Monday, 1 October 2012

Prawn Mofongo

I'm sure that a lot of people have never ever heard of mofongo, and that is sounds like a made up dish, but it's the national dish of both Puerto Rico and  the Dominican Republic, these two countries love this dish so much that they fight over where it originated. The most logical explanation is that it is a derivative of African fufu, that is a paste made by pounding cassava, yams or plantains. Both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico share the same ancestral roots of Africa and Spain, which resonates in the national dish. Mofongo is a highly flavoured mash made from deep-fried plantains, chicharron (seasoned pork rinds or pork scratchings) garlic and salt. This dish has always intrigued me and I honestly did not know what to expect, I can say I was very pleasantly surprised with the result, so much so I felt the need to share it. It's not often you come across an extremely simple dish with so few ingredients that leaves such an impression. Don't be fooled by the simplicity, it packs a serious flavour punch.

You will need:

For the Mofongo
75g of chicharron or pork scratchings
4 large Plantains
25g of fresh garlic
2 tsp of maldon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
I use enough vegetable oil so that it is al least a couple of inches deep, heat this in a pan on a medium heat. To test the oil is hot enough stick the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden chopstick into it, if the oil bubbles slightly it is ready. Peel the plantains like a banana and slice into thick chunks, fry in the oil until golden brown. In a Pestle and Mortar crush the garlic using the salt as an abrasive, when crushed add the chicharrones and crush until it is a fine paste. Add the fried plantains and mash into the garlic paste one at a time until all of the plantains are incorporated. Traditionally the paste is then pushed into a bowl to form a shape and then turned out onto a bowl.

For the Prawns:

3 tbsp of olive oil
1 sliced red pepper
1 sliced green pepper
1 sliced red onion
2 fresh green jalapenos
1 tsp of smoked paprika pimenton
1 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of salt
200ml of water
75g of chopped garlic
300g of fresh tomatoes
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp of white sugar
1 tsp of chicken stock paste
juice of 1/4 of a lime 
300g of raw deveined king prawns
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander

In a sauce pan on a medium heat, fry the onion and peppers in the olive oil until softened, add jalapenos, paprika and cumin and cook for a further five minutes to cook the rawness out of the spices. Add the chopped garlic and fresh tomatoes, sautee until the tomatoes begin to break down, add the water, chicken stock paste, salt, sugar, vinegar and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce begins to reduce. Finally add the prawns and cook until just pink. Turn off the heat and finish the sauce with the lime juice for a last minute zing and fresh lemony chopped coriander. Spoon the sauce around the mofongo and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Jeram79 said...