On Saturday we walked down to the Buceo Port as Joe was asking for fish. We got the salmon again, and just like the first time, it was fabulous.
All the fish looked good and even things like calamari, octopus and the mussels looked fresh and very appealing. Prices are in Uruguay Peso, convert to US Dollars by dividing the number on the card by .28. All of these prices are for a kilo which is a little over 2 pounds.
You can buy a whole fish or you can buy steaks or fillets.
There are two other stores including a store with local trinkets as well as a vegetable and fruit stand that carries spices, herbs, a few live herb plants and has a cooler with drinks.
A new addition from the other times we were there was a van backed up to the sidewalk and the back door opened. As you can see it had a variety of cheese, wine and salami.
The lobsters that live on our coast are spiny lobsters. They have no claws but the most wonderful succulent lobster tail meat ever. Our neighbor Sergio is the person who we buy from. We have not been able to buy lobster for several months as the government has an order for non-sales for lobster and crab during certain months of the year – I think when they are spawning. We had our first for Mother’s Day weekend so great to have them back. Several months ago Sergio came to my gate with a gift. It was the shell of a lobster, completely intact but totally empty. I have attached it to the wall on our porch, it is very beautiful to see how perfect this empty shell is. Make it a great day!
One morning my neighbor offered lobster across the fence for $5 a pound. We love lobster and I wanted to make something a little different so I decided I would try my hand at Ceviche.
As you can see from the above photo I have gathered the lemons and sour oranges from our trees, onion, green and yellow peppers, small red firecracker chilies, cilantro, ketchup and the cooked lobster meat. What is not in the picture is a beautiful red ripe tomato and a tablespoon of mustard that I added at the end. You may need to add a pinch of sugar if your Sour Orange is just too sour and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix this all together and put in the refrigerator for several hours.
The hardest part was waiting the hour or so to eat this. It was fabulous – our new favorite meal with lobster…OH MY!!!!
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).
Okay, 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.
My fish guy delivered fresh shrimp to my gate yesterday morning, 10 to a pound, heads-on beauties. I asked Joe what he thought of a Shrimp Roll sandwich and he jumped on board the seafood train bound for shrimp nirvana.
Shrimp Roll Supreme
4 fresh rolls
8 oz. cooked shrimp cut into bite size pieces
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. finely chopped, diced green pepper
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cilantro and green pepper. Fold in shrimp. Cut roll and place avocado on the roll first add shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Broil in the oven at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes until lightly browned on top. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
NOTE: You may want to try crab meat instead of shrimp and try substituting grated cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan for a flavor difference. It was decadent!
Served with homemade bread and butter pickles. Excellent!
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.
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.
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.
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.
On our walk back down the beach, Joe had to show his cliff diving stance with the beautiful South Pacific sunset in the background.
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?
One last photo of last evenings sunset. Happy Birthday Joe may this year be filled with blessings beyond your wildest dreams!
We have been informed many times since moving here that there is a pretty decent rainy season in this area. According to the locals it will rain and I think it may be close to the monsoon rains we experienced in Dolaga, Panama. It has been said that we will need boots to get around town because the streets will be a muddy mess with the mud reaching mid-calf or higher. That is why instead of putting in kitchen cabinets or shelving in our home we added an extension to our roof at the back of the house and did so much concrete work at our gate, sidewalk and on the driveway, all in preparation for the start of the rains come December.
On Thursday late afternoon a dump truck delivered two loads of a pea-type gravel to the entrance to our street and early, I mean 6am early, several of our neighbors were out with wheelbarrows, shovels and rakes spreading this gravel over the entire street. By 8am half the men on our block and several guys from the neighborhood were knee-deep in gravel shoveling and spreading to cover the entire road. At around 10am I made some fresh lemon/mandarina juice and shortly afterwards started the beer and soda runs and the work continued until 6pm. By mid-day the truck was back with several more loads.
It is just amazing how many men were out working on the street, I would guess around 15 at the highest point.
At midday Paola, one of the wives of the fisherman, made ceviche, not just any old fish ceviche this was lobster and jumbo shrimp. I am proud to say that the lemons to make this treat came from our tree and we were happy to be able to give in some small way to this enormous effort.
By late afternoon the street down to Estrella’s tienda was completed and was a beautiful site.
With so many young children on this block, I worry that the drivers will treat this street like a race course and hope that my neighbors decide to put some type of speed bumps to discourage this unwanted behavior.
We are so fortunate to live in an area that has both the abundance from the sea, with an assortment of fish, shrimp, lobster, clams, squid, octopus and many other seafood choices for a seafood lover to revel in. And so many choices from the land, meats, vegetables and fruits.
Last week our friends made a trip into Guayaquil and on their way back stopped at a roadside stand selling mangoes, yes big juicy ripe mangoes. They, out of the goodness of their hearts, dropped off a few for our enjoyment. They made another trip earlier this week and dropped off a bag of ripe and another of unripened beauties, along with mangosteens and these cute little ciruelas (not prunes but a variety of plum). OH MY what great friends to be kind enough to think of us while they are out and about.
Mangosteens are very creamy and have some amazing healing properties, I am currently rubbing the peels on any blemishes, age spots (yes, I do have them) and other imperfections, I will let you know how that works for me…
The ciruelas above are sold in little bags on most of the buses. It has a huge pit and they normally salt them when you buy them or in this case give you a little baggie of salt. Very yummy, I have had them before but they were really unripe these are ripe and sweet and a bit soft, I like them better.
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.
Patricia called me after they had finished work on the house yesterday and said “come to downtown tomorrow afternoon at 2pm and come hungry”. This sounded like a wonderful treat and we were up for it. Then around 10am this morning I get a call from my friend from Salinas Amy Prisco saying that she and her Mom were traveling down the coast and wanted to stop in and just say hi. Most days we are sitting around looking for company or something to do, today we had two events that overlapped…How great was that?
Amy and Judy Prisco got to San Clemente just at 1pm, I felt so bad having to rush their visit but we had already confirmed for 2pm with Patricia, so we only got to spend an hour with these lovely women. I hope that they are able to come back up to visit especially because Judy will be in Ecuador for the entire month of July.
We rushed downtown to find Patrica, Freddy, Mary and John McDonald and several other folks we did not yet know – Bethany and Larry, Gato and a few more. The table was set up with fresh cooked lobster, crab claws and ceviche mixto that Freddy cooked. Shortly after a bowl of fresh garlic shrimp was passed around and several minutes later fried seabass…what a feast. We washed it all down with some beautiful red wines. Nothing like feeling like kings and queens.
What a wonderful day, tomorrow maybe we will just go sit at the beach, who knows we are such busy folks these days.
We walked home on the road instead of trying to walk the beach but I could not resist taking this picture over the boat houses on the beach by our casa. Have a wonderful evening!