We all know and love the classic mofongo, but that ball of garlicky goodness has a bajillion calories (rounding up). I am here to bring the kind of life-changing good news that one hopes to get this time of the year: This Camarofongo (light, non-fried version of shrimp mofongo) is every bit as good as the real thing, if not better.
If I had any doubts, they were put to rest yesterday.
It may come as a surprise to you, but the life of a food blogger is not all glamour and exciting adventures — OK, so nobody thought it was, mostly because it isn’t. Any food blogger will tell you that there is a lot of swearing, lots of shouting at uncooperative food, lots of midnight kitchen cleaning, and there is a good reason to why we keep the first-aid kit in the kitchen.
There are also a lot of late meals when a recipe we are testing takes longer than we expected.
Did I tell you that we eat nearly all the food we cook? At least in my home nothing is wasted, even if sometimes I have to send food to friends and neighbours to get rid of it.
So I finish cooking my healthy version of camarofongo, which I am planning to serve for dinner at home. I am crossing my fingers it turns out alright the first try, otherwise we’ll have to quickly pack up and go eat somewhere, and I just don’t feel like it.
Food ready, pictures taken, fingers crossed. Let’s see what the husband thinks.
Let me tell you something about my beloved: you are not going to bribe him with a promise of “healthy” food. It either tastes good, or it doesn’t. He doesn’t seem to care if some of the stuff gets caked onto our arteries before it leaves the system. Lucky he’s healthy as an ox.
“Is it good?”
He didn’t like it. He loved it!
I live for these moments.
So there, here I bring you a shrimp mofongo that is every bit as good as the fried one — heaven knows that thing is as tasty as it is bad for my cardiovascular system.
- 6 unripe plantains , peeled
- 6 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of salt , or to taste
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 mashed garlic cloves
- 1 large white onion , chopped finely
- 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups of tomato sauce
- 2 cups of water
- 2 lb [0.90 kg] of peeled shrimp
Heat oven to 350 ºF [175 ºC].
Cut 6 squares of aluminum foil big enough to wrap a plantain in each. Place each plantain on a piece of aluminum foil. Divide the chopped garlic equally between each plantain and wrap tightly in foil.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove one from the oven, cut in the middle and make sure it is cooked through. If it isn't, wrap again and cook for 15 more minutes.
Once cooked, unwrap the plantains and mash along with the garlic from the packet using a mortar and pestle.
Heat three tablespoons of olive oil (set he rest aside) over low heat. Stir in half the mashed garlic (set the rest of the garlic aside). Cook and stir for a minute, or until garlic is cooked through, making sure it does not burn. Stir in half the salt (set aside the rest of the salt). Mix it well with the plantain mash.
Heat the remaining oil over low heat. Add the onion and cook stirring until the onions turn translucent. Stir in tomatoes and remaining garlic. Cook and stir until the tomato is cooked through.
Pour in tomato sauce and water. Simmer until it breaks the boil.
Place the shrimp in the sauce and simmer until they turn pink. You may have to stir once or twice to make sure they cook evenly. Season with salt to taste.
Make the plantain into six balls and serve on the shrimp sauce.