Mofongo is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish with plantains as its main ingredient. Plantains are picked green and mashed with salt and water in a wooden pilón, The object is to produce mashed plantains that absorb the attending condiments and have either pork cracklings (Chicharrón) or bits of bacon inside.
Now, you don’t have to have a friend who’s a Puerto Rican in order to make this dish successfully. I have one and he has lent me his family’s recipe, so feel free to hang out with whomsoever you like. Puerto Ricans are a fine choice for friendly entertainment for a number of reasons. 1. They enjoy fun and frivolity so where you find them, there are good times close by. 2. They are feisty to the core so you rarely have to worry about getting beat up. Like guys from Boston, they love to mix it up, even the girls. Especially the girls. Your only question will be when to drag your friend off the person he is turning into smooshed plantains.
The Mofongo’s roots come from the western African Fufu, mixed with Spanish and Taíno influences. Fufu is made from various starchy vegetables and was introduced to the Caribbean by Africans in the Spanish New World colonies. The origin of mofongo can be traced back to Puerto Rico.
Tips To Making Mofongo
- Plantains: Unripe, green plantains make the meal here. Plantains’ starch becomes sugar overtime. When this happens, save them for plantains cooked in butter.
- Preparation: Peel plantains and cut into 1 inch segments. Prepare boiling water with a dash of salt.
- Boil: Cook in boiling water until plantains are tender (about ten minutes)
- Mash: Plantains in large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Cook: 3 Tablespoons of garlic until tender (about two minutes)
- Mix: Garlic with plantains. Crunch up a Cup of fried pork rinds and mix in.
Use the plantains as a filling in a small bowl like a pie crust. Add the chicken or beans into the plantain bowl and enjoy.
Puerto Rican Beans
2 cans small red bean
2 cans water
1 chopped potato
1/2 can tomato sauce
med thin sliced onion
T cilantro, T oregano, 2 T Adobo, 2 t Sazon, 2 t black pepper
2 T Sofrito (if you can find it)
1 t onion powder
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
Vic’s Family Chicken
1 whole chicken (cut up)
2 med onions diced
1 T All purpose seasoning
2 cans tomato sauce
5 cubed skinned potatoes
2 t garlic powder
1-2 t black pepper
Use just enough water to cover ingredients.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer
For added thickness add 1 T tomato paste
This recipe can go with other meats such as cubed beef or ribs. Tradition calls for any kind of leftovers to be used.
See this article on cooking fried plantains Costa Rican style.