Stuffed Plantain Nuggets

Who doesn’t love nuggets? I mean really. Whether stuffed with chicken, beef, or that thing you found in your fridge (I don’t judge), we just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. But what if you could shake things up a bit? Say you could replace that breaded outer layer with something a little more sweet and suave…like a plantain? I think we might be on to something – but hold on. I’m not quite finished. Now imagine that sweet plantain layer wrapped around something as juicy and tender as little chunks of slowly cooked and perfectly seasoned oxtail. Yup. As tender as you’re thinking. Next, dip that golden ball of goodness into a portion of spicy stewed tomatoes. Now take a bite…did you get that? The contrast between the sweetness of the plantain and the spiciness of the sauce? The increase in tenderness as you sunk deeper into the bite, from plantain to fall-off-the-bone oxtail? What’s life without a pleasure like that, right?

Let’s give it a try.

Today I prepared pork stuffed plantain nuggets with a spicy tomato fondue sauce. I didn’t get a chance to go to the grocery store to pick up some oxtail, so I used the ground pork I had in my fridge. But you are welcome to stuff your nuggets as you’d like. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

Yields 4 servings

 

Spicy Tomato Fondue

4 plum tomatoes

½ an onion (or one shallot), finely chopped

Garlic clove, smashed

1-2 habanero (or jalapeno) peppers, finely chopped

Olive oil, as needed

Spring of thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Plantain

2 ripe plantains

Oil, as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Filling

50g shallots (or onions), finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

40g ginger, finely chopped

½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

Olive oil, as needed

200g ground pork

1 Maggi cube (or ½ Knorr cube)

20g white wine

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Finish

Flour, as needed

250g oil

5g parsley (or cilantro), picked

 

Directions

  1. Boil water. “X” ends of tomatoes with a knife and submerge in boiling water for about a minute. Remove and cool in ice bath. Peel tomatoes and roughly chop.
  2. Oil a saucepan and sweat onions over low heat, for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, habaneros and thyme. Partially cover and simmer mix until excess moisture has gone. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Oil a frying pan and sweat shallots, garlic and ginger over low heat. After 5 minutes, add jalapenos. Cook a few more minutes and set aside.
  4. Season pork with salt, pepper and maggi. Clean pan and coat with oil over high heat. Brown pork, remove excess oil, and return garlic mix to the pan. Lower the heat and add white wine. Cook until wine reduces then take off heat. 
  5. Boil enough water to fully submerge plantain. Cut off ends and add plantain. Cook until easily pierced with fork. Remove and let cool enough to be handled. Remove skin and mash with hands or wooden spoon. Add oil as needed and finish with salt and pepper. Mould until plantain able to hold together.
  6. Take small portions of pork mix and mould plantain around it to form 1 ½ inch thick balls. If breaks easily, plantain too dry. Add a little more oil, but be careful not to add too much. Coat balls with flour.
  7. Heat oil in a small pot (oil should be at least 1 inch high) over medium-high heat. Test one nugget by frying until golden brown. If plantain not cooked through, lower heat and cook a little longer. Test until desired result. Fry remaining and drain on paper towels. Season with salt.
  8. Quickly submerge parsley in same oil for about 20 seconds and drain on paper towels.
  9. Serve nuggets hot with spicy tomoato fondue and garnish with fried parsley.


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