3 Easy Ecuadorian Recipes
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3 Easy Ecuadorian Recipes

Part 2 of My "Rewriting the Holidays" Series

3 Easy Ecuadorian Recipes
Andrea Rodas

Last week was a difficult one to say the least. But instead of talking about what the election results affected me and will directly affect those in my communities and other marginalized communities, because I leave that to those who need and deserve their space as writers, I decided to continue with my series as planned.

This week I will be physically bringing my Latinidad back into my holidays by attempting to cook some of my favorite Ecuadorian foods. Supermarkets in Western Mass. don't have all of the ingredients I would need to bring some of these recipes to life. So, I decided to alter them slightly to both accommodate for what I have access to, and because I cannot cook complicated dishes. Basically, this is the Rachel Ray version of eating Ecuadorian on a budget and with limited cooking experience. Try them out for yourselves and bring a little Ecua into your holiday season. Buen provecho! Shout out to http://laylita.com and my abuela for helping me put these quick and easy recipes together.

Warning: these recipes are very much not vegan or gluten-free, but it is mostly easy to substitute certain ingredients.

1. Maduros con queso

What you will need:

3 very, very ripe plantains

1-2 tbsp. of butter or canola oil (really just use as much or as little as you like)

3 thick slices of mozzarella cheese (or any other creamy cheese you love)

2 tsp. of white, granulated sugar or brown sugar

How to prepare:
  1. Cut the tips off and peel the plantains. Depending on the size you can either cut them in halves or leave them as is. Then, make a a horizontal slit on the middle of each plantain for the slices of cheese to go in later.
  2. Heat the butter/oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the plantain slices and cook on each side until they start to turn a toasty, golden yellow color.
  3. Once the plantains are cooked, turn the heat down to very low or completely off.
  4. Use a large spatula to transfer the ripe plantains to a plate. I suggest using a piece of paper towel under the plantains to absorb any extra grease from them. Add the slices of cheese into the slits and serve immediately.

2. Bolón

What you will need:

2 plantains, peeled and cut into chunks

2 tbs. butter

2 tbs. of canola oil/cooking spray

Salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp. of cumin

1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese or other cheese

1/2 cup of bacon bits

How to prepare:
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in large pan.
  2. Add the plantain chunks and cook until they are very soft. You should turn them about every 10 minutes. Pro tip: when they're ready, they should be slightly golden but not too crispy.
  3. Sprinkle the cooked plantains with the cumin and salt.
  4. Transfer the plantain pieces to a bowl. Do this while they are still hot.
  5. Mash the plantains using a wood masher (or a potato masher if you don't have one) until you have a chunky dough-like consistency.
  6. Make some dough balls slightly smaller than the size of a tennis ball with the dough.
  7. Make a hole in the middle of each ball and fill it with the cheese and the bacon bits. Gently press the filling into the hole, cover the filling and reshape it back into a ball shape.
  8. Now, heat the oil over high heat in the pan. Add the bolónes and fry them until they are golden and crispy on each side.
  9. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the grease and serve immediately.

3. Mote pillo

What you will need:

1 can of white hominy (aka el motesito)

2 eggs

1/2 cup of chopped leeks or onions (or both)

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tsp. of chopped parsley or cilantro (or both)

Salt (again, to taste)

2 tbs. of butter/Canola oil/cooking spray

How to prepare:
  1. Heat the butter/oil/cooking spray over medium heat in a large pan. Add the chopped leek or onions, crushed garlic, and salt to make a refrito. Cook until they are soft, which should be about 5 minutes.
  2. Open the can of the hominy and drain the liquid from it. Add el mote to the pan, stir in well and cook everything for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and then add them to the hominy in the pan, stir well and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cilantro and add additional salt if needed.
  5. Serve accompanied by any extra cheese you have and with some good, strong black coffee.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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