(Puerto Rican mashed plantains and pork cracklings)
4 to 6 servings
- Green plantains, peeled and cut into rounds on the diagonal -- 4
- Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Garlic, minced -- 3 to 5 cloves
- Pork cracklings (chicharrones), crushed -- 1 cup
- Salt -- to taste
- Soak the plantain pieces in a bowl of salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain well.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium flame. Working in batches, sauté the plantain slices until they are cooked through but not yet browned, 10-12 minutes.
- Add the plantains, garlic and a little bit of olive oil to a large mortar or bowl and mash with a pestle or potato masher until fairly smooth. Alternatively, pulse with a food processor. Stir in the pork cracklings and salt to taste.
- Using moistened hands, form into 3-inch balls and serve warm.
- Mofongo Relleno (Stuffed mofongo): Serve covered with a ladleful of stews like pollo guisado, asopao de gandules or quimbombo guisado.
- For a lower fat version, boil the plantains in salted water instead of sautéing them.
- Add a little chicken or beef broth while mashing the plantains to make them a little moister. Mofongo is often served with some broth poured over it.
- Although most recipes call for soaking the plantains in salted water, some say this step is not really necessary.
- If you can't find chicharrones in a market near you, substitute with crispy fried, finely chopped bacon.