Monday Meal Review: Ecuador

Keith & I on the California coast, before Ava was born. I am about 5 months pregnant.

Happy Anniversary! This is our 52nd meal for our Global Table Adventure!  Our celebration post will be up in a few hours. THE SCENE: "Hurry!" I muttered to myself, zipping around the kitchen. We had a date. A date! Actually, not just a date. An extravaganza. First, we were scheduled for a couples massage (thanks to a generous gift card from friends) and then, a movie (thanks to my dear brother who sent movie passes with our Christmas card). I can't count the number of times we've … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ecuadorian Potato & Cheese soup with Avocado (Locro de papa con queso)

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Makes a gallon (4 quarts) If you've never had locro de papas, you're in for a surprise. The fine people of Ecuador love this comforting and healthy soup, especially on a chilly day. And why not? Tinged orange from ground annato, most of the flavors remain familiar - potato, cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Feel free to substitute parsley if you hate cilantro. Just so long as you try this soup. You'll love it. Ingredients: 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ecuadorian Open-Faced Cornmeal Omelet with Cheese

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I'm not sure what Saturday morning breakfast looks like at your house but make me one promise... some Saturday soon... whip up one of these crazy open-faced cornmeal omelets.  Tip: make life easier on yourself and cook up the cornmeal with dinner, the night before. Happiness is just two eggs away! Serves 1 For the omelet: 1 tablespoon butter 1/8 c green onion 2 eggs 1/2 c cooked corn meal 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro 1/4 cup shredded cheese (monterey jack and cheddar … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chunky Warm Peanut & Achiote Salsa from Ecuador (Salsa de Maní)

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Warm salsa is a novelty to me, but not to lovely Ecuador. They love spooning this nutty, oniony mixture over potatoes, but it is also enjoyed with anything from chicken to guinea pig. For a more fluid salsa, add extra milk and puree to desired consistency. Adapted from Latin & Caribbean Grocery Stores Demystified by Linda Bladholm. Makes 2 cups Ingredients: Oil 1 Tbsp whole Achiote/annato (available whole or ground) 1/2 tsp cumin 1 small onion, chopped 1 cup unsalted … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Ecuador’s Crowning Glory (w/ poll)

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Ava didn't like bananas at first. Mashed, pureed with yogurt, cut into chunks... the best reaction I could from her was a giant baby-frown. She just wasn't a fan. Then one day I spotted mini bananas at the store. They were the cutest thing I'd ever seen. About 4"long, they were sweeter than regular bananas (more floral, too) and just the right size for Ava to eat out of hand, like she'd seen me do a hundred times before. Incredibly, this new, miniature format was an instant success. She's … [Read more...]

Recipe: Apple Empanadas

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Sweet, cinnamon-loaded apple empanadas are perfect for popping at parties. Popular throughout south and central america, these tidbits will be gone before you can put the tray down. Try serving warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche. Makes 4 dozen 3 1/2" empanadas Ingredients: 2 batches of empanada dough For the filling: 4 cups peeled, chopped apples (about 3 medium apples) 1/2 cup sugar 1/8-1/4 cup raisins 1 tsp cinnamon 4 Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Dough for Empanadas & Pies (with video)

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Borrow your mother, grandmother, brother, sister, father, grandfather. All of them! This recipe is best made with a gaggle of family, all chitter chattering and covered in flour. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. You can use this soft, pliable dough for any empanada (or pie, for the matter) - sweet or savory. We like it with our beef and apple fillings. Makes 2 dozen 3 1/2 inch empanadas Ingredients: 2 cups  flour 1 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 8 Tbsp  cold butter 2/3- 3/4 cup ice … [Read more...]

Menu: Ecuador

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When did a running, giggling, dancing toddler possess my sweet baby? When did she learn how to say "Hi baby"? How does she know to brush her teeth after eating? And, most importantly, when will the word "yes" cross her lips? Even if I can't get Ava to say it, as far as Ecuador is concerned, this menu is a "yes." Each dish is made up of regionally loved ingredients, such as potatoes, corn, and peanuts. Enjoy this small window into the world of Ecuador. What sounds good to you? Ecuadorian Potato … [Read more...]