There is nothing like our senses to bring back crystal clear memories. And for some reason, smell, sound, and taste seem to do the trick quite effectively! These three seem to trigger some sort of chemical (or so I think) reaction in our brains that brings back perfectly clear memories in a matter of seconds…just as if they had happened an instant ago. I love that! I love my senses. God forbid anyone EVER lose them.
It’s crazy the many things we have to be thankful for…starting with things as simple as having all five of our senses. So blessed! Why am I talking about senses? You’ll find out soon enough… During one of my fun little grocery shopping trips I found me some delicious Ecuadorian plantains. Oh, how we love our plantains back home (Ecuador)…especially the ones you can get at the coast.
I am from Quito, the capital, which is located in the Sierra (Andes, or highlands); it is four to five hours away from the coast. My family and I usually took at least 3 trips down there every year, each time going for one to two weeks. It really was great…every vacation being more wonderful than the last. What bliss to experience sunshine, the ocean, a warm breeze, sand between the toes, beach runs to clear the mind, relaxing and tanning by the pool, the amazing costal food, what paradise! On the trip over to the beach, we could always count on colorful fruit stands by the road, where we always stopped and filled up our car’s trunk with as many fruits and vegetables as we possibly could. Fishermen would sell fresh seafood by the beach. First thing every morning people in the area would walk to the fishermen’s stand to get their hands on some of the nicest looking crab, shrimp, lobster, octopus, and other various sea creatures.
It was truly, a foodie’s dream. I looked forward to every meal while at the beach…from the protein (eggs + bacon) and fruit filled breakfast, to every beach snack (plantains, ceviche, empanadas), to our 3pm late lunch (enter fish here!), to the local afternoon crapes, to late dinners (more fish!) before finally meeting with friends for a night out. My teenage years were wonderful. I miss them sometimes. They were so carefree and energetic! Ahhh.
Eating these homemade Patacones brought back great family beach vacation memories…thank you taste buds! It was a lot of fun preparing them and enjoying them alongside with my husband. He has been to Ecuador before, so he has tried our traditional Patacones. These, we both agreed, tasted just like them! Give them a try and have a little international taste in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Tools you’ll need:
- Paper Towels
- Glass (we’ll need it’s bottom)
- 2 plantains
- 4-5 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Sea Salt (to taste)
- Lime (to taste)
- Peel the plantains (this is a bit tough to do…so be sure to grab a sharp knife) and cut down its skin lengthwise…be careful not to cut the plantain’s inside.
- Cut each plantain into thick slices (about one inch long per slice).
- Place oil in skillet and turn on medium heat. You want to use enough oil to cover the skillet’s surface so that once you place the plantains in the skillet ¼ inch of every slice is covered by oil J
- Place plantains in oil and fry for about 2 minutes (until they are a bit crisp, yet not burnt, at the bottom).
- Turn the plantains over and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Remove plantains from skillet and place on a paper towel so the oil is absorbed and they get a chance to cool off a bit.
- While the plantains are still warm, grab your glass and use it’s bottom to smash them down, for a flatter appearance. Your plantains may stick to your glass, simply detach plantains from glass with your hands and continue smashing.
- Sprinkle a little salt on top of each plantain.
- Heat oil in skillet again and repeat steps 4-5, only fry for about 1-2 minutes this time.
- Remove from oil and place again on paper towels; this will absorb any excess oil.
- Sprinkle sea salt and squeeze a bit of lime on each Patacon as you’re eating…I looooove me some lime on top!