When my husband and I went to Puerto Rico on our honey moon several years ago, we both fell in love with the dish that every local seemed to love, Mofongo.
Basically, mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish typically made with green plantains mashed together in a pilón (which is a wooden mortar and pestle), with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings or bits of bacon. It is often filled with vegetables, chicken, crab, shrimp, or beef and is often served with fried meat and chicken broth soup.
When I grow weary of making the same old things all the time, I like to draw inspiration from my travels, from what we eat when we’re out, and from other friends and their recipes. So as I was sitting here, STARVING, feeling my sweet little daughter squirm around in my belly, I decided to travel back to Puerto Rico (in my head of course), and the amazing flavors and textures that make up mofongo.
I made it a couple of times before for my family, A LONG TIME AGO, and I remembered it not being THAT hard… I was super pumped to put together this delicious island meal for my crew, bringing back memories of our amazing getaway.
Guess what? It was a success!! A HUGE success. We all loved it, even my little guys. I hope you’ll like it too!
Major loved it so much, in fact, that he decided to sing a song about it. I took this video the first time he ate it, and I decided to share it again. Yeah, it’s old, but I think it’s cute as hell. And hey, I bet you’ll be singing too, once you make this Puerto Rican classic in your very own home.
- a tbsp or so of olive oil
- 3 green plantains, peeled and chopped in 1/2" slices
- Vegetable or chicken stock. (1 cup or so)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp of bacon fat, or 3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- More olive oil
- 3/4 lb. large or jumbo cleaned, de-veined, de-tailed shrimp
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large bunch of washed cilantro
- salt & pepper
- crushed red pepper (as much or as little as you want)
- In a skillet, warm up some olive oil (OR BACON FAT), and toss in the garlic & onions. Cook until translucent.
- Add in the cooked/crushed bacon now.
- Cook on low to deepen the flavors.
- Remove the veggies from the pan, and add in some more oil or bacon fat.
- Turn heat up to med-high, and add in the plantain pieces, and let them get browned on one side, then the other, before turning the heat down. Check at around 5 minutes, and add a little of the stock. Stir. Cover. Keep doing this. It's kind of like risotto here. Salt & pepper to taste.
- Once the plantains are nice and super tender, like SUPER tender, pour them into the bowl where you have the veggies/bacon, and using a potato masher, mash the plantains into a consistency like mashed potatoes.
- To serve, scoop some of the mofongo out onto a plate and form into a round shape. You can also use a small bowl to get the mold right.
- Put some olive oil into a sauce/stock pot and get it warm. Add your onions, garlic and salt. Cook until translucent.
- Add the can of tomatoes. Stir.
- Stir in 1/2 of the bunch of cilantro and turn the sauce down to med-low, stirring occasionally.
- In about 10 minutes, add the crushed red pepper, and some more salt/pepper.
- TASTE ALONG THE WAY. The sauce should be sweet and acidic, with a slight heat.
- After about 40 or so minutes, add in the rest of the cilantro. Keep stirring.
- When you're about ready to serve, add in the shrimp, and set your timer for 7 minutes. Stir the shrimp into the sauce. Once the timer goes off, your shrimp should be cooked through. They'll look opaque.
- If your sauce is too thick, just add some of the veggie/chicken stock to thin it out.
- To serve, spoon out the amount of shrimp desired and place on top of your mofongo, and then top with the sauce.