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"Mariquitas con Mojo" - Crispy Plantains with Tangy Garlic Sauce

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Hello fellow KG forum members!

 

Last Tuesday, my wife brought home some green plantains, so I decided to make some "Mariquitas con Mojo".

 

Although mojo typically refers to a type of marinade made with a few different ingredients, the mojo that I'm referring to here is more of a simple tangy garlic sauce. Some people get all complicated and roast their garlic and add a ton of ingredients to their mojo, but I personally think that all of that is overkill. In my opinion, simplicity is the key to a good mariquita appetizer.

 

"Mariquitas" are crispy chips or strips made from fried green plantains. The different variations are thin round chips, thick round chips, thin long strips and thick long strips. Personally, I like the thin long strips the best because they are very crispy, easy to bite and hold much more garlic mojo than the round chips do.

 

With mariquitas and with mojo, there is no right or wrong, just preference. Whatever you like, that's what you should make. After all, it's your food, so do what makes you happy! :)

 

 

For the mojo sauce, take about 10 garlic cloves (yes, I like a lot of garlic), mince them and add them to a bowl. Then, squeeze about three to four limes, depending upon the size and how juicy they are, into the same bowl. Make sure that you strain the limes as you're squeezing them in order to keep the pulp and the seeds out. Next, add about three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to this mix. Finally, add approximately three tablespoons of cold water to reduce the acidity of the lime juice and also add a couple of pinches of kosher salt into the bowl. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and put the bowl into the refrigerator. By the way, this is not a set recipe, so feel free to add or subtract whatever you feel like adjusting so that it tastes good to you.

IMG_7485_zpsxltz6qsz.jpg

 

Next, you'll need to get some green plantains. Here in Miami, you can find them in most grocery stores. Make a slit into the outer peel of the plantain from one end to the other, then remove the peel. This will leave you with the hard banana that resides inside the peel.

IMG_7487_zpsfevrobhf.jpg

 

If you want round chips, use a mandoline or a knife to cut the chips to your desired thickness. If you want long strips, use a mandoline or a vegetable peeler. For this cook, I used my vegetable peeler, laid the banana down on a cutting board and worked my way from one end of the banana to the other. Each time a thin strip came through the vegetable peeler, I placed it into a bowl with icy cold water. The icy water prevents each strip from sticking together. When the ice melts, just add more ice to the bowl.

IMG_7486_zpsbujo0hqc.jpg

 

In a large skillet, place about an inch and a half of vegetable oil in and heat it to approximately 375 degrees. I used a Thermapen to make sure that I was at the right temperature. Since I had prepared very thin strips, my total fry time was approximately 45 seconds. Whenever possible, I ask my wife to do the frying so that I can eat the mariquitas as they come out of the skillet (finger tip in image courtesy of my wife). :rofl:

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Once you remove the fried plantain strips from the oil, place them into a bowl lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess oil. At this point, I like to lightly salt them, but that's entirely up to you, your doctor and your blood pressure medicine. :P

IMG_7483_zps67eapcd9.jpg

 

When you're done frying up your plantains, you can either pour the mojo sauce over them all or serve them separately and let your family and friends eat them plain or dunk them into as much of the mojo sauce as they desire. This is one of my favorite appetizer dishes of all time. If you've never had them, try them and I guarantee that you'll get hooked!

IMG_7491_zps7yjpctvw.jpg

 

 

Thank you for looking and enjoy the pics!

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