Monday, June 29, 2009

Lazy Substitutiony Vegetarian Mofongo

I got envious of Andrew's culinary adventures without me in Oregon, and decided to make one of my own favorite things, Mofongo.

I did it extremely lazy, and made lots of substitutions, and it still came out really good. I think the mofongo recipes you find out there are way too fussy. Or maybe I just have tin taste buds...

Anyway, here's what I did:

Lazy Substitutiony Vegetarian Mofongo

  • 2 green plantains
  • 1 package of LightLife SmartStrips, the tasty vegetarian meat substitute with the stupid name. If you like to eat pigs, put bacon or pork in instead as a meat substitute substitute.
  • 5 guks of olive oil (turn the bottle upside down and listen: guk guk guk guk guk STOP)
  • Too much garlic powder
  • One package of shrimp ramen
Peel the plantains. They're awkwarder to peel than bananas. Chop them into pieces like half an inch thick. Fry them on medium heat for a while in a little too much olive oil. If your frying pan isn't small and stupid like mine, then you'll probably need more guks. Anyway, turn 'em and don't burn 'em. They don't even have to brown, but you want to make sure they're mostly cooked inside.

Lift them out of the frying pan with a holey spatula so most of the grease is left in the pan, and put the strips in the there and start them frying.

While they're frying, mush up the plantains. Mine were kinda crusty from cooking, so it wasn't easy, and like I said I don't have any kitchen equipment to speak of, so it was a little spoon and a too-small bowl. Maybe you have an electric plantain-o-matic you got at your wedding and haven't used, but don't go crazy and overmush them; you want tasty chunky texture.

Next you're supposed to prep a cup of bouillon. Like I have bouillon. Instead I used half of the flavor packet from the shrimp ramen, too much garlic powder, and maybe a little less than a cup of water. I know what you're thinking, but shut up, it came out good.

When the strippies have browned a little, I took a little more than half of them out, because there were too much. Having no containers left, I put them in a tupper, and it started to melt the bottom. So I floated it in the sink in the hopes it would keep the plastic from melting through, ruining my leftovers AND my tupper. You don't have to do it this way, if you have fancy french-chef kitchen stuff like "non-plastic bowls". Anyway, the sink trick totally worked.

Put the mushed plantains back in the pan, and then pour the ramen packet garlic water in there, and it'll make all cooking noises and smell good.

Oh yeah, you should have cut those strips things into smaller pieces before cooking. But it's not too late -- just attack them with the spatula. It'll slip and you'll get grease everywhere, but that's what cleaning up later is for.

Anyway, keep playing with this watery chunky mess, and as the water cooks down, the plantains will kind of soak it up and finish cooking, and you'll want to take it off the heat when it's dry.

It's supposed to be served on a plate in a kind of big snowball-sized lump. Mine is served in a lump that happens to be exactly the same shape and size as my one big cooking spoon. Same shape, you'll notice as the rice, which I did in a pan, not a rice maker, because I don't have one, and it came out perfect even though I was doing two things at once, because I'm master Plastic Chef.

Also? Beer and avocado.