Enter mofongo. Considered the official dish of Puerto Rico, and hugely popular in the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries, mofongo is made from mashed, fried green (unripe) plantains and a whole lotta pork product. Its porous texture makes it the perfect vehicle for soaking up the pan juices from your turkey.
Yield: 6 servings
6 green plantains
2 ounces (about 2/3 of a bag) pork rinds
1/2 cup chopped bacon
5-6 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Adobo seasoning, to taste
- Fill a deep fryer with oil, and set to 375 degrees. (You can also deep-fry in a cast iron or heavy enamel pot using a candy thermometer to register the temperature.) Before frying, peel the plantains, cut them into 1-inch slices, soak them in salted water for 15 minutes, drain them, and dry them very well on paper towels.
- Render the chopped bacon with 1 tsp. of vegetable oil in a saute pan until crisp. Turn off the heat, then add the minced garlic. Set the mixture aside in a bowl, but don’t drain the fat.
- Deep-fry the plantains for about 12 minutes until golden, turning them halfway through. Test for doneness by piercing them with a knife—they should be slightly soft.
- While they are still hot, mash the plantains, bacon, garlic, and pork rinds together using a potato masher. Season with Adobo to taste, but remember that the pork rinds might add some saltiness already. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired.
- Traditionally, mofongo is made in a pilón, or mortar and pestle, so by all means if your Abuelita has one, break it out. We advise not using a food processor, though, because you’re looking for a rustic texture, not a smooth one. It will also activate the starch in the plantains, giving your mofongo the texture of drying concrete.
- Although mofongo is usually shaped into a flat-bottomed sphere or cone shape, you can skip this step and just serve it in a bowl.
- A sweeter (more dessert-friendly) version of mofongo, called trifongo, is made with a combination of cassava, ripe and green plantains.