Cooking at home with Ms. M

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It’s Tuesday night. I found some green plantains in the grocery store yesterday. I want to make mofongo. I cant remember how or find my old recipe. My husband usually comes home hungry around 6:15. Is that the time? I should have started an hour ago!

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1. Ignore the clutter. It’s always there. Do a google search for “healthy mofongo recipes” on the laptop. I dont want to fry the plantain, which is traditional. Fried food upsets my tummy and frying makes a mess.

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2. Choose a beverage of choice: wine or beer. For this recipe I chose beer. No, its not an ingredient its for me to drink while cooking.

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3. Slice the green plaintains. Fortunately, tonight I didn’t slice any fingers. Hey, it happens – to me – a lot. I used 2 plantains and that was more than enough to feed 2 adults and one small child who refused to eat any because “it looks like puke” kids, huh? God love ’em. Someone has to.

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4. Place in a pot and cover with chicken broth. Add smashed garlic. Bring to a boil and let simmer.

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5. While it simmers, rummage through the fridge for a substitute for chicharon/ pork rind. I found some spanish-style salami I bought at Trader Joe’s. I chopped it up and cooked it up in a frying pan until crispy.

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6. I decided to add shrimp. Cooked and defrosted from Trader Joes. That was easy.

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7. Even though the shrimp was pre-cooked, it was cold and bland. I tossed it around in the pan with some chili oil and garlic salt for 1-2 minutes. I didnt have the time nor all the ingredients to make sofrito.

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8. This is what the plantains look like after simmering for about an hour. Test with a fork they should be soft but not mushy. I removed with a slotted spoon to another bowl because I wasnt going to mash it in my Le Crueset pot.

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9. Mash the boiled plaintains, garlic and chicharron-substitute together. Add salt to taste. This would be easier in a food processor, if you owned one.

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10. If your arms are tired from step 9, enlist your son to crush up 2 cloves of garlic with 1 tbsp of oil. I know, I boiled 2 cloves of garlic with the plantains already, but hey I love garlic. Add the garlic and oil mixture to the mofongo.

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11. Almost done. Recruit your husband to make a salad. This dish goes well with a crisp green salad, especially one you dont have to make yourself.

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12. Finished! You can mold into shape by putting in a small bowl and overturning onto a plate or just use your hands. Make an indentation in the middle and place in shrimp. Drizzle with the gravy left in the pot you boiled the plantains in. Wow, I cant believe that worked out and dinner was on the table by 7:05. Now if I only had a big head and a tight sweater I could maybe get on TLC.

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