Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mashed Plantains with Quick Pickled Red Onions

I love Spanish food.  I love that my Hubby is Dominican.  I love that he knows about a type of food that I really know nothing about.  He is slowly but surely introducing me to Dominican food.  He is always telling me that out of everyone in his family, he is by far the worst cook, but I don't think so- I'm always excited and delighted when he prepares Dominican food for me.  One item in particular I am always interested in learning about and experimenting cooking with is plantains.  I had never had them before I met him, and since we've been together, I have insisted that me make them more frequently.  I love them!  They are so versatile and I am sure I have barely scratched the surface of what can be made with them. 

I generally use the green plantains.  I have only ever used the ripe/yellow plantains once, and that was to simply make fried sweet plantains, which were out of this world, but I am definitely open to learning more about them!  I love tostones (fried green plantains that are fried once, flattened and fried again so that the outside is crispy and the inside is soft) and mashed plantains.  I also went once to La Casa Del Mofongo in Washington Heights and was in love!  I was able to get a vegetarian mofongo and would absolutely love to make a vegan version of it for my Hubby.  I'm sure he would be surprised, because it usually contains fried pork skins (ugh I know).  I was talking to a coworker the other day that is Spanish and he was telling me that mofongo is made from green plantains that are chopped and fried, not boiled, like I thought.  Then they are mashed and all of the seasonings are added.  That is next on my list of things to try!  But for now, I made an equally delicious mashed plantain dish.

Mashed Plantains with Quick Pickled Red Onions

Mashed Seasoned Plantains with Quick Pickled Red Onions
Serves 2

Mashed Plantains:
2 green plantains, peeled and sliced
1/4 green pepper, small diced
1 large onion, small diced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vegetable boullion powder
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon earth balance

Quick Pickled Red Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced and sliced separated into rings
2 capfuls apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.  Place the chopped plantains in a medium pot filled with water.  Boil plantains until tender.
2.  In the meantime, prepare the ingredients for the plantains.  Chop the green and jalapeno peppers, onion and garlic.  In a separate medium pot, saute the onions, green and jalapeno pepper and garlic in the 3 tablespoons of oil until fragrant and lightly golden. 
3.  By now the plantains should be cooked.  Drain and discard the water.  Leave them in the sink to thoroughly drain. 
4.  Use the pan the plantains were cooked in and drain the oil from the cooked onions, pepper and garlic mixture into that pan.  Put the drained plantains on top of the oil.  Reserve the cooked veggies, you will be adding these to the plantains once you mash them.
5.  Mash the plantains and the flavored oil together.  They will feel hard and dry, but that's fine, we'll fix that in a minute.  Mash them until there are no longer any large chunks in them.
5.  In the meantime, place a medium sized saute pan over medium-high heat.  Toss together the ingredients for the quick pickled onions in a small bowl, being sure to separate the onion into rings.  Once the pan is hot, toss in all of the ingredients in the bowl.  It will sizzle and pop, but that's fine.  Stir and shake the pan periodically until all the liquid has evaporated and the onions are still crisp. but slightly tender.  Set aside until the plantains are finished.
6.  Go back to the plantains.  Add the cooked veggies, all the spices: the boullion powder, sea salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder.  Add the earth balance and the cold water and mash all ingredients together until a nice consistency is achieved.  It is very important to use the cold water.  If you use hot water, the plantains will seize up and turn hard as a rock!  Season to taste. 
7.  Place the mashed plantains on a plate and mold into a mound with your hands.  Top with the pickled onions and serve more onions on the side.  Serve.  Bon appetite!



No comments:

Post a Comment