Puerto Rican Mofongo Stuffing

I originally posted this as part of a round-up of favorite Thanksgiving recipes, but felt it deserved its own post. This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. A standard on just about every Puerto Rican table, it definitely knocks all those other classic Thanksgiving dressings out of the water.

Puerto Rican mofongo stuffing is a plantain-based dish with lots of garlic, sofrito, and a generous handful of crispy pork cracklings or slab bacon.

The flavorful stuffing can be cooked inside the turkey or simply prepared on the stove and served alongside the the bird as a side dish.

In Puerto Rico, where this recipe originated, mofongo is eaten as a side dish or even a main course throughout the year, often topped with stewed seafood (shrimp is my fave), grilled meat, or even crabmeat.

It's incredible, and something that I think you should definitely try this year!

Want more Puerto Rican Christmas recipes? Check out my eCookbook: The Puerto Rican Christmas Table with 40+ recipes and full-color photos. Click here to learn more!

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Mofongo Stuffing (Fried Green Plantain Stuffing)

6 Green Plantains (you want really green ones with almost no sign of black)
Coconut or vegetable oil for frying
6 strips, thick-sliced slab bacon
3/4 cup sofrito (recipe follows)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth, as needed
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

For the sofrito:
1 medium yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro with stems
1 cup roughly chopped parsley with stems

1. Fill a 5 qt pot with 4 inches of oil. Heat oil to 375 degrees for frying (use a deep fat themometer)

2. Peel the plantains and slice into rounds on the diagonal so that the slices come out somewhat oval shaped (much the same way you would slice a baguette).

3. When the oil hits the right temperature, fry the plantain slices in batches for 3 minutes each. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain for 2 minutes (don't turn off the heat). Use the bottom of a glass or the side of a rolling pin to smash each fried plantain down. The plantain should squash into a flattened patty.

Fry the flattened plantains again for 2 additional minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain.

4. Dice the slab bacon and saute in a hot skillet until crisp. Remove the crisp bacon and reserve.

5. Prepare the sofrito: in a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. (Note: The leftover condiment can be used as a base for stews, to marinate meat, for Spanish rice, or to saute with egg scrambles.)

6. In a large bowl, use your hands to knead and break up the plantains. Add the 3/4 cup sofrito, the fried and crisped bacon, 1/3 cup of olive oil and stir. Add the chicken broth in slowly, 1/4 cup at a time as you combine everything. The stuffing should be moist but not mushy. Add salt and black pepper and test for seasoning.

This can be served immediately, stuffed inside a turkey or chicken, or it can be refrigerated overnight and then reheated for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven (add a little more chicken broth if you choose to reheat in the oven).

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