Mashed plantains with pork rinds: Machuca de platano con chicharrones
This variation on traditional machuca uses crispy chicharrones (pork cracklings), which give a good texture to the dish and impart the taste of pork without having to use the traditional lard.
A cousin of the West African fufu, machuca is best made with barely ripe plantains, those that are still mostly yellow. (They can have some black spots but not have turned mostly black.)
Garlic lovers can feel free to use more roasted garlic to taste. Mexican cooks usually roast unpeeled garlic on a comal, but use the oven method if you prefer.
- 3 large yellow plantains
- 2 heads roasted garlic, peeled and squeezed to extract pulp
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ pound chicharrones (crisp pork rinds)
Cut the unpeeled plantains in half crosswise and place in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover saucepan and reduce heat. Cook until the plantains are tender, about 20 minutes. A knife should easily pierce through the skin and flesh.
Drain and peel the plantains, place in a bowl and mash with a potato or bean masher. Add the garlic pulp and salt, incorporating thoroughly.
Break up the chicharrones into small pieces and mix them into the machuca. Serve immediately, before the chicharrones become soggy. If preparing the machuca in advance, do not add the chicharrones until just before serving. Alternatively, serve this as an appetizer, using the pieces of chicharrones as "chips" for scooping the machuca. Serves 6.
El platano macho: The plantain is the banana's big brother
Immigrant Cooking in Mexico: The Afromestizos of Veracruz