This week for My Kitchen My World, Shelby chose Ecuador as our country to taste. I knew nothing about cuisine from Ecuador, and honestly had a tough time finding recipes. I googled away, and finally found some recipes from Ecuador on recipehound.com They had a few interesting sounding dishes, but I went with something pretty simple, Locro, a potato soup. Apparently Locro in different South American countries refers to different soup/stew style dishes, but in Ecuador it's just potato.
After doing lots of online research, reading though lots of recipes, I noticed that many called for potatoes and munster cheese. I'm not sure why munster is the cheese of choice, or if it is just a close copy of the cheeses you would find in Ecuador, but more readily available so used in recipes? I love munster cheese so this was a great excuse to buy some :)
Locro -- Potato Soup of Ecuador
2 pounds potatoes, cubed, I used Klondike Rose potatoes, not from Ecuador, but one of my favorite all purpose varities
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 1/2 cups water2 cups whole milk, warmed
4 ounces shredded munster cheese & additional cheese to sprinkle on top
Place cubed potatoes in a large, heavy saucepan, add the water. Stir in the salt, onion powder and paprika. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are almost done, add the milk and cheese, continue to cook a few more minutes. Mash up the potatoes, I used an immersion blended and left some chunky tatoes. Season to taste with salt, and serve immediately. Avocado slices are sometimes served with the Locro.
This soup was really easy and had a smooth mellow flavor, it reminded me of a potato chowder. There was another dish from Ecuador that really caught my eye, Llapingachos, which are little fried potato cakes, made with mashed potatoes and a munster cheese filling. I will try these in the future because they sound so yummy, and have the same flavors of the Locro, which was really nice.