Costa Rica – Insider tips from Paula
Where to go: The unspoiled Nicoya Peninsula.
Where to stay: The Milarepa in Santa Teresa is a beautiful beachfront property perfect for families, couples or friends.
What to do: Surf, fish, yoga, long walks on the beach, and swim in 80 degree water of Santa Teresa beach.
Where to eat: When Chef James Kelly is not cooking for us, we go to Koji in Santa Teresa for sushi.Crab, Mango & Jicama Summer Rolls 20 rolls Ingredients 1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over 2 almost ripe large mangos 2 large jicama 4 oz baby arugula 6 scallions 1 package 8 1/2" rice-paper sheets 1 cup packed fresh fresh cilantro leaves 1 cup packed fresh fresh mint leaves 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves Directions Drain and pick over crab meat and store refrigerated until ready to roll. Cut mango and jicama into strips 1/2" by 2". Trim each scallion into two 5" lengths; slice lengthwise into very thin strips. Place all of your herbs on a cutting board and roughly chop, making sure to cut cleanly through them as to not to bruise them. In a large sauté pan bring about 2" of water to a simmer, season with sea salt. Once cool enough to touch, you’re ready to roll. Get all of your ingredients ready and line a baking sheet with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Place a second clean, damp kitchen towel on a cutting board. Submerge a rice paper roll into warm water until just pliable, place on the damp towel on the cutting board. Across the bottom third of one sheet of rice paper place a few leaves of arugula, a generous pinch of mixed herbs, 2-3 tablespoons of crabmeat, two pieces of mango end to end, and 2 strips of jicama. Cover with strips of scallion, and some more herbs. Roll rice paper into a cylinder, stopping halfway. Fold left and right sides into the middle; finish rolling. Place on prepared baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate. Repeat entire process, making twenty rolls. To serve, cut each roll in half with a sharp knife and serve with Cashew-lemon dipping sauce. Cashew-Lemon Dipping Sauce 1/4 cup light soy sauce 1/4 cup mirin 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons fish sauce 2 scallions, roughly chopped 2 small cloves garlic, grated 1" piece ginger, grated 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil 1 teaspoon lime/orange zest 1 cup unsalted organic cashews, lightly toasted and chopped Green Papaya Salad 6 small or 4 large servings Ingredients: 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2-3 tablespoons (packed) palm sugar or golden brown sugar 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce 4 garlic cloves, finely grated 1 1” piece or ginger or galangal, peeled, finely grated 3 Chinese long beans, halved crosswise or 15 green beans 1 1½lb to 1¾lb green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded 1-2 heirloom carrots, peeled 10-15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro ½ cup chopped fresh Thai basil 2 green onions, very thinly sliced 1 fresh red Thai chile with seeds, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped organic cashews Micro herbs for garnish (optional) Directions: Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside. Cook beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Using a mandolin with the julienne attachment, julienne enough papaya to measure about 6 cups, then julienne your carrots leaving the center bits. Be very careful with the mandolin and use a kitchen towel to protect your fingers. Place papaya and carrots in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, chile, and green beans. Pour dressing over; toss. Sprinkle cashews and micro herbs (if using) and serve.