What’s Cooking in… Honduras

By Sandra Scott
This item appears on page 45 of the April 2019 issue.
Large, free-form pool at La Ensenada Beach Resort & Convention Center in Tela, Honduras. Photos by Sandra Scott

In the following article, Sandra describes a trip that was taken before the death of her husband on January 22. Her fond remembrance of John can be read on page 51 and 52 of this issue. — Editor

In December 2018, my husband, John, and I were in Honduras to check on some land we own in Trujillo. It was a long ride there from the San Pedro Sula airport, about eight hours, so we decided that on the way back we would treat ourselves to a few days at an all-inclusive resort before flying home.

Most of the all-inclusive resorts in Honduras are on Roatán island, but those on the mainland are less expensive. The north shore of Honduras is basically 200 miles of beaches just waiting to be developed.

From La Ensenada Beach Resort & Convention Center (Bo High Land Creek, Calle 9, Tela, Honduras; phone +504 2448 8400 or +504 9613 0125, laensenadaresort.com), in Tela, it's only a 90-minute drive to Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, near San Pedro Sula.

We stayed for three nights at La Ensenada, located in Tela's Terencio Sierra neighborhood, and paid a total of $733. The all-inclusive rate covered accommodation, meals, alcoholic beverages and activities.

Our accommodation was first-rate and looked like it had just been redecorated. We had an upstairs room with a long, wide porch.

We enjoyed the resort's large, free-form pool, the sandy beach with shade trees, and the activities. On Friday and Saturday, they had stage shows.

Normally, all meals there are buffet, but when there are only a few guests, meals are à la carte. I asked if, among the variety of activities at the resort, they ever offered cooking classes. I was told 'No' but that the chef would be happy to show me how to make a recipe if I asked.

The Tela Bay area has many pineapple plantations, and the beaches are lined with coconut trees, so Chef Luis Felipe said Coconut Pineapple Seafood would be a good choice for a dish, as it is representative of the area.

He set everything up on a deck by the beach. We hadn't wanted him to go to all that trouble, but we appreciated it and were impressed by his expertise.

I think any variety of seafood could be used for this dish.

Sandra Scott can be reached by email at sanscott@gmail.com.

Mariscada Teleña (Coconut Pineapple Seafood)

2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced 1⁄2 red onion, minced
1⁄2 green pepper, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 oz shrimp
2 oz squid
2 oz mussels on half shell 2 oz sh (tilapia)
2 oz conch
salt and pepper as desired
1⁄2 cup coconut milk
1⁄2 cup sh broth
2 oz (more, if desired) pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tbsp cornstarch as needed
2 sprigs fresh cilantro for garnish
fried plantain chips

Preheat pan and add the olive oil. When it’s warm, sauté the garlic, onions and peppers. Once it’s fragrant, add the thyme and shrimp and stir for a couple of minutes until the shrimp is pink. Add the squid and mussels and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the sh and cook a couple more minutes. Add the conch last, so it will be soft (and not get overcooked), and cook for a couple minutes. Add the salt and pepper, coconut milk and sh broth and cook for several minutes more. Add the pineapple and cornstarch to thicken the mixture. Plate, garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve with fried plantain chips.

Chef Luis Felipe with Mariscada Teleña — La Ensenada Beach Resort, Tela, Honduras.
Our room at La Ensenada Beach Resort had a long, wide porch.
La Ensenada beach, with boats to rent — Tela, Honduras.
Most of the ingredients needed for Mariscada Teleña.
The pineapple has been added to the simmering Mariscada Teleña.
Mariscada Teleña (Coconut Pineapple Seafood) plated and ready to enjoy.