Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recipe: Mofongo (WCN! February 2011)

Mofongo is considered the national dish of Puerto Rico, and is the best example of criolla cuisine.  It is sometimes served on its own as a side dish, but it's usually stuffed or filled with pork, beef, or seafood, or topped with a seafood stew.  (Jenny suggested after the show that it would be awesome filled with a ceviche, and as usual, she's right.)

The key technique here is the low-temperature frying of the plantains, low enough that you soften them but don't brown them.  They will get greasy this way, but that's kind of a feature of the dish.  Make sure you let them get good and soft.


8 green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1" chunks
4 oz pork rinds (chicharrones)
6 cloves garlic
salt, pepper, oil

Soak plantain chunks in salt water for 15 minutes.  Dry thoroughly and fry in 325 degree oil for 10-15 minutes or until very soft.  Remove to a colander and let drain until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, mash up garlic and pork rinds in a mortar and pestle or pilon.  Add salt and pepper. (This dish requires more salt than you'd think. Most versions I had in PR were good but way underseasoned, IMO.)  Add plantains and mash until it all comes together.

Roll into a ball and serve, or make a well in the ball and fill with tasty roasted meat or stew.

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