Last summer we took my in-laws to a trip of a lifetime… Puerto Rico! It was perfect. They got to slow down and enjoy the beach and eat the awesome – if I do say so myself – Puerto Rican cuisine. One of the foods they felt in love with was: Mofongo.
I knew they would because the hubs loves it! You can have it “plain” or traditional and stuffed. And when I say stuffed, you can find them stuffed with shrimp, lobster (my fave!) pork, chicken… really any animal protein would be a good companion for the mofongo.
What I love the most is that it’s making mofongo is easy and all you need is a little elbow grease (just to mash the plantains.) Well, you also need a good olive oil! We went to Walmart to get Star Olive Oil – which you can get in three varieties:
Arbequina: for Vegetables
Hojiblanca: for poultry and fish
Picual: for beef/lamb
You can learn more about pairing the olive oils by visiting Star Olive Oil. I grew up loving olive oil as dressing for my salads and root veggies. So I was delighted to know of the varieties of Star Olive Oil… because it does matter! What’s even better is that Star Olive Oil is gluten-free. We also took advantage of the low price on the green plantains – love to get a great price every time we can.
Now, even I didn’t use gloves to prepare the plantains for frying you might want to use them. They can stain your hands and the stain will take a bit to fade away. We say that to be Puerto Rican is to have “la mancha de plátano” (the plantain stain.) I always joke about how the hubs probably got it on a previous life, LOL! What he did do once the mofongo was served was to use some chicken gravy to get the mofongo extra moist. (Thats the first plate in the final dish pictures.)
How to make mofongo:
- 4 large green plantains
- 2 cups of canola oil (for frying)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup Star extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Peel the plantains and cut in rounds of about 1 inch.
- Fry the plantains in hot oil (or deep fry them.) It will take about 5-7 minutes to get them golden.
- Drain on paper towels.
- In a big bowl or mortar, you can crush the garlic cloves or for a more subtle flavor grate with a mircoplane the garlic cloves.
- Add the plantains and bacon, olive oil and crush them. Mash or beat until it forms a “lumpy mash potato” consistency.
- Add chicken stock to moisten the mixture as needed.
- Use a small bowl to form and pack the mofongo.
- Serve and enjoy!
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