Ecuacomida {y una receta}

¡Saludos del Ecuador!

I’ve been down here for just over a month and am getting ready to wrap up my ecuatiempo this next week in order to move on to the Peruvian part of my adventure. Mientras tanto, I figured I could share some ecuacomida that I’ve been indulging in.

The great thing about just being here to visit is that I get to eat all of my favorite things. I don’t have to just eat potatoes in soup for desayuno at 4am like I did while living in el campo and I can indulge in the better offerings of Ecuadorian cuisine. I’ve also learned to make quimbolitos, an amazing Ecuadorian pastry that I’ll share the recipe for.

So what was on the “to eat” list? Among others….

Empanadas Chilenas at my favorite spot in El Centro, the old colonial part of Quito

Empanadas Chilenas at my favorite spot in El Centro, the old colonial part of Quito

Helados de Salcedo: creamy popsicles with four flavors (top->bottom: vanilla, mora/blackberry, taxo, and naranjilla)

Helados de Salcedo: creamy popsicles with four flavors (top->bottom: vanilla, mora/blackberry, taxo, and naranjilla)…a perfect bus treat

 My friend Kim and I went out to the coast and indulged in tons of ceviche (including the Manabita variety, where they add salty peanut butter!) as well as some BOMB Colombian food at this place called Patacón Pis’ao (smashed plantain).

So fresh and so good!

So fresh and so good!

Our favorite place in Puerto López, Patacon Pis'ao. Colombians do patacones RIGHT.

Just look at those patacones!!!

I’ve been staying with my old host family while here in Quito, and we actually took a day trip down south to Ambato for the sole purpose of eating empanadas de morocho (morocho is a type of corn) and llapingachos. We also had some of my favorite jugo de aguacate (an avocado smoothie made with coconut milk), and got some mote (hominy) and horneado (roast pork) while we were in the market.

empanadas de morocho, aka crunchy flavor nuggets that you can eat about 30 of at a time

empanadas de morocho, aka crunchy flavor nuggets that you can eat about 30 of at a time

FELIZ with my jugo de aguacate and empanada de morocho.

FELIZ with my jugo de aguacate and empanada de morocho.

mote con horneado

mote con horneado

A fully-loaded, fully-Ambateño, llapingacho plate.

A fully-loaded, fully-Ambateño, llapingacho plate.

We’ve even made “jesus cookies” with what chocolates we had around, since you can’t get Reese’s down here.

Made with ferrero rocher chocolates!

Made with ferrero rocher chocolates!

We’ve also made oatmeal raisin cookies, an awesome carrot cake (blended, not American-style, recipe forthcoming…), fritada (fried pork, YUM), among other things. It’s been fun learning some traditional ecuacomidas, and sharing some of my own food (like curry-carrot soup and mac n’ cheese).

But on to the recipe. Quimbolitos are super rico Ecuadorian pastries, like little cakes. You eat them with your evening cafecito and they are so delicious and fluffy and just sweet enough. These little flavor bombs are wrapped up in atchiera leaves (native to the Amazon…apparently you can get them sometimes in NY because there’s a large Ecuadorian presence, but otherwise use banana leaves).

 

Quimbolitos

(Makes 25)

Ingredientes:

  • 8 eggs, whites and yolks separated into two large bowls
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 500 g butter, softened (or margarine, which is much more common here)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (or star anise-infused liquor)
  • 150 g cheese, grated (use a mild queso fresco, if you can find queso chonta, which is a bit creamier, use that)
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 c cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • raisins (about 3-4 for each quimbolo, so between 75-100 raisins)
  • 25 atchiera leaves (or banana leaves), cleaned and rolled out so the spine is soft

Como hacer:

  • First, sift your flour, cornstarch, and baking soda together.
  • In the large bowl where you’ve got your egg yolks, add your sugar, butter cheese, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on high (or in a stand mixer) until you can no longer feel the sugar. This takes a bit with a hand mixer, but I imagine it goes much faster in a stand mixer. The mixture gets a little fluffy, too.
  • Once your yolks/sugar/butter/etc are all ready, beat your egg whites in another large bowl with a tiny pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks, a few minutes.
  • Add your flour bit by bit to the yolk/sugar/butter mix. Once they are thoroughly combined, fold in your egg whites, bit by bit so that they don’t deflate.
Your final batter texture...fluffy!!!

Your final batter texture…fluffy!!!

  • Add about 1/4 c plus a teensy bit of batter to the center of your leaf, plop a few raisins on top, and fold (you have to fold the leaves in but then the edges out, leaving space on the top for the quimbolo to expand). From there you tuck the ends under.

ready to fold...here they have giant raisins so you only really need three, but feel free to add as many as you want!

ready to fold…here they have giant raisins so you only really need three, but feel free to add as many as you want!

It's a double-fold situation, fold in but then the edges of the leaves need to be folded back out.

The double-fold situation

tucking the ends under...

tucking the ends under…

the final folded product!

the final folded product!

  • Once you have them folded up, they need to be steamed for 30-45 minutes. The ideal is a tamale pot, with two or three steamer layers, but you can use a single pot and a steam basket and do a few at a time.
    • IMPORTANT: do NOT stack your quimbolitos while cooking them, they won’t puff up like they need to! One layer at a time.
Tip: add a dishtowel to the top of your pot so the condensation doesn't drip back onto your quimbolitos while they cook.

Tip: add a dishtowel to the top of your pot so the condensation doesn’t drip back onto your quimbolitos while they cook.

Once they are cooked, unwrap them and enjoy with a cafecito or a técito. They are so delicious, you’ll want to eat multiple in each sitting!

The finished quimbolito!

The finished quimbolito!

SO FLUFFY

SO FLUFFY

DESTROYED.

DESTROYED.

Enjoy your quimbolitos! Once I make it back to the States, I’ll be back to possibly share some Peruvian food too…vamos a ver.

¡Buen provecho!

Emily 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Ecuacomida {y una receta}

  1. Pingback: Killing Time I Don’t Have, II {Maple-Roasted Almond Butter} | Everything Emily Eats

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