San Clemente 9.20.2014 022Our trip to Manta for a few days was wonderful. Weather perfect, hotel very comfortable and of course our choice of restaurants perfect.

San Clemente 9.20.2014 002San Clemente 9.20.2014 003The above photos were taken at Las Velas on the malecon. The dish was swordfish with a beautiful cream sauce served with mushroom risotto. Excellent!

San Clemente 9.20.2014 016San Clemente 9.20.2014 018The next day we went to Restaurante Martinica. We were served Ceviche Jipajopa as an appetizer. I had the Corvina Encocoda, Joe had the Asian Salmon. We shared a bottle of an excellent wine – Salentein Reserve Malbec from Argentina. We also had a great chocolate and vanilla mousse for dessert.  We will be walking extra miles this week….

We also had dinner at Maido, a Japanese Restaurant where we enjoyed sushi rolls and vegetable tempura.  Sorry we were too busy eating to take any photos.

We did walk on the beach every morning and were surprised to see two different exercise classes.

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San Clemente 9.20.2014 007We had a great time, did some shopping, a great deal of eating and some well deserved relaxing.

San Clemente 9.20.2014 010San Clemente 9.20.2014 009So Joe when are we going back?

La Cocina Ecuatoriana

My Easter gift is this beautiful cookbook. A collection of 278 pages of recipes from all over Ecuador purchased this morning at my gate.

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The first recipe that I will be trying will be encocado of either pescado or mariscos. I miss being able to enjoy this beautiful coconut milk recipe that is not available here in San Clemente. Encocado is an Esmeraldas specialty. We have found it in Salinas as well as Puerto Lopez but so far in our travels around this area the Manabí folks use mani (peanut butter) but encocado (coconut milk) is used further up the coast.

Wish me luck!

Corvina (Sea Bass) in a Wine and Cream Sauce

We really love fish, I guess after living in Florida for all those years early in our marriage we always expected to have good fresh fish available to us. We were complacent about how lucky we were to be living so close to the sea, with all its wonders. And one day it was all gone, Joe changed jobs and we found ourselves inland, way inland living outside of Atlanta. Yes, you say Atlanta has an abundance of fresh fish all you need to do is go to Atlanta Fish Market or Harry’s Farmers Market and be able to pay for it. You have that right, it is a bit costly. Well to say we were fish deprived would be an understatement. I picked up a package of salmon at Walmart, or tilapia in the freezer section of Publix but it was not the same. Then where did we move, Dolega, Panama. Talk about a desert when it came to fish, even though the ocean was just 20 odd miles away. If I was lucky a truck would come by twice a week, you were at the mercy of the driver when it came to the cost and quality of the fish. I paid $9 a pound for shrimp with the heads on and had to beg him to stop at my house, $5 a pound for almost any fish he had. The big items were Mullet (lisa), Red Snapper (pargo) and Ray (skate). I would use skate and lisa to make a hearty soup along with shrimp if they were available. Making a base using home-made vegetable broth or even better fish broth, tomatoes, carrot, onions and celery . This was the favorite of my neighbors because I made a huge pot and would share with all the families on our street.

This past Sunday morning my two favorite fishmongitas (women that sell fish, I just made that up ja ja) were both short on sea bass (corvina) that was a pun they had short corvina, itty bitty ones not for me. I found that the woman I normally buy my shrimp from had some larger corvina but they were expensive. I bought one for $5 completely cleaned and fileted. They always include the head and bones when you buy a whole fish for making soup but normally I give this to the guardian and either his wife makes sancocho or he feeds it to Bingo his dog, nothing goes to waste.

This is Osvaldo our guardian and Bingo his faithful dog.

Here are most of the ingredients, I cook by the seat of my pants most times adding things as I go along so what is missing from this photo is the cream, salt and pepper.

I know I need a bigger cast iron skillet but this is the largest I could find in Pycca in Libertad.

This is the wine and cream sauce that I poured over the cooked fish.

Just another great meal in paradise, if you don’t mind me saying so.

Sea Bass in White Wine and Cream Sauce

  • 1-2 lbs of sea bass (corvina) cleaned and fileted
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter

In a hot frying pan add the oil and butter. Place the fish that has been lightly sprinkled with S & P in the pan and sauté for about 3-5 minutes depending upon the thickness of the fish. Gently turn fish and turn off heat. The residual heat in the pan should cook the fish completely. While they finish start your sauce.

Wine and Cream Sauce

In a separate pan:

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 T chopped fresh herbs, I used basil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 C white wine
  • 3 T cream
  • salt optional (taste before adding it may not need it)

Add olive oil to a medium hot frying pan, add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté gently not to burn either. Add white wine bring to a boil and cook off the alcohol. Allow to reduce for a few  minutes. After the wine has reduced add half the fresh herbs and whisk in the butter. Cook for one minute and add the cream.  Taste for seasoning add salt if necessary. Pour sauce over fish, sprinkle with the balance of the fresh herbs and serve.