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Recipe Thieves
Beware talented local chefs – your secrets are no longer safe!

By Marcia Banes

Ana’s Family

This month’s Recipe Thief Assignment to steal recipes from the area’s best chefs takes place at La Cocina Doña Ana, and this month’s victim is none other than the restaurant’s namesake herself, Doña Ana. She has owned several sodas in the area over the years before settling at her current location 8 years ago. The restaurant offers a variety of local Tico food and is best known for its fresh seafood dishes.

A trip to Garza takes us to this month’s scene of the crime – Restaurant La Cocina Doña Ana. The restaurant is open for breakfast from 7:30am to 10:00am and for lunch and dinner from 12:00pm-9:00pm and Doña Ana is there all day cooking her delicious food.

Her daughter, Patricia, helps her in the kitchen and Dona Ana smiled when she told us that although Patricia is an excellent chef, she’s not as good as her mom. That kind of confidence is what we love in our chef victims and that is why we are staking out Doña Ana for her recipes.

Doña Ana surprised us when she revealed that this month’s stolen recipe was for one of her most popular dishes, ”Mariscada” or Mixed Seafood. The dish is usually served with a side salad and steamed rice and costs around $17 dollars.

The Seafood

Steps to Prepare Mariscada
Cut one small lobster in half and place in a large bowl, then add 3-4 mussels and a handful of calamari. Next, add 3 oz of diced Pargo to the mixture. CHEF’S TIP: Doña Ana uses Pargo as her fish of choice because it has a firmer texture and holds up well in the cooking process.

Lastly, peeled and divided shrimp rounds out the dish’s seafood selections. CHEF’S SECRET: Doña Ana uses river shrimp because she feels that they have a better taste than ocean shrimp.

For the vegetable preparation combine 1 cup of sliced onions and 1 cup of sliced green peppers together and set aside. In a separate bowl, dice 2 cups of tomatoes into large squares.

Vegetable Preparation

Cooking the Mariscada - Lobster should be cooked on one side

Steps to Cook Mariscada
Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a 13 inch or larger skillet. Turn the stove onto high heat and add 2 tablespoons of fresh garlic. CHEF’S SECRET: Doña Ana puts Rosemary in her olive oil, allowing the flavor of the herb to absorb into the oil.
Next, place the lobster, onions and peppers to the pan. Cook for about one minute then add the mussels, calamari and tomatoes. Cook for another minute before adding the fish and shrimp. CHEF’S TIP: Stir the mixture consistently while cooking to prevent the food from scorching.

Sprinkle salt over the mixture to taste, and your meal is complete. CHEF'S SECRET: Doña Ana uses only fresh seafood in her dishes, she believes the freshness of the seafood is what you should taste, not a lot of seasoning or sauces.

The freshness of the seafood in this plate came through with every bite and all of the components were cooked perfectly. Doña Ana recommended “Alto Sur” Sauvignon Blanc to go with the meal. The white grapes of this Argentinean wine are grown at 4000 feet, giving it a sweeter taste than most whites. A perfect compliment with the sauce made of fresh tomatoes and peppers as well as the seafood, bringing up all the flavors one bite after the other. A place where good food is combine with a friendly family atmosphere.

The Restaurant

Reservaciones / Reservations - 2656-8085
400 mts west from the Villagio entrance on the main road, Garza

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