When a Jewish girl gets married in Panama, she receives a wonderful cookbook called El Secreto del Buen Sabor (The Secret of Good Taste), which comprises a selection of recipes ranging from appetizers, soups and salads to fish, poultry, desserts and more–basically everything to turn her into the best home chef.
The Jewish community in Panama is a melting pot of cultures, with families coming from a wide variety of origins. El Secreto del Buen Sabor was created by a group of women who wanted to share their recipes inspired by the four corners of the globe–Latin America, Mexico, Syria, Turkey, China and more–and it is precisely this melting pot of cultures that makes this cookbook so interesting and worthwhile having in your collection. You’ll learn to make everything from basic Panamanian rices and Asian salads to the most delicious French soufflés and Italian desserts to impress your family and guests.
As the tradition goes, I received the cookbook from some of my Panamanian girlfriends for my wedding. As soon as I ripped off the gift wrap, I couldn’t wait to flip through the delicious pages and find inspiration for many meals to come. Every recipe I’ve ever cooked from the cookbook was so wonderful, making El Secreto del Buen Sabor my go-to reference when I need cooking inspiration that will guarantee a great meal. For those who can’t get their hands on a copy, don’t worry, I’ll be sure to bring you some of my favorites in the months to come.
If you love Mediterranean cuisine, this artichoke tomato feta and olive pie will surely be your cup of tea. The original recipe in the cookbook calls for hearts of palm thinly sliced and added to a delicious tomato-and-olive filling. Although the hearts of palm version is divine, I wanted to bring a new twist to the recipe by swapping them out for the warmth and texture of artichoke hearts paired with feta.
The pie’s crispy and soft crust is rather easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge one-day ahead if you’re in a rush. Not only is the crust mouthwatering, but so is the pie’s filling, made by slowly simmering canned tomatoes, chopped olives and artichokes until tender and fragrant. Just the yummy smell in my kitchen made me feel transported to the Mediterranean!
- ½ cup (1.2dl) water
- ½ cup (1.2dl) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (115g) butter or margarine, softened
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 14 ounces (400g) canned tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 14 ounces (400g) canned artichoke hearts, cut into thin slices
- 3 ounces (80g) black olives, pitted, sliced in half
- 5 ounces (150g) feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- To make the dough, combine water, vegetable oil, salt and butter in a big bowl. Slowly add the flour, mixing with your hands, until the dough reaches a perfect and soft consistency. Separate the dough into two balls and set aside or wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- To prepare the filling, heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t burn. Add the canned tomatoes, flour and salt. Reduce heat to low and let the mixture simmer uncovered for 5 minutes until it thickens.
- Meanwhile, cut the artichoke hearts into small slices and add to the tomato mixture. Add the olives and stir well to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool at room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
- To prepare the pie, remove both balls of dough from their plastic wrap. Take two sheets of baking paper. Spread a bit of flour over one baking sheet, place one ball of dough in the middle and flatten with the other baking sheet. Roll out the dough in the shape of a square with a rolling pin. Place the thin and flattened dough in a square Pyrex, making sure to pull the dough up the sides. Cut off any dough that hangs over the Pyrex’s edge and use to patch up any spots that remain uncovered.
- Flatten the second ball of dough according to the steps above and set aside.
- Pour the filling over the first layer of dough, making sure to spread it evenly across the Pyrex. Sprinkle over the crumbled feta evenly. Cover the filling with the second layer of dough and make sure that the pie is entirely covered, pinching the dough on the sides to form a nice design.
- Spread egg yolk over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cook in preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden. Serve warm.
How did your artichoke tomato feta and olive pie come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania