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

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