Thanksgiving is coming up and I am hosting my husband's family this year. I'm always a little non-traditional when it comes to family meals, so I thought I'd do a spin on the traditional mashed potatoes gravy, and serve up some Mangu instead!
Before we get into the good eats, let me introduce myself! I'm ChiWei, and I blog over at One Dog Woof, named after one of my son's favorite books by Sandra Boyton. I'm a wife, a mom, and an engineer, with a quirky sense of humor (and of reality, probably). My blog is an outlet for me to share what I do in my limited free time, so come on by for a visit!
Ok, so Mangu. I won't try to give you the whole history, as I'll probably get it wrong, but I think it is originally Domincan. I had it at a friend's house, and found it delicious, so now we make our own!
I'm really not very good with exact measurements, but this dish is very forgiving, so just have fun with it! You'll need:
a bunch of green plantains - I used 10 plantains, since they were on sale for 5/$2.00
package of bacon - don't do the low fat, center cut stuff. You want the fat.
1 red onion
handful of cilantro
chicken broth or boullion
Step 1. Cook the bacon. Depending on how much you want to make, you may end up using/needing/wanting the entire pack of bacon. But really, you can't go wrong with bacon, so just cook it up, nice and crispy and do not discard the grease. Mmm bacon!
Step 2. Peel and cut the plantains into 1 inch chunks. I used to have an incredibly hard time with this, since I used to try to peel them like a banana. Don't. Cut the tips off, then cut a shallow slit down the length of the plantain and peel the whole thing off sideways, it's much easier.
Step 3. Boil the plantains in chicken broth. If you have homemade chicken broth, go you! If not, chicken bouillion or store bought broth works fine too. Put the plantains in a large pot and use enough liquid to just cover. Then boil, probably a half hour or more, until the plantains are easily mashable. Do not be afraid to use more bouillion in this step. It adds both seasoning and flavor to otherwise bland plantains.
Step 4. Dice the red onion. Again, whether you use a whole red onion or half, or use a yellow onion, or shallots, is up to you. It's all about just adding flavor. Check out this post for my onion-dicing tutorial!
Step 5. Back to the bacon for a moment. Once all the bacon is cooked and patted dry on paper towels, break/cut them into a little pieces, sort of like chunky bacon bits. Use the bacon fat in the pan to cook the onions you just diced up. Sweat them out until they are translucent. There's no need to add salt as the bacon fat should be plenty salty enough for most people. You can turn the heat off once your onions are done cooking.
Step 6. At this point, the plantains should be done boiling. Check to make sure they can be mashed with a fork. If so, drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Put the plantains back into the pot, and mash.
Step 7. Assembly. Add the onions, bacon fat, and bacon bits in with the mashed plantains and mix together. Chop up the cilantro and add that to the mixture as well.
At this point, you're done! You'll notice your mixture might be a bit dry or chunky. Add in the reserved cooking broth a little at a time to maintain consistency. If you like your mashed potatoes chunky, you'll need less liquid for your plantains. If you normally like your mashed potatoes mushy, then you'll need to add more of the cooking liquid here to get a softer consistency in the mashed plantains. You can also season with salt and pepper at this point, but it probably shouldn't require too much salt. This dish is also best consumed right away, as the plantains will dry out over time as they keep absorbing liquid.
I think this is a delicious alternative to your normal mashed potatoes and gravy, and it adds a great splash of color to your Thanksgiving spread!
I'd like to give a huge Thank You! to Mandy for letting me share a recipe with you today. I'd love for you to stop by One Dog Woof sometime and check out some of my other great tutorials, like my Merry-Go-Round bookshelf, Crocheted T-shirt Rug or Lucky Stars Mobile.
Happy Holidays Everyone!