Dominical, and I spent a few weeks trying to conjure up the courage to attempt it. When I experienced it, my mind went in a million different directions, and I was left both satiated and disappointed that I had not thought of it myself.
One of our favorite breakfast spots was a brewery specializing in desayuno tipico, a dish that I did not personally get but that I sampled every day that someone else did. It was rice and beans, wrapped in a crusty golden cheese wrap with scrambled eggs on the side. We were not expecting it on day one. Someone merely ordered it thinking that it sounded interesting, and we all sat around the breakfast table wondering what had just happened to our lives.
As we ventured through our Central American trip over the eight days that we were there, we tried a great many things. Zip-lining was much better than it was in Kauai years ago, and that was breathtaking to say the least. The hiking was glorious, although our host told us to be careful in the jungle as the venomous vipers had made their way down due to the rainy season.
That little piece of knowledge put us on edge, especially as one had been killed a few days earlier on the property and one was lying dead in the road, a car having veered out of its way to dispatch the creature. Apparently, without the antidote, a bite from one of these little bastards means death within 30 minutes. Needless to say, we were vigilant as to where we were walking.
One of the best parts of the trip for me was seeing the monkeys that I had heard on a previous trip but had never laid eyes on. The howler monkeys and Panamanian white face monkeys were delightful to watch. If you have never heard a howler monkey before, look a video up online. With their enlarged esophagus, they make a horrifying noise, mimicking a dinosaur. It is more of a constant roar. You can hear them for miles.
We heard them most of our trip, and it wasn’t until my daughter woke us up from a nap abruptly that we actually got to see them in person. As we walked outside, groggy from the midday slumber, we could tell that they were close. We snuck to the jungle’s edge and then we saw branches rustling. Gathering our safari-like wits about us, we slowly worked towards the beasts, they themselves staying ten yards up in the trees but moving across the horizon. And the growling; wow, the growling. It was electrifying, as it sounded so powerful so close to us.
The cartload of monkeys moved from tree to tree, making their splendid noise and paying us little mind. We watched them for about forty minutes, and then they made their way back up the mountain to their humble abode.
Later in the day, three of us went on a hike next to the property, and that is when we saw the Panamanian monkeys, or capuchins. These are the monkeys that are typically used as ‘organ grinder’ monkeys. They were immensely cuter than the howler monkeys. At the last restaurant in which we dined before coming home, the capuchins came out of the forest at sundown and walked around, waiting for guests to feed them bananas and pineapples. It was quite the show to go along with dinner.
Throughout our trip, my girlfriend was impressed that I was able to mimic the howler monkey’s call. I believe that she said it was proof positive that I must be much more closely related to them than most people.
Either way, I was happy to have the breakfast that we did to sustain us through our adventures.
Things wrapped in golden, toasted cheese; what will they think of next?
6 ea. Large fresh eggs
2 Tbsp. Whole butter
1 c, garden-fresh heirloom tomatoes
1/2 ea. Red onion
Fresh basil, as needed
Chilies, as needed
2 c. Shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices provolone cheese
1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and season to taste. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
2. Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the tomatoes and onions until most of the water has cooked off.
3. Add the chilies and cook for a couple minutes, and then finish with the basil, seasoning the mixture to taste.
4. Add the eggs to this and finish the scramble. Keep warm while you make the cheese ‘wrap.’
5. In a non-stick pan, add some pan spray and evenly spread out half of the cheddar cheese.
6. Top with 2 slices of provolone and cook as though you are making a parmesan crisp for a salad. The cheese will bubble, and you are looking for the ‘wrap’ to start taking a shape of its own. You want it to hold up as you wrap the eggs.
7. Carefully slide the cheese wrap onto the service plate and top with half of the scrambled egg mixture.
8. Wrap the whole thing up with the cheese, and place is seam-side down on the plate.
9. Serve with fresh tomatoes, melon and anything else that your heart desires.
—Paul Suplee is a Professor of Culinary Arts
at Wor-Wic Community College and owner of boxcar40.
Visit him at www.boxcar40.com.