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eG Foodblog: Panaderia Canadiense - Surf, Sand, and Sierra


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Hi there, fellow eGulleteers, and welcome to my second foodblog! As Kerry says, we're on the road this time, which means I get to show you some of the best food Ecuador has to offer. Why, you ask? Well, because we're going on a road trip to the beaches of the coastal province of Manabí, which is recognized across the country as well as in South America for its seafood dishes. We'll be based out of the little fishing village of Puerto López, about two hours south of the province's capital, Manta. Fishing in this area is all done by men in small, oar-propelled boats with handlines and small cast nets - I'll try to get up super early one morning to find out what the catch of the day is (and possibly buy something for breakfast, if they've got Pargo Lunar in the catch....) The area is also known for its Langostinos and Langostos (giant estuarial crawdads and spiny blue lobsters, respectively) and those are often sold by their fishermen from buckets. What Heidi had to say about "buy something fresh from a guy walking down the beach with a bucket" is very true of most beaches in Manabí. At the tail end of the road trip, I'll be visiting the world's largest indigenous food and craft market and will be eating a tilapia caught from a glacially-fed crater lake - round trip in fish!

I will be attempting to not eat anything twice in order to show you the immense variety available on the coast. (Meaning, if I have the encebollado you won't see me eat it again on this trip).

First off, though, a bit about the teasers.

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The first one was indeed Roselle / Sorrel / Flor de Jamaica, the bracts of Hibiscus sabdariffia - something that I have only recently started drinking but of which I am completely enamored. A friend in the Amazon has a plantation and sends me fresh bracts (which is what's shown). I base most of my summertime iced teas and whatnot on Jamaica.

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Peter the Eater was quite right - it's two happy guys and a perciform fish, with a large body of water and some volcanic rocks. This photo was taken on the beach at Canoa in Manabí, and was a location teaser. Those two happy guys? They're casting simple baited handlines into the Pacific off the rocks, looking for their lunch. They called the fish they caught a "bonito" but I'm pretty sure they weren't referring to the type, but merely that it's big and beautiful (a Bonito down here is a type of mackerel and resembles a small tuna). The waters down here have an amazing variety of fish, and I'm willing to bet that what's on the line is actually a Bocachico (smallmouth striper). They were holding out for another, and didn't share, so I can't confirm that. For the curious, the volcanic rocks are a 500+ year old remnant of the last eruption of Volcan Cotopaxi, which is more than 250 km away in the Sierra - the lava hit the ocean here and gave Canoa its signature black sand beach.

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This is Encebollado de Mariscos (mixed seafood and onion soup) - and although it's a staple of Manabita cuisine, I ate this one in a restaurant in Ambato! Shown in the bowl are a small Langosto, a larger Cangrejo (crab), and some Concha (inky mangrove clams, something I have only eaten in Ecuador); for the curious, it's popcorn and lime in the background, and those are patacones floating in the bowl with the seafood. Encebollado de Mariscos has a strongly red-onion flavoured broth with hints of red curry and peanut; done well, it's spectacular.

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These are Limeño bananas that I grew myself, something that was thought to be impossible at my 3,000 meter altitude in the Sierra.

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And this is the starting veg for any respectable Lazy Bastard Beef Stroganstuff or similar stovetop casserole. I thought it would give me away, since nobody else here has cobalt blue tile countertops!

I'll be back in a moment with photos of my current kitchen - I've moved since I last blogged, and I'm making quinua-herb and cheese minibagels in there today.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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It was! Encebollado is definitely on my (long!) list of things to eat on the coast.

Without further ado - c'mon in my kitchen! This house has a much smaller kitchen than the previous one did, which means that to cook in it we must be masters of efficiency. It seems cluttered, but everything is actually in its place and can be reached easily from the main worksurface. I haven't shown you my spice cabinet (it's above the coffeemaker counter) or inside my fridge (it's Sunday, so it's pathetic) - but you know what those are anyhow!

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Down one side of the main workspace, all of my bakery supplies are stacked in their own hermetic tubs and barrels. In the new year, I will (fingers crossed) have a dedicated kitchen and storefront for the Panaderia, and will be able to reclaim this kitchen for strictly home cookery.

Kitchen4.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Love to learn more about South American food. It is a neglected cuisine that deserves a whole lot more attention. And I love seafood so I shall be following you closely (and enviously).

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This is Encebollado de Mariscos (mixed seafood and onion soup) - and although it's a staple of Manabita cuisine, I ate this one in a restaurant in Ambato! Shown in the bowl are a small Langosto, a larger Cangrejo (crab), and some Concha (inky mangrove clams, something I have only eaten in Ecuador); for the curious, it's popcorn and lime in the background, and those are patacones floating in the bowl with the seafood. Encebollado de Mariscos has a strongly red-onion flavoured broth with hints of red curry and peanut; done well, it's spectacular.

Hi Elizabeth, thank you for doing another blog! As one of the curious, does the popcorn go into the soup?

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This is Encebollado de Mariscos (mixed seafood and onion soup) - and although it's a staple of Manabita cuisine, I ate this one in a restaurant in Ambato! Shown in the bowl are a small Langosto, a larger Cangrejo (crab), and some Concha (inky mangrove clams, something I have only eaten in Ecuador); for the curious, it's popcorn and lime in the background, and those are patacones floating in the bowl with the seafood. Encebollado de Mariscos has a strongly red-onion flavoured broth with hints of red curry and peanut; done well, it's spectacular.

