- 3 plantains, green
- 1/3 cup salt pork, diced
- ½ tablespoon garlic, fresh, mashed
- Canola oil for frying
Using a sharp knife, slice open each plantain lengthwise just deep enough as the peel, and peel them. Cut each plantain into 1" pieces on a bias. Add the pieces into a bowl filled with cold water.
In a large frying pan, pour in about an inch of oil. When the oil is hot, add some of the plantain pieces, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes on each side. You want the plantains to be fork-tender but not too browned. (Be careful because there will be a lot of splatter).
Remove the tender pieces one at a time from the pan, and place paper towels to drain. On a cutting board, place one piece of plantain at a time and flatten it with a wide wooden spatula or the bottom of a small plate. Continue with the rest of the plantains.
Add the salt pork to the oil and cook for about 5 minutes. You want the salt pork cooked and the fat rendered. Drain the pieces out with a spoon and place in a medium sized metal bowl. Add the garlic to the bowl.
When the oil is hot again, raise the heat to medium-high and add the plantains back to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, turn, and then cook for another minute. You want them browned and crispy. Remove the pieces to a paper-towel lined plate.
Working in batches, place a bit of the salted pork and garlic, and several fried plantains in the molcajete**; smash with the pestle. When it's in a nice crumbly paste consistency, add it to a glass bowl and keep warm. Continue smashing until you're done.
Shape the mofongo into 2 inch balls and spoon some sofrito sauce over them and serve as a side dish to a salad; or place mofongo balls in soup bowls and douse with broth, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
**You can also use a food processor – add the plantains to food processor with salt pork bits, and garlic. Process to consistency of mashed—not whipped—potatoes. Do not over process!