Tuesday, March 16

Quesitos for Breakfast, Mofongo for Dinner

Myself and several Let's Dish ladies went to Puerto Rico last week.  While we were there we ate some amazing food - and two of our favorite dishes were mofongo and quesitos.  This is true Puerto Rican cuisine - no kidding!  Here are recipes I found for both - I haven't made them yet but hope to give it a go this weekend. 

Quesitos (Puerto Rican Danishes)
We ate these almost every morning once we discovered the little bakery across the street from our hotel.

1 puff pastry sheet package (specifically, 1 sheet)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Egg white of 1 egg

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Cut pastry sheet into 3” x 2” rectangles.

Place about 1 tsp. cheese mixture in the middle. Grab one edge and pull into the center of rectangle. Pinch tip into the middle of the sheet. Grab the edge across from it and wrap around towards the end across from it. Pinch at the bottom.

Brush with egg whites and roll in sugar. The sugar is to taste, but ideally a quesito has a nice sugary crust that crunches when one takes a bite.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until golden. Remove from oven and brush with a moderate amount of light corn syrup over each one. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

This was a really unique dish - made of deep fried, mashed plantains that are stuffed with various meats/seafood and served in a gravy.  The equivalent of Puerto Rican soul food.

Makes 25 Mofongo Dumplings

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic Clove
1/4 lb Hickory Smoked Ham
1/4 cup scallions
1/4 cup Cilantro, Fresh
1/2 cup Manzanilla Olives
1 1/2 lime yields Lime Juice Raw
1 cup Tomato Puree
1 cup Tomato Sauce
2 lb Raw Shrimp Medium
4 cup Plantains
1/8 cup Corn Oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.

Add the stuffing ingredients (olive oil, peeled and crushed garlic, diced ham, sliced scallion, roughly chopped cilantro, chopped manzanilla olives, lime juice, tomato puree, tomato sauce), except the shrimp, and saute over medium heat for five minutes.

Add the shrimp (peeled, cleaned, cut in half) and cook until they turn pink. Set aside.

Peel the plantains and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Heat the corn oil in a large skillet and fry the plantain slices until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Mash 5 or 6 plantain slices (in a mortar) with a little of the stuffing liquid. Fold in 1/2 cup of the shrimp mixture and shape stuffing onto a ball with your hands. Repeat the process five more times.

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