Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ecuador 3

The other day we had a cooking class to teach us how to do some traditional Cuencano cooking. It is said here in Cuenca that more that half the process of cooking is the chopping, and if you are a good cook you are said to have "un mano bueno" - a good hand.

The meal was to be un entrada (appetizer) of Locro de Papa, which is a very typical creamy potato soup, followed by a plato fuerte (entree) of Fritada (fried, but here boiled seasoned pork), Motepillo which is Mote fried with scrambeled egg and scallions, and Encebolado. For postre (dessert) we made Babaco Dulce which is Babaco cooked down in syrup. We also made our own Jugo (juice) from Tomate de Arbol, which you have to cook, puree with water and sugar, strain, and then chill before drinking.
Here's a picture of the Babaco and the Tomates de Arbol. Guess which is which.

Here's a picture of Mote to give you an idea of what it is. Andean corn has larger, thicker-husked kernels than our United States version and is not sweet. You have to soak it in water before eating, but then it is enjoyed on its own, or mixed with egg in Motepillo, in salads, whatever...

In accordance with the saying, we spent about 1/2 an hour chopping and peeling...

And then the other 1/2 an hour just watching it cook...

But then it was done, and damn was it rico (really good)!

Here is the Locro de Papas garnished with Queso Fresco and Avocado.

Here is the Fritada with the Motepillo and the Encebolado.

And finally the Babaco Dulce, think boiled apples with an essence of pineapple and mango...

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