Viche

What great neighbors we have. This afternoon our neighbor Paola brought us a huge bowl of viche. This batch was made with lobster, shrimp, choclo (corn), small plantain balls and the most wonderful broth made with peanuts. Of course she did provide rice as well.  It is out of this world and Paola is one of the best cooks I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

IMG_2153We eat like royalty here. Between the kindness of our neighbors like Paola and the bounty we can buy right at our door we are blessed.

We have a new fruta and verdura vendor who has started to come by on Friday mornings. Today he had strawberries, black and red grapes, granny smith apples as well as gala apples and pears, passion fruit, mora, naranjilla just to name a few. He had corn, peas, small and large lima beans as well as fresh fava beans, carrots, red onions, green onions, cauliflower, broccoli, two types of potatoes, iceberg lettuce and cilantro.  Next week I will take a photo of his truck and him and his wife.

Feeling very blessed…

Paola Delivers Lunch

Our neighbors are pretty cool. If it’s not one handing stone crabs over the gate it’s another sharing Viche for our lunch yesterday. (The crabs over the gate thing happened yesterday – Eric gave us 2 huge stone crabs and then later Erica his sister gave us 3 more! gotta love this place).

San Clemente 6.18.2013 017Okay, back to the viche de langosta.

This soup was made with lobster, madura and green plantains, carrots, and corn all simmered in a peanut broth. It is one of our favorites.

If I had to choose the best food that we have eaten while outside of the US it would have to be the cooks of Manabí and Paola would come in first place. Other items that she has shared with us were lapangachos – it s a stuffed potato or yucca fritter filled with meat or chicken. She has also made a fried shrimp dinner that had a chicharone coating on the shrimp. The next cook would need to be Sonia and her lobster and crab ceviche. Living here has been a unbelievable experience in the Manabí art of cooking.

Thanks vecinos (neighbors) you made our day!

Joe the Birthday Boy

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Like most celebrations this past few months, Joe and I tend to always go back to Viviana’s for all the right reasons. Sitting at a beachfront restaurant sipping a cold Pilsener is probably one of the most perfect things on earth to do at this stage of our lives. As you see by Joe’s smiling face he and I are in total agreement on this fact.

Next, the food. Perfection. Yesterdays birthday boys choice was Arroz Con Mixto. This is a rich brown rice packed with your choice of two fresh from the sea treats. Joe’s choice – shrimp and calamari. When he was given his plate Eva the chef had thrown in baby pulpo (octopus) as well. AND papas fritas.

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Now don’t say a word, Joe wanted french fries (papas fritas) but Eva said that she did not have any so he changed his order from Shrimp in Garlic Sauce with French Fries to the Arroz con mixto  dish. But when his plate was delivered Eva had found him the potatoes he wanted…a starch fest for sure. Joe did not complain.

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Viviana and her cousin were out walking on the beach and stopped by to say hello and brought Joe a piece of birthday cake. This was tres leches which is a very rich cake with three different types of cream added to make it even richer.

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Viviana and Joe sharing a hug. She is a lovely young woman, a great entrepreneur and has a wonderful family that is so supportive of her and the business.

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On our walk back down the beach, Joe had to show his cliff diving stance with the beautiful South Pacific sunset in the background.

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What a great way to celebrate a birthday….we need to do this every week. Oh I forgot we do make it our Sunday ritual to visit Viviana’s for a late lunch each week. How blessed are we?

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One last photo of last evenings sunset. Happy Birthday Joe may this year be filled with blessings beyond your wildest dreams!

Red Lobster has Nothing On These!

Yesterday afternoon Joe and I were sitting thinking about what we should have for dinner – should it be shrimp or the fresh fish I bought earlier in the day – when our friend Keith drove up to show us what his dinner would be.  Yes, I was so envious but am sure the next time he goes “Lobster Hunting” he will invite me.

As Keith pointed out each of these beauties weighed in at 4 pounds and no claws all tail meat. He and Becky were sure to have a real Lobster Feast at their seaside home last evening…Good going Keith, remember me when you decide to make the next trip looking for lobster.

Another Neighbor Bearing Gifts, This Time From The Sea

On Sunday morning last week around 11am another of the neighbors who lives up the street knocked on our door. This young woman delivered a dozen large shrimp. Not having the refrigerator operational yet, I decided it was best to steam them up immediately. Joe looked at me like I was giving him the grand prize when I handed him a steaming bowl of shrimp smothered in olive oil, margarine and hot pepper flakes.

Yummy! Love this place!

This morning when I saw a moto-truck (small cargo bed with a motorcycle) delivering seafood to the neighbor’s door I investigated to find the delivery of these beauties. I bought a pound of huge jumbo shrimp 7 to a pound huge for $6 and turned around to find the same neighbor’s husband delivering about 10 large shrimp as yet another gift. I steamed them, made a sauce of chopped red pepper, red onion, garlic, red pepper flakes. one squeezed limon, salt, pepper, ketchup and mayo. I had bought earlier this morning some fresh rolls, we invited Patricia to join us and we all ate shrimp sandwiches at 9:30 am. It was wonderful and we may eat shrimp more often for breakfast.

Tomorrow we talk “Lobster in Paradise” !!!!