I just returned from the Dominican Republic where I had a weekend of Fear and Loathing in Santo Domingo. I was a tag-along at the birthday weekend extravaganza of a friend of a friend. This group was comprised mainly of 30 or so highly successful and hedonistic gay men. So you can imagine the shenanigans they were in the DR for. (I won’t show the pictures here.)
Most of my time was spent in hotels and in our host’s home, so unfortunately, I can’t expound much on traditional and or authentic Dominican cuisine. I know, excuses, excuses. My only encounter with food that seemed authentically Dominican was at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. My mornings began with mangu, queso frito (fried cheese), fried sausage (which was something like chorizo) and eggs.
With my limited experience, I can’t tell you how it stacks up against your grandmother’s traditional Dominican Breakfast, but it was great to me! The mangu was a new dish to me. It was very much in the comfort food family of mashed potatoes or polenta. But because it is a mash of plantains, you still get that fruity banana quality and it’s not completely savory like a mashed potato. It was garnished with sautÃ©ed onions, which I loved because I’m a sucker for the sweet/salty combination. I won’t go into detail, but I once spent an entire afternoon with a pint of butter pecan Haagen Dazs and a box of kosher salt. I digress…
So I’ve done some research on these dishes to approximate the breakfasts I had. For instance, the mangu I had came with fried onions but did not include fried peppers in the mash, so I’ve included a recipe with onions only. Beyond my love of sweet and salty, I definitely love fried cheese. Gild the lily anyone? Fried. Cheese. Need I say more. But this is a great recipe for the repertoire. It reminded me a lot of halloumi. I’m sure you could substitute halloumi for this recipe if you can’t find queso de freir (though I have no idea halloumi is easier to find than queso de freir).
Anywho, give the desayuno Dominicano a spin and let me know how it goes!
4 green plantains
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of oil
2 large onions
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 cup of cold water
Before Starting to Cook:
Peel the plantains and cut into 8 pieces.
Boil the plantains adding 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. When the plantains are very tender turn off the heat.
While the plantains are boiling, heat a tablespoon of oil in a shallow pan. Sautee the onions, add the salt and the vinegar. Reserve.
Take the plantains out of the water and mash them with a fork. Add the butter and the cold water and keep mashing until it is very smooth. Garnish with the onions.
12 Â¼ inch thick slices of queso de freir.
1/4 cup of oil for frying
1/2 cup of corn starch
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cover the slices with corn starch and shake off the excess. Fry in the hot oil on one side until it turns golden brown. Turn and repeat. Do not add many slices at the same time as the oil must remain very hot to prevent the cheese from staying in the oil for too long. Serve hot.
Prepare 2-3 links of chrizo per person by frying for 8-10 minutes on top of the stove.
Prepare 2-3 per person any way you like!
Serve all of the items together and don’t expect to be hungry again until dinner! ?
If you like Nichelleâ€™s dish, check out all of her recipes here.