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Published Friday, October 2, 2020

The secret is in the sauce

By Melissa Pette

How nice to start the day giving thanks. I'm very grateful to all the readers who have taken their time to write to me. If I am delayed sometimes, please forgive me. I will always respond.

This column has become a beautiful way to get to know expats living here and also who are cooking lovers.

Today we have a new friend, Bob Stockman. I thank him for his kind and cheering words on this column, which is dedicated to all foodies.

Bob tells us a tiny bit of his story, of "already retired American living in Escazú and enjoy cooking very much," he said.

Thanks to Bob's question last week about where to buy dry sherry wine, we found the spirits supplier company Vicosa, that we mentioned in last week's column.

Just in case you missed last week's column, you can read the archived article, "What was the first Costa Rican traditional food you had?”

For more recipes, visit the Food and Good Eating page.

Our friend Bob, shared his sherry sauce recipe that can be adapted, as he said, to "Costa Rican groceries and common taste favorites here."

I think he is totally right. Sauces are often the secret of a successful recipe, with it we can highlight meat or fish dishes. We also can add a delicious sauce on any all types of snacks or salads. Yummy!

Sherry Cream Sauce

By Bob Stockman
Living in Escazú

I have a basic and generic sherry cream sauce that can be added to pasta of any type with good results. This recipe can also be used as a sauce to bake chicken thighs or pork cutlets. Sour cream can also be substituted for heavy cream. A little "culantro" (cilantro in English) is good.

For serves 12 people, the ingredients are:

• 3 Tbsp. butter

• 1 medium clove garlic, minced

• 2 Tbsp. grated sweet onion

• 2 cups heavy cream

• 1/4 cup dry sherry

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Step 1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook for about 1 minute until the onion is tender, stirring constantly.

Step 2. Stir in cream and sherry. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce by about on-quarter. Add salt and pepper.

There are several readily available CR dishes that could be improved with an ounce or two of dry sherry added at the end. One is the "Crema de Mariscos" soup using Maggi brand powdered mix with the 1/2 kilo frozen package of mixed uncooked seafood.

Another is sautéed chicken or pork cutlet pieces then sauced in the Maggi "Delicias de Pollo ala Reina" mix served over rice.

A third option is in the case of some classic Italian seafood dishes, so-called "Frutti di Mare" which can be made using the same frozen seafood package mixes mentioned above.

To illustrate Bob's sauce, he shares an image of that recipe made by Angie P., from the Angie's website.

Pura Vida and Salud!

Editor's note: Email your comments or inquiries to Melissa Pette at

Do you want to share your recipes with AM Costa Rica readers? Send your homemade recipes with a horizontal photo of the dish to


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