Of course! An Ecuadorian Christmas Eve Brunch!
Here's the plan:
Green mango slices with lime, salt, and pepper. This was one of my favorite snack foods in Ecuador. Green or very light yellow mango slices are packed into a little bag and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Very refreshing and a wonderful way to wake up your palate in the morning!
Cafe con leche. Made with my Ecuadorian roasted coffee topped with some delicious whipped cream and freshly ground canela. I brought canela home from Mercado Central but in the hub-bub of almost 20 people in my apartment I forgot to put it out. I put one of my cousins on latte duty and she made cows milk and soy milk lattes for my guests.
Double-fried green bananas. How could I not serve these delicious morning treats? They were a breakfast staple on the farm. Making them is simple. The green banana is cut into 2-inch chunks and fried until golden. The fried chunks are then smashed and fried again. Keep them in the oven until you are ready to serve breakfast.
Queso blanco. I love making cheese and this cheese is quite simple. We also ate this fresh cheese on the farm as the neighbor next door made it. While mine doesn't have the same depth of flavour (if only I had a cow outside my door to milk), it was quite yummy.
Fruit salad. Watermelon, apple, banana, and papaya. An Ecuadorian essential.
Salsa. A touch of culantro, red onion, tomato paste, chile to drizzle over the cheese... Mmmm.
And that was my Ecuadorian-inspired EPIC Christmas Eve Brunch! It was wonderful to share the food traditions I learned on the farm with my own family.
Like every Christmas Eve Brunch it is a packed affair. My apartment is a decent size but once I fit, er, cram, 18 people in, it feels pretty small. I really appreciate that my family humours me every year, shows up and eats me out of house and home. The consensus this year was that the plantains were delicious. A bunch of people in my family had never tried plantains before and I was happy to introduce them. They also loved the queso blanco. As well, my coffee was a hit! It doesn't taste like the coffee we have here, but I don't know why. Perhaps it's the roasting? Or the bean is different? Whatever the case, smelling it instantly brought me back to Ecuador... Another EPIC Christmas Eve Brunch over, which leaves me with the question - what will next years theme be???
Up Next? Culatello or the King of Prosciutto