Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mofongo Con Pernil

OK, so here's the deal...
My blog name Mofongo Con Pernil (in case anyone was really wondering) comes from two of my favorite Puerto Rican dishes... Mofongo and Pernil. Just thinking about that stuff makes my mouth water!
No, I'm not Puerto Rican... but my better half is. I like to think of myself as Puerto Rican by osmosis. My love for the Puerto Rican cuisine comes from hanging out with my wife’s family and from having spent a fare amount of time in Puerto Rico working.
This week I’ll give you my take on Mofongo...
Mofongo is an extremely (and I mean EXTREMELY) delicious Latin comfort food. It’s so tasty and fulfilling that after having eaten it you’ll find yourself saying, “MAN! Was that good!” and then kicking back to relax! 
It’s quite easy to make. You make Mofongo with plantains which you have pealed, cut into inch long pieces, fried 'til golden and mashed up and mixed with lots of garlic, chicharrĂ³n (toasted pork skin), olive oil, salt and pepper. You then shape the mash into a ball. You could then serve in a garlicky broth or just dig into it as it is. You may want to stuff it.  You could stuff it with all sorts of things such as Pernil (pork shoulder, which I’ll talk about next week), chicken, shrimp, vegetables, or beef. My favorite... of course... is PERNIL!

Here’s a recipe:
4 green plantains, peeled and cut into inch long pieces
3 T Olive oil 
3 - 5 cloves of garlic, minced 
1 cup chicharrones, crushed (store bought or make your own... I say make your own! It makes all the difference in the world. Bacon is an OK substitute.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the plantain pieces in a bowl of salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain well.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Let the oil get hot and then, working in batches, fry the plantain pieces until they are cooked through and golden, 10-12 minutes.
Add the plantains (while still hot), garlic and a little bit of olive oil to a large mortar (pilon) or bowl and mash with a pestle or potato masher until fairly smashed up. Stir in the pork cracklings, salt and pepper to taste.
Form into 3-inch balls and serve warm and dig in.


~ Mofongo

Saturday, February 19, 2011


OK, so it's Saturday morning, I'm off from work (I'm currently employed by Kawasaki Rail Car in Yonkers) and here I'm sitting in the service center at Toyota. Woopie! Normal people might be sleeping in given the opportunity... not me. Not today. Ha, like I'm normal... who is normal... what is normal... and who determines what normal is any how? I remember hearing or reading about this clan in deepest darkest who knows where... they all had 6 fingers on each hand and that was normal... go figure. Well now, that's a subject for a blog isn't it... maybe, maybe not. Not today though. Where was I going with this? Let's see... Saturday, Kawasaki, Toyota, sleeping in, normal... O yes... It sure was extremely windy last night. There was even some thundering and lightning going on. I hit the sack about 9:30 PM, since I normally get up at 4 AM I was tired (there's that word normal again.) I lay there listing to the howl and bluster accompanied by a bit of classical music playing on the radio. With the covers tucked around me I was warm and comfortable. I do not usually sleep very well, so the added sounds helped me drowned out the thoughts and concerns running through my head. As a rule I'd have glass of red wine before retiring for the night. I find it soothes and relaxes me. However, I've been on a self imposed diet lately. No meat, no dairy, no alcohol, no caffeine... OK, OK, you're thinking that's not normal. I did suggest I wasn't quite normal. Any way, I finally drifted off to sleep I don't know when and woke at about 3:30 AM or so. I lay there until I final fell into a semi-sleep. An hour and half later I finally got out of bed and by a quarter to 7 AM I was off to Toyota. So, here I sit... blogging  my first blog... I'll be here at Toyota for quite awhile... but, I won't belabor this entry any further. OK, Mike-san ( I gave it a try. Next time I'll have to find something more interesting to post... for now I'm signing off. 
~ Mofongo