My favorite part about cruising (okay, ONE of my favorite parts about cruising!) is the food.
Specifically, I love visiting places, going grocery shopping, learning the local foods and dishes. Because when I make those dishes again, somewhere else, even with less-than-authentic ingredients (because, hello, when you're cruising you can't always find everything you want!) . . . I'm immediately transported directly back to the place, the people, the land.
When we were with Totem in Panama in February of this year, Behan shared favorite dishes (and stories) with us from their travels. We contributed too . . . We ate mashuni from the Maldives. Arepas from Colombia. Pancakes were topped with Vermont maple syrup.
And we made mofongo.
A surprise haul of plantains from the local veggie "boat" in the Guna Yala, plus a chicken from the same boat, made making mofongo a given. This Puerto Rican dish is a Totem favorite, and like many boat meals, it's never exactly the same twice.
It's a tad complicated. But with laughter to spice it up, and the promise of a lovely sunset shared together in a fabulous anchorage . . . we've got all the time in the world.
basically patties made of mashed plantains with bits of crispy fried cured pork and garlic, topped with stewed chicken.
1 plantain per person, peeled and cubed and boiled until soft enough to mash.
Add in enough water or broth to make a stiff dough
-Fry up cubes of chorizo, or bacon, or crispy sausage bits . . . 1/4 lb+ per 2 people. Add in at least 1-2 cloves of garlic per person, minced, into the pork as you're frying it. Don't bother draining off the grease.
-Mix pork with plantain mixture and a good amount of salt.
- Heat a small amount of vegetable or olive oil in a skillet and add a good spoonful of the plantain mixture, flattening it. You might fit 2-3 patties in a skillet. Cook them until crispy, then flip - it'll be about 2 -3 minutes a side. Repeat until all the plantain mixture is cooked!
-Cook a whole chicken (best with bones for flavor) or pieces. Shred the meat, saving any juice you can.
- chop up 2 onions and 2 green peppers, if you have them.
- In a large pot (the one you cooked the chicken in is perfect!) saute the vegetables until they begin to smell good and are softening. Add in broth, cilantro, lime juice, or sofrito or green salsa to form a stew-like base - add in the chicken bits.
Serve the stewed chicken on top of the plantain patties.