I didn’t have a lot of expectations about the food when the Professor and I traveled to Ecuador a few years back. I knew enough to realize it was going to be more Spanish than Mexican, more potatoes than tortillas, but as far as specifics were concerned I was a clean slate.
I had no idea that soon enough I could add deep-fried guinea pig, fresh, sweet cheese served with donuts and hot chocolate, or grilled piranha to the list of things I’ve eaten (the guinea pig: actually very good if you don’t look at the face, the piranha: not so much).
One of the more pleasant culinary surprises on that trip was churrasco. In most parts of South America, churrasco refers to only the meat, almost always skirt steak, grilled over an open wood fire on enormous sword-like skewers.
An Ecuadorian churrasco means so much more. You will get the grilled steak, of course, but also a fried egg, steamed white rice, french fries, some sort of salad that involves half of an avocado, fried plantains, a chili sauce, and maybe (if you’re lucky) a fist-sized pile of pickled red onions. It is what we would call: truck stop deluxe. Layla’s made the whole thing here if you are interested.
I intended to make the dish in its entirety but got sidetracked by the homemade french fries and couldn’t bare to go any further. If you’ve never made your own fries, you must at least once in your life. Oh what a treat! Also, Ecuador….I highly recommend it.