photo taken from website http://laylita.com/recipes/2008/03/27/mote-pillo/
It is basically hominy and scrambled eggs. Besides breakfast, it is one of those kind of comfort foods that makes a quick, satisfying dinner as well. I have made it with diced bacon cooked in it. Probably not authentic, but very tasty. The hominy (mote) in Ecuador has much bigger kernels than what we buy in a can here, but the canned will do. You can skip the achiote if you don't have it. It adds mostly color.
As we were enjoying our breakfast and complimenting Cayo on his mote pillo, Ray reminded us of the occasion upon which mote pillo "saved our lives."
On our first trip to Ecuador, in 1999, Emily took us to visit Cajas National Park, high in the Andes near the city of Cuenca, where she was living. It is a beautiful place, with many lakes and very interesting wildlife and flora. However the altitude is just under 15,000 feet, which, to put it in perspective, is about 3,000 feet higher than the highest point in Oregon, the top of Mt. Hood. We took a taxi to the park and planned to call a return taxi after hiking around some lakes and having lunch in the restaurant. We were looking forward to trout, caught fresh from one of the lakes. The hike was glorious, but the altitude was doing a number on me. I really was suffering by the time we got back around to our starting point. Ray and Emily somewhat less so. Ray took this very unflattering photo of me, but it illustrates how I was feeling.
To our dismay we found that the restaurant had closed while we were hiking, not only leaving us without our anticipated lunch, but locked out of access to the telephone we needed to call our taxi. Emily assured us that buses came by frequently, so we waited at the side of the highway. And waited. And waited. Then we started walking, hoping a bus would come by that we could flag down. The highway followed the route of an old Incan road and we could see remnants of it along the way. By now my head was pounding, my chest hurt—breathing was extremely difficult—and I felt like I was going to throw up. But we walked. Slowly. Eventually we spotted a small, shabby looking roadside restaurant and decided we had to have something to eat and drink before we could go on. The door was open but the owner said he was out of food and closing for the day. We looked pitiful and explained our dilemma and he offered to cook up a plate of mote pillo for us to share. We fell on it like wild dogs and I swear it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten, even washed down with a warm Coca Cola. Amazing how much better I felt. We had no more than finished our meager meal, all but licking the plate, when a bus came around the curve. We flagged it down and dragged ourselves on board. Saved, by a plate of mote pillo and a rattly old bus.