Busy schedules usually mean returning to comfort food and meals instead of venturing into unknown cuisines. At times like these, there is no shame to admit that friends come to my aid and teach me their favorite recipes or invite me over for meals. However, there comes a time when two people close to you argue over which dish is better in your very own kitchen.
This week we will be featuring two recipes: Llapingachos, an Ecuadorian Potato dish, and Mofongo, a Dominican plantain one. Both are simple to make and absolutely delicious to eat; sadly that is a sentiment my best friend and girlfriend do not share. Before any more potatoes and plantains fly across my room, let’s get to the recipes at hand.
Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Stuffed Cheesy Potatoes)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
• 4-5 Large Potatoes, peeled and diced into pieces
• 1 Onion, diced finely
• 1 Cup of Cheese – as always, I went with Asiago mixed with Mozzarella
• Salt and Pepper
• Bring a large pot of water to a boil with at least a tablespoon of salt.
• Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft and tender, this may take about 20 minutes.
• Drain the potatoes and let it rest in a bowl to cool.
• Mash the potatoes and then mix in paprika, pepper and onions until evenly mixed. Slowly add in cheese until evenly distributed.
• Shape the potatoes into patties, about ½ to 1 inch thick.
• In a large skillet, set to medium heat and add oil when sufficiently hot. Make sure to evenly coat the surface to allow for even cooking and no sticking.
• Set the patties down and cook on three minutes each side. You may have to add more oil before you flip it over. They should be golden brown and firm when done.
Mofongo (Dominican Mashed Plantains)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
• ½ Cup of Ground Chicharon
• 3 Plantains, cut into ½ inch strips
• 4-5 Cloves of Garlic, finely diced
• In a nonstick skillet, set to low heat and add oil when sufficiently hot. Light cook the garlic until lightly browned for about 1 minute.
• Remove and raise the heat to medium, add a bit more oil and then add in the plantains until they are golden brown and soft.
• In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients and mash them down until they form a soft consistency similar to mashed potatoes. Serve with soup.
Both dishes are very simple to make and have their own rich charm. Although the ones who taught me these dishes may disagree with me, I like them both and would definitely try them again. Feel free to change or manipulate the recipe as you see fit. Try adding a different filling with the cheese in the Llapingachos or use diced up mushrooms and asparagus with the plantains as well.