Machuquillo

Machuquillo is a plantain based, Cuban dish that is a close (yet too often overlooked) cousin to the Dominican mangu and the Puerto Rican mofongo. Unlike the other two, which use green plantains, machuquillo employs the ripe, yellow plantains, which makes it powerfully sweet. Besides its ingredients being equal in monetary value to the change you find in your couch cushions, high levels of potassium will have you running with almost unholy amounts of energy for most of the morning (and people wonder why islanders are out of their minds).

Have it by itself for a quick fix, morning pick me up or on the side for a more substantial starter, machuquillo is the breakfast of campeones.

INGREDIENTS 

2 Ripened Plantains (Look for plantains that have a nice balance between yellow and black. Black on a plantain doesn’t mean it’s gone bad but rather that it’s in the process of ripening. The blacker it is, the sweeter your dish will be. Be careful though, and look for a responsible coloring)

1/3 Cup of Sliced Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove, Diced

Evaporated Milk

Olive Oil

Vinegar, to taste

Salt & Pepper, to taste

PROCESS 

Slice off each end of the plantain and cut a long slit along the legnth of it. Remove the peel and slice horizontally and at a slight angle.

Get some water boiling in a saucepan and boil the plantains until soft. The less ripe the plantain, the longer this will take. Test with a fork. Remove from water and set aside.

In a seperate pan, saute the red onion and garlic on a medium flame until soft.

With the oil still hot, add the boiled plantain slices. Coat them with the oil, you can even let them brown A LITTLE if you would like.

With a fork, mash the plantains until the consistency is soft yet still chunky while slowly adding a splash of evaporated milk. We’re not trying to drown the plantains in this stuff, now, but instead look for slightly creamy consistency. It should be no more than a splash or two of this stuff. Again, the less ripe the plantain, the longer this process will take.

Add salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.

Serve hot with a nice cafe con lecheeggs, or ham (or some Dominican Salami).

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