I can’t help it. I still think of that silly rhyme every time I think about beans. Juvenile, I know, but there you have it. So did you guess tonight’s meal features beans?
Miss A is our culinary guide for the next two weeks. She made her international choice after studying (and spinning) the globe for a bit; and much like her first pick, she’s taking us back to South America. This time, however, we’re on the Western coast in the country of Ecuador.
Unlike some of our international picks, finding recipes for regional dishes from the “Republic of the Equator” wasn’t terribly difficult. We adapted tonight’s selections from Laylita’s Recipes, a blog featuring recipes from South America and Ecuador among others. So to kick off our adventure we chose Menestra de Porotos, or Ecuadorian Bean Stew. It just seemed fitting for our unseasonably cool (and gloomy) weather today.
We used whole cumin seeds, ground cumin, chili powder and achiote powder for our seasonings.
As we approached dinner time we also prepared an Ecuadorian White Rice. It’s basically white rice, but with a twist. We started by heating some olive oil, white onion and garlic in a medium sauce pan.
Next we added the water and brought the rice to a boil. Once the water just covered the rice, we reduced the heat, covered and cooked it for a final 20 minutes.
Then we swept up rice grains from the entire kitchen after Miss A knocked over the bag, vacuumed the family room where Mr. N had accidentally shattered a glass on the base of the fireplace and finally served our dinner with just enough time for Mike to eat and run. (Broomball season has kicked off yet again.) Whew!
Good thing we were able to dig into some comfort food! We served the bean stew with the rice and a fresh loaf of bread. Mr. N and Mike were the biggest fans of this dish. While they both thought it needed more salt, not a drop was left in their dishes. Mr. N gave the Menestra de Porotos 3 spoons after asking for, and devouring, seconds. Mike came in at 2-1/2 spoons due to the lack of salt, but is looking forward to taking leftovers for lunch this week.
I am not a bean lover. As my mom can attest, I never enjoyed beans and only ate as many as I “had” to to be excused from dinner. I haven’t changed too much since then; although I do enjoy black beans in certain recipes. It’s the same story with most soups and certainly stews. So as you can imagine I was not looking forward to this meal, but I have to say, I was surprised. The dish reminded me of the flavors found in Mexican rice and it was actually pretty good. While it’s not a dish I’d pick at a restaurant, or make again (unless it’s for my boys) I did enjoy it. It was a pleasant way to eat beans (and that’s not something I’d say lightly) making it a 2 spoon dish for me.
Miss A, however, was not impressed. She tried a few beans and set the dish aside. I wouldn’t be surprised except for the fact that she’s our resident bean lover. Go figure. Overall, we were happy with our first Ecuadorian recipe. I just wish the clean-up was as easy as cooking the stew!
Print this recipe: Menestra de Porotos