Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bonus Territory: Puerto Rico: Mofongo

Puerto Rico is probably the best known of the US territories.   Puerto Rican food and culture are among the things I miss from my days in New York City.   It is hard to find Puerto Rican food - much less vegan Puerto Rican food - in Tennessee.   It's really a shame as PR cuisine is amazing.  One could do 50 posts of delicious Puerto Rican food, and still have plenty more to go!   For this evening, I decided to make mofongo.  Mofongo is one of my favorite PR dishes.  It is also easy, warm, and comforting -- all good things on a cold November worknight.

Mofongo is one of those recipes which is infinitely variable once you grasp the idea.  You can go crazy with variations, but I made a pretty basic vegan version:

1. Fry some tempeh bacon and set it aside.   Out of laziness, I used a 7 oz package of the pre-marinated stuff from the grocery store.   I will shamelessly confess that I have often made this with vegan bacon bits (the kind in the jar which you sprinkle on salad).

2. In the same skillet, fry 2-3 T chopped garlic for a couple of minutes.   Set aside, and mix with 1 - 1 1/2 t salt.  Go easy on the salt.  You can always add more.

3.  Peel and chop 4 green plantains.   The incredibly phallic green tool in the photo is an E-Z Peeler, which makes short work of the task.   Fry the plantain pieces until they are golden brown.   I deep fried them in a cast iron dutch oven, as I had oil left over from making the Seitan Finger Steaks.

4. Toss everything (garlic, tempeh, fried plantain chunks, salt) into a food processor.  Process until you have a fairly even texture.   You won't get quite the same texture as if you mashed everything with a pestle, but, hey, it's a hell of a lot faster and easier.   Taste, adjust salt as needed, and add whatever else you like, e.g. a bit of black pepper and smoked paprika.  If it seems too dry, you can add a little broth and/or olive oil -- but not too much!

5. Form this mixture into balls (or a mound, but balls are more fun), and serve surrounded by the broth or thin soup of your choice.   I used veggie broth stirred up from a commercial paste -- no big effort tonight!  A sprinkle of parsley or cilantro and you are ready to eat!

1 comment:

Bianca said...

YUM!! I love plantains. I need one of those penis peelers though. I HATE peeling them on their own!