The last breath of summer before the cool entrance of autumn. Fall is already in the air, so as a nod to the latest game – Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie – and a fond farewell to summer, here is…
King Kong Mofongo!
My really good friend Christine came down from VA to spend the weekend! Together we managed to whip up a feast that included:
Marinated Chicken with Smokey Chipotle Goat Cheese
That’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!
What’s great about the mofongo, marinade, aioli, and salsa is that you can make it the night before you even need to worry about putting the components of this meal together. Also, they pretty much make themselves. You’ll be putting your blender (or food processor) through its paces, believe me.
1 Sweet Red Pepper
2 Med. Onions
3 Cloves of Garlic
(look for the really ripe ones, because if they aren’t you’ll have to cook them to soften them up a bit)
3 slices bacon
1 Tbl. fat
(you can substitute this with shortening, butter, or canola oil)
1 Tbl. cilantro
1 Tbl. parsley
2 Chipotle peppers
(if you’re picking up the canned chipotles, feel free to throw in a couple teaspoons of the adobo sauce for more kick!)
2 Cups breadcrumbs
(Recommend: Panko/Japanese bread crumbs)
* Chop the bacon, and cook over medium heat. Reserve the tablespoon of fat. If you are squeamish about cooking with fat, replace with margarin, shortening, butter, canola oil, the list goes on. You get the idea though.
* Meanwhile! Dice your pepper, onions, and garlic, and add this to the pan with the bacon. Cook until the veggies start to soften.
* Cut your plantains into 1 inch pieces. If you avoided the brownish/ripened plantains at the market, you’ll need to cook the unripened (or green) plantains to softness. After that, you’ll be ready for…
* Blender! Add everything from the pan into the blender. Bring in about a tablespoon each of the cilantro and the parsley. Everything from bacon and the fat to the veggies to plantains to herbs had better be in there! (don’t forget a dash of salt and pepper)
* Pulse! Stop every once and a while to stir up the contents to ensure an even blend. Check your batter.
* If it’s runny, add one egg and one cup of panko breadcrumbs. Check the consistency again. Christine and I found you really need to add two eggs and two cups of breadcrumbs. What you are really looking for a is a batter that will bind and cling to your finger, instead of dripping off.
* Chill that in the fridge after dumping your batter into a container.
* Add 1/2 – 1 inch of oil to a pan. It doesn’t have to be exact, just enough to get a good bed of oil for the mofongo patties.
* Heat over medium heat
* Mold the batter into small patties. A good way to tell if your oil is ready is to grab just a bit of the batter and toss it into the pan. If you get a good sizzle and starts to brown, you’re set. If you get a loud sizzle and the smell of smoke, you need to turn your heat down. Hey, it beats trying that same trick out with water, and you won’t be wasting too much batter.
* Add the patties, lifting them from their edge to check. A good, brown bottom (it’s okay if there’s a little char!) is what you are looking for before you flip. Also, check the sides and see if the color has changed with cooking too.
* Distribute onto a paper towel lined dish.
That’s the main recipe for this week. Christine and I cooked so much more with our mofongo though, and it was so delicious I’ve included those recipes below.
1 Cup of Mayo
Juice of 1 Lime Wedge (about 1/4 of a lime)
2 Avocado (pitted)
Pinch of Cilantro (about a Tbl.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
* Blend the mayo, lime juice, avocado (my icecream scoop worked great in cleaning these bad boys out!), cilantro, and salt and pepper.
* Store in a container, and ‘fridgerate it.
1/4 Cup of Corn
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 habanero (optional – more heat!)
1/2 Med. Onion
1 Container of Grape Tomatoes (we used Yellow ones)
1/2 Tbl. Mint
1 Tbl. Cilantro
* Pit and dice the peaches, add to blender
* Add the corn as well, and then the garlic, habanero, onion, and tomatoes after a rough chop
* Add the herbs, as well.
* Blend and store in the fridge.
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Chipotle Peppers
(with about a teaspoon of adobo sauce!)
1 Tbl. Brown Sugar
1 Tbl. Apple Cider (optional, in case you don’t have apple cider vinegar… woops!)
* Dice your peaches after pitting them, and chop your garlic and peppers. Add the ingredients all together in the blender once again.
* Store! Fridge
Marinated Chicken Rolled with Smoky Chipotle Goat Cheese
2 Chicken breasts
(look for the big ones 😉 )
1/2 Cup Peach Marinade
1/2 bar of Chipotle Goat Cheese
(If you don’t have readily available flavored goat cheese, pick up a plain bar, and roll it in a rub made primarily of chipotle, but also cayenne and chili powder)
(This is to hold your rolled meat together as you bake it. Christine and I did not have twine, so we pinned it shut with uncooked spaghetti noodles.)
* Tenderize the chicken. Wrap the breasts individually in plastic wrap. Take your tenderizer – or in my case, an empty wine bottle – and start whacking the chicken in an outward motion from the center. This will spread and flatten the meat, which will come in handy when you need to roll up the goat cheese inside.
* Soak in the peach marinade for about a half an hour, to an hour, or even to the next day.
* Don’t be afraid to use your fingers! Start spreading the goat cheese across half the breasts.
* Roll the breasts from the goat cheese tip to the un-goat cheese tip. Tie the rolls enough so they won’t come undone, or pin shut with toothpicks (or uncooked spaghetti noodles.)
* Sear in a pan over medium heat.
* Bake at 350(F) for 25 minutes.
* Let sit for ten minutes after removed from the oven. Remove twine, toothpicks, or spaghetti noodles. Cut into medallions, serve.
Stay tuned for Halo3: ODST!