I made this dish a couple of weeks ago and although it was “to die for”, I took horrible and unappetising pictures*… so I just had to repeat it of course! Well, and the second and most important reason is that it’s really delicious.
The first time I made it with regular sweet bananas, the kind you eat as fruit. I fried them just like you do with the plantains and mixed it with the cooked cassava root. The result was very tasty, slightly sweet and a great combination with the pork back rashers/bacon. So, if you don’t have plantains on hand, definitely try this with regular bananas.
With the plantains, the flavour will depend on whether you’re using the “platano verde” (less ripe) or the “maduro” (ripe and sweeter). I happen to have one of each!
Mofongo is a traditional dish in Puerto Rico and usually served with a tomato-based sauce with chicken, shrimp or pulled pork. But the sauce and toppings you use are entirely up to you and your palate. I am not a big fan of tomato-based sauces, so I made a typical Spanish recipe, called Pollo Encebollado, which is basically chicken with onions. It’s super easy to make and always comes out delicious.
I served the mofongo with creamed spinach, for the recipe please click on the link.
- 1 large cassava, peeled (about 300g), cut into chunks
- 2 large plantains (or if you don’t have them, 3 regular bananas can also be substituted – it makes the dish sweeter), cut into thick slices
- 4 cloves garlic, halved
- 2 strips of pork back rashers or bacon, diced
- 3 large chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (you can also use thighs/legs meat for juicier results)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 large golden onions
- 3 small red onions
- 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric/curcuma
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup filtered water
- For the mofongo: Cook the pork rashers or bacon in a fry pan. Set aside.
- Peel and cut the cassava into slices. You can either cook it in water until tender or fry it. Drain and set aside.
- Fry the plantains or bananas in coconut or olive oil. Drain and set aside.
- In a mortar or large bowl, with a pestle, ground the 4 cloves of garlic.
- Add the cassava and bananas and ground everything until you form a paste. You may have to do this in step, if you have a small mortar.
- Add the pork rashers or bacon bits. Mix well.
- Place on serving plates, by shaping the mofongo into a “bowl”. I made mine by placing it inside a round cookie form and later making an indentation in the center.
- For the “onion chicken” or pollo encebollado:
- In a deep sauce pan or wok, heat the olive oil with the chicken.
- Cook until the chicken is slightly brown on all sides.
- Add the onions and turmeric and cook about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to get tender.
- Add the water and wine and season to taste.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat and until the sauce thickens. Add more water if necessary, should the sauce become too thick.
- Serve over the mofongo “bowls” and enjoy!
*I have to admit that I’m posting this time around anyway, although I also don’t think the pictures are that great. I really must start using my better camara and learning more about styling and food photography!