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Andalusian recipes, travel, and design

Cassava & Plantain (or Bananas) Mofongo with Pollo Encebollado

I made this dish a couple of weeks ago and although it was “to die for”, I took horrible and unappetising pictures*… so I just had to repeat it of course!  Well, and the second and most important reason is that it’s really delicious. 😉

The first time I made it with regular sweet bananas, the kind you eat as fruit. I fried them just like you do with the plantains and mixed it with the cooked cassava root. The result was very tasty, slightly sweet and a great combination with the pork back rashers/bacon. So, if you don’t have plantains on hand, definitely try this with regular bananas.

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With the plantains, the flavour will depend on whether you’re using the “platano verde” (less ripe) or the “maduro” (ripe and sweeter). I happen to have one of each!

Mofongo is a traditional dish in Puerto Rico and usually served with a tomato-based sauce with chicken, shrimp or pulled pork. But the sauce and toppings you use are entirely up to you and your palate. I am not a big fan of tomato-based sauces, so I made a typical Spanish recipe, called Pollo Encebollado, which is basically chicken with onions. It’s super easy to make and always comes out delicious.

I served the mofongo with creamed spinach, for the recipe please click on the link.

Cassava & Plantain Mofongo with Pollo Encebollado
Recipe Type: Easy
Cuisine: Latin American, Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large cassava, peeled (about 300g), cut into chunks
  • 2 large plantains (or if you don’t have them, 3 regular bananas can also be substituted – it makes the dish sweeter), cut into thick slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 strips of pork back rashers or bacon, diced
  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (you can also use thighs/legs meat for juicier results)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large golden onions
  • 3 small red onions
  • 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric/curcuma
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup filtered water
Instructions
  1. For the mofongo: Cook the pork rashers or bacon in a fry pan. Set aside.
  2. Peel and cut the cassava into slices. You can either cook it in water until tender or fry it. Drain and set aside.
  3. Fry the plantains or bananas in coconut or olive oil. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a mortar or large bowl, with a pestle, ground the 4 cloves of garlic.
  5. Add the cassava and bananas and ground everything until you form a paste. You may have to do this in step, if you have a small mortar.
  6. Add the pork rashers or bacon bits. Mix well.
  7. Place on serving plates, by shaping the mofongo into a “bowl”. I made mine by placing it inside a round cookie form and later making an indentation in the center.
  8. For the “onion chicken” or pollo encebollado:
  9. In a deep sauce pan or wok, heat the olive oil with the chicken.
  10. Cook until the chicken is slightly brown on all sides.
  11. Add the onions and turmeric and cook about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to get tender.
  12. Add the water and wine and season to taste.
  13. Cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat and until the sauce thickens. Add more water if necessary, should the sauce become too thick.
  14. Serve over the mofongo “bowls” and enjoy!

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*I have to admit that I’m posting this time around anyway, although I also don’t think the pictures are that great. I really must start using my better camara and learning more about styling and food photography!

Creamed Spinach with Bacon

I found this recipe for creamed spinach in a Spanish magazine months ago and left the torn page in our apartment in Sevilla. On our last weekend trip, I found it and remembered to bring it with me. The original recipe calls for onions, instead of leek, but I personally love how leeks taste and also, as I served the creamed spinach with mofongo and pollo encebollado (onion chicken), I thought leeks were a better accompaniment than additional onions.

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Creamed Spinach with Bacon
Recipe Type: Easy
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500g large spinach leaves, steamed and drained
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 pork back rashers, cut into cubes, or bacon bits
  • For the Paleo béchamel sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, olive oil or coconut oil (I prefer butter, as it adds to the flavour and richness of this sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Manchego or Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Clean the spinach leaves and steam until wilted. Drain. Cut into smaller pieces and ensure to get out all of the liquid or as much as possible.
  2. While the spinach is steaming, in a small saucepan, cook the pork back rashers until almost crispy.
  3. Add the leeks and cook until tender. (Add some olive oil or coconut oil, should it be necessary. I find that with the back rashers, sometimes some oil is necessary, whereas with bacon, it is not.)
  4. Add the cooked spinach to the leek and back rashers and mix well. Pour into an oven proof dish and set aside.
  5. In the same saucepan (just wipe it off with a paper towel), add the butter (or oil of choice) and heat over medium heat.
  6. Once the butter is melted and warm, add the arrowroot and mix well. Fry for about 1 minute.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and gently add the coconut milk, while stirring constantly.
  8. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.
  9. Add the nutmeg and seasoning to taste. Mix well.
  10. Pour over the spinach mixture in the oven proof dish.
  11. Set the oven to broil.
  12. Sprinkle with some grated cheese over top and broil until golden, about 2 minutes.