Garlic and Plantain Goodness.
Happy New Year! I don't usually do resolutions (successfully) but this year I'm planning on doing at least one blog post to Me and the Clams per week. Since I'm currently celebrating the holidays in Puerto Rico, I thought I would kick off the resolution with an island dish.
When you come into contact with Mofongo for the first time, it's hard to decipher just what you're looking at. Usually served in a mound, it looks like a little yellow potato cake. In actuality, that little mound is made of fried plantains mashed to submission with some oily sauce, usually consisting of garlic and tomato. When mofongo is served as a dish, there's usually a protein added to the sauce. Last night I wanted to make shrimp mofongo (to go with my fish theme) but added some smoked pork to add some salt and smoke flavor.
What you need (serves 4):
Keep in mind my pictures show this recipe doubled
- Oil for frying
- 2 whole garlics minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound smoked pork, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 oz chopped olives with pimentos, chopped
- 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
- 2 lbs shrimp (raw and peeled)
- 8-10 plantains, peeled quartered
I have to give a shout out to Jill, Julie, and my mom, who were my cooking team last night. The prep goes a lot faster with help! (Although Jill does not look pleased about being coerced into cooking here:
1. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot. Add the onions. Stir until the onions become almost translucent (about 5 minutes).
2. Add the ham. Stir for a couple minutes until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
3. Add the garlic. Stir until fragrant (about 3 minutes). Make sure not to burn the garlic in this stage.
4. Add the olives. Stir for about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the tomato sauce. Let the sauce bubble for about 10 minutes, but make sure it does not burn at the bottom of the pan.
6. Add the shrimp. Keep stirring until the shrimp are cooked and pink. This will take longer than you might expect, because the sauce is so thick. Then set the pot aside off of the heat.
Heat enough oil to fry your plantains in a pot. This may take many sessions of frying, depending on how many plantains you have and how big your pot is. Fry your plantains until light brown.
8. Set the plantains on a plate with paper towels to reduce excess grease.
9. Take some of the shrimp and pork liquid and a few of the plantains together in a pilon and smash them. (This is where it gets fun). Keep doing this in batches until your plantains are gone.
10. Shape the mashed matter into little mounds with space in the middle. Then add extra sauce to the top. You can really serve the two parts any way you like.
We made Ceviche from my friend Mirey's recipe too!