Hi Elizabeth, thank you for doing another blog! As one of the curious, does the popcorn go into the soup?

Absolutely! The popcorn is tossed in with each bite, so that it retains a bit of crunch and adds textural interest to the broth.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Love the window area with the knives around it :)

C'mon - stick your head through - I dare you! I double dog dare you!

You notice those are all points down? That window is the pass-through into my dining room, and we do use it quite a bit!

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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:laugh: That's water, not knives, and this close to the equator the coriolus effect is negligable - it all comes down to the way your sinks are scuffed.

Breakfast time! This being Blog Sunday, we went with "Ecuadorian Sunday Breakfast" which is basically a fruit and cheese buffet with bread, yogurt, and coffee. However, horror of horrors, when I opened up my wheel of Gouda there was a scary colony of green mold living in it. This meant a trip to the tienda up the hill for some Queso Fresco, because you can't have a breakfast buffet without cheese!

This is the queso fresco cooler; the owner of the tienda didn't want me to take more photos of the shop (she said it was disorganized! Even on its worst days, this tienda would put a Japanese supermarket to shame....) so I don't have more. It's basically a micro supermarket with a small bakery tucked into one corner and a butcher's shop at the back. There's a sign on the cheese fridge asking customers rather politely to ask for a bag before they select their cheese, so as not to drip whey all over the market floor.

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And, because I'm a horrid impulse shopper, I also picked up a tub of candied figs in syrup, a bottle of milk, and some salty snacks for the road tomorrow. Roskitos are expanded corn rings that taste exactly like popcorn; Rizadas Picanticas are sort of like spicy sour cream and onion ripple chips.

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Here's the final version of breakfast (loaf of bread not shown). On the fruit plate is Abacaxi pineapple, Sunrise papaya, strawberry, and Mora de Castille. On the other plate is the tub of figs and sliced QF.

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Personally? I built myself a fig sandwich and had some fruit on the side, and a mug of yogurt to drink. My aunts also availed themselves of Quimbolitos (which will be my breakfast tomorrow) which we had in the fridge.

Brekkie2.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Mora de Castille.

What a fascinating name for a fruit!

Thank you so much for blogging Elizabeth; this is a completely new culinary world for me

It's actually a pretty logical one. The native blackberries are called "Zarzamora" (literally, wild purples), so when the Spaniards brought theirs along they were called Mora de Castille or Mora de Castilla to differentiate them from the natives.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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As one who loves cheese for breakfast, your breakfast called out to me though I can't do the fruit. I just don't eat a lot of fruit at the best of times.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, I expect you'd make an exception down here. A pineapple that was picked yesterday, ripe, is miles different from one that was picked green, shipped, and then gassed at 3 weeks of age and sold in a Canadian grocery.

Lunch here was a bit of an undertaking, but since we're on an 8+ hour bus ride tomorrow it made sense. I made quinua-herb and cheese bagels.

For the interested (and bearing in mind that a peculiarity of my altitude is that I have to use about twice as much yeast as a sealevel baker needs to), it's a very simple recipe: 1 part quinua flour (250g) to 4 parts unbleached white (1000g), all the herbs you want in it (I used flat parsely, lovage, basil flowers, sage, and oregano), 15 mL of salt, 2 parts (500 mL) of water at 50C, 1 oz of yeast, and about 120 mL of olive oil (I use EVOO). Start by mixing the flours, salt, and herbs.

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Once the yeast is proven, it gets added in along with the EVOO.

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The whole thing is stirred until it's a sticky mass, then turned out onto a floured surface and kneaded until it's smooth and elastic.

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And that goes into a bowl to rise for a couple of hours. My dough was a bit stiff, so I left it a little longer than usual so that it would slacken up a bit. It's a roughly 40% hydration dough, and it should turn out quite slack.

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That gets punched down and divided into 3 oz balls (this being what I consider to be an ideal bagel size for this dough).

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Bagels are formed by pinching through the middle of a ball and then stretching the hole out.

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And those get set on the Exopat to proof for about 20-30 minutes more.

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Once proven, I boil the bagels in very salty water for 15 seconds each side.

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Those get flopped onto a silpat, brushed with egg, and covered with cheese strips.

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Into the oven for 25 minutes at 375 F

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And schmeered with cream cheese when they come out.

Bagels20.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Yeah, the Maillard reaction seems to have a weird delay with the quinua flour. Those bagels have perfectly textured crusts, but if I cook them until they're browned they'll be hideous and dried out inside. I've had some success turning on the broiler for the last 5 minutes of the bake process, but it's never a guarantee and they won't brown evenly. So I just don't worry about it - I get excellent browned crusts on my non-quinua breads.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Dinnertime! Tonight is our last chance for homecooking for the duration of the blog. Accordingly, it was oven-roasted turkey breast rubbed with aliño, Cecilia potatoes, beets, and romanesco.

Dinner.jpg

Nothing fancy, but quite tasty.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Dinnertime! Tonight is our last chance for homecooking for the duration of the blog. Accordingly, it was oven-roasted turkey breast rubbed with aliño, Cecilia potatoes, beets, and romanesco.

......

Nothing fancy, but quite tasty.

Can you tell us about Cecilia potatoes, please.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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