Recipe of the Day: Mofongo
By MARK BITTMAN
Among the highest uses of unripe plantains is in mofongo, a magnificent blend of mashed sautéed plantains, garlic and bacon or other crisp-cooked pork. I’ve borrowed and adapted a sophisticated version of mofongo from Wilo Benet, the chef at Pikayo in San Juan.
Yield 4 servings
Time About 1 hour
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Mofongo is made with green plantains, which, unless you shop in a Latino market, is how you'll most often buy them. If you keep them in the refrigerator, ripening can be retarded for weeks with no loss of quality.
4 green plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pinch saffron, optional
4 cups well-flavored chicken stock
Oil for deep frying
4 thick slices bacon, or salt pork, prosciutto or cracklings
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Mix handful of salt into a bowl of cold water and soak plantain chunks. Combine saffron, if using, and stock in saucepan over low heat, keep warm. Bring at least 1 inch of oil to about 350 degrees in a deep skillet.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp; remove and drain. Remove plantain from water and drain, then deep fry the pieces (careful, they may spatter) until golden brown and tender. While still hot, add to food processor with bacon, garlic and some salt and pepper. You may have to work in batches. Process to consistency of mashed -- not whipped -- potatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then quickly shape into rough balls about the size of meatballs.
3. Place in soup bowls, douse with broth, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Wilo Benet
bloginfo: This is taken from today's New York Times.
blognote: This is not the mofongo version I am used to in Puerto Rico but it is the food that named me Mofongoman!