Thursday, December 23, 2010

Marranitas (pigglets)

Marranitas are typical from the city of Cali, and are eaten as snacks or appetizers to a big meal as Sancocho de Gallina. They are balls of fried green plantain filled with Chicharrones (fried pork belly).


1 pound of meaty pork belly (chicharron)
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
4 green plantains
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of boiling water
Oil for frying

Clean the pork belly and cut into 1/2 inch dices. Rub with salt and the baking soda specially on the skin. Place in a medium , heavy pan with just enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat until the water evaporates.

Drain and set aside.

Cut the ends off the plantains and peel, Cut into 3 inch chunks.

Mix 1 cup of boiling water with bouillon cube, garlic and salt and set aside.

Heat the oil to 350 F and fry the chicharrones until brown and crispy. Place over paper towel and set aside.

Decrease the oil temperature to 300 F and fry the plantain chucks for 10 to 12 minutes, don't let them get golden and crispy, but they need to be soft on the inside. You can check with a forks and if it enters easily they're ready. Remove the plantains from the oil and let them cool for a couple minutes.

Place a plastic sheet on the working surface and place a chuck of the fried plantain. Cover with another plastic sheet and flatten with a meat pounder,  a wooden cut board or a tostonera until they become 1/4 inch thin. Take the flatten plantain with your hands and soak it with the water garlic mix, place it in the palm of your hand and top with some chicharron bits, close you hand and form a ball. Press to make the plantain close tightly on itself. If it is too dry you can sprinkle more of the garlic water mixture.

Repeat with each marranita. And fry again at 350 F until golden brown. Place over paper towel and serve hot with Aji Pique.

All recipes are on Petitchef