While visiting Cali we met Vicky Acosta, the Executive Chef and Owner of one of the best restaurant in the city, Platillos Voladores. She shared with us the delicious and inspiring ways she uses panela.
To start, Rollitos de Chontaduro. These savory spring rolls are filled with chontaduro, parmesan and ricotta cheese, served with a decadent panela and cayenne pepper sauce.
Chontaduro is a unique fruit that's popular in Cali and along the Pacific Coast. It has smooth red skin, a starchy texture and earthy flavor that makes it taste more like a potato than a fruit.
Vicky made us some special, off-menu Chorizitos. Little sausages between fried queso costeño and tortilla, drizzled with a guarapo and panela sauce.
Next we had the Posta Negra, a beef dish originally from Cartagena. It's a panela marinated cut of tri-tip, or punta de anca, slow cooked with wok veggies. Then topped with fried onions and served with Arroz con Coco, rice cooked in coconut milk.
We also had an amazing dinner-meets-dessert dish, Lomo Banano. Beef tenderloin with an Amaretto-Panela glaze, topped with a caramelized banana and cinnamon. It was the ultimate sweet and savory combo.