AN ODE TO PLANTAINS
Oh my beloved plantain, your versatility has no end.
I eat you green, I eat you ripe – no matter how I love más.
I have you in the morning, I’m craving you by noon, at dinner time I am missing you – can you tell I love mangú?
Mashed you are perfection, boiled you are just right, fried you are incredible, yup as tostones you are the star.
Savory or sweet, we can cook you either way, with crema or with cheese, my love for you remains the same.
Some may say I am bananas for ya, some may think this is too much, but I dare you to try this mofongo, and tell me I was not right.
I am impressed. Even though I consider myself más Dominicana que el platano, I never thought my liking for plantains would go as far as being able to put together a poem so touching in right around six minutes. But I have to be honest and admit I really, really love the. I grew up eating it so often that I guess it now lives in me – ok, ok, enough with this poetry let’s get down to business. Mofongo business.
Raise your hand if you love mofongo. Raise your hand if you have never made it at home. Now raise you hand if this post is making you hungry and you promise you will make this recipe soon. What ever may be your case, I am telling you, mofongo is the bom dot com. Why?
- The texture: it has crunch and it is tender.
- The flavors: it is garlicky and full of flavor.
- The possibilities: traditionally is made with pork cracklings but you can literally make them with what ever you’d like. Veggies and bacon are fair game too!
How to make it? Here is how:
Peel, cut and fry green plantains. Mash them in a garlic broth. Mix them with your favorite meat, seafood or veggie and you will be ready to dig in.
Mofongo is by far one of my favorite Caribbean comfort food.
- 4 green plantains
- Oil for frying
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ½ tablespoon fresh cilantro, thinly chopped
- Salt to taste
- Optional: fried meat of your choice
- Peel plantains and cut into 1-inch chunks.
- Cook the plantains over medium heat with enough oil that is deep enough so the chunks are halfway submerged.
- Turn once and cook about one minute each side until plantains are cooked through but not overcooked nor burned.
- Remove plantains from frying oil and place on a plate with paper towels to draw the excess oil.
- In a sauté pan over medium-low heat add olive oil and cook the minced garlic cloves until fragrant but not burned.
- Remove three quarter of the garlic oil and set aside.
- Add chicken broth and oregano to the sauté pan with remaining garlic oil.
- Bring the liquid to a boiling point, turn down the heat to simmer.
- Add cilantro and keep simmering for about 15 minutes.
- Once chicken broth has incorporated well with garlic oil and oregano, give it a taste and season with salt.
- Remove from pan and set aside.
- In a bowl combine fried plantains and garlic oil and mash well until you get smaller chunks.
- To this mixture, add a tablespoon of garlic broth at a time to help you mash the plantain to your desired consistency and moisture. It should not be too dry nor too wet.
- Add salt to taste.
- You can include fried meat of your choice, pork cracklings or even bacon to make the mofongo even better.