I always begin my ecuador living with a flight into Quito, Ecuador went well as usual but it still make it a long and tiring day. I am always so thankful to have a smiling driver waiting for me at the gate. By the time I grab my luggage and load everything into the car it is about 7:00 PM by my watch but 8:00 PM Ecuadorian time. (I am resetting my watch)
Another couple was on my flight and had the same destination as I did but they never had an Ecuador living experience. After we all loaded in the van we settled back and relaxed for the drive. It usually takes awhile depending on the traffic and conditions. Tonight appeared to be a good night for travel with no rain or fog.
This trip I am staying at a condo which is how Ecuador living should be. I had some regrets about arriving at an empty condo verses a warm friendly suite. A friend has a condo in the same building and I am happy to see him waiting for me with the door opened. The first night went well and I were so tired that once I hit the bed, nothing mattered until morning.
After a tiring day of travel, I always try to make the first day a light one. This is hard to do because the time goes so quickly, if you don’t get busy you can’t fit everything in. I had already scheduled my dental appointment with my dentist in the village. I had a quick breakfast at a local eatery then off to see Bertha. She cleaned my teeth and did a filling and it cost me forty five dollars.
I went into the neighboring village to have blood test done, prescribed by my doctor in the US. While there, I decided to have a late lunch at one of my favorite places. Here they really know how to cook beef, pork and chicken. The platter which I ordered had all three on it. I was told that, before they cook it they marinate this meat in the wonderful fruit juices produced locally. I have never seen so many fruits grown in one place and Ecuador is the largest exporter of fresh fruit. I can easily see how this could be the key to the delicious flavor of these meats.
Jumping a little ahead and getting out of order in my event happenings, I want to tell you about my “chocolate dessert recipe”. This one is certainly a recipe for pleasure. Especially for my “chocoholic “readers, you can “eat your heart out”. How about a complete body exfoliation in pure warm melted Ecuadorian chocolate! While I was relaxing wrapped in a warm thermal blanket, I received a chocolate facial. The chocolate left my skin feeling so good!
After the spa treatments, everyone is offered time to relax in the round room with a fire in the fireplace and burning candles. Then you are served either water or tea, which I was familiar with. To my surprise, I was brought a plate of fresh strawberries covered with the best melted chocolate I ever tried. What an Ecuador living experience!
I have had many conversations about the wonderful fresh products grown in Ecuador this is a standard of Ecuador living. I keep getting asked for more recipes on how to cook quinoa. Since it is so high in protein, it is often served as a main dish.
I took the following Ecuador recipes using quinoa, the one for corn pudding and the cheese sauce from the book titled “Secrets of Traditional Ecuadorian Cuisine” by A. Pozo Garrido. I have made my few changes to the recipes. The book also has other delicious recipes.
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Spray with oil a baking casserole dish.
Wash and boil quinoa until it is soft; drain well.
Beat butter, shortening and salt until creamy.
Add to the shortening mixture the quinoa, yolks, grated cheese and beat well.
Beat egg whites until peaks form and fold into quinoa mixture.
Pour into prepared casserole dish; set in a larger pan with a little water.
Set in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve topped with cheese sauce.
Corn is another staple that is very plentiful in Ecuador. The fragrance of the fresh corn is unlike I have ever smelled anywhere. Try the following way of how to cook corn.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Grease a baking casserole dish.
Mix cheese, butter, shortening, salt, sugar and yolks one at a time while beating; beat until smooth and creamy.
Mix ground corn into creamed mixture.
Whip egg whites until stiff and fold into the creamy corn mixture.
Dump mixture into prepared casserole dish; set in a larger pan with water.
Set in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Serve with cheese sauce.
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat before serving. (Do not boil)