March 21, 2007

These little dishes are a symbol of spontaniety and the carefree lifestyle of a playboy such as yourself, David. You can invite a gaggle of beauties to your huge loft and flit from one to the next, nibbling and chatting. Start with a glass of sherry, serrano ham and olives, then pop the vino and serve croquetas de bacalao, a classic tortilla and keep it going until the floor is littered with designer garments.


Grilled Scallop Mofongo

This little plate is a crowd pleaser, but it will work the Puerto Rican ladies you invited into a frenzy. The plantains should be green, but just starting to ripen. Traditionally, this is made with fresh chicharones (pork crackling), but I like to replace it with ground smoked chiles.

3 green plantains
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground smoked chile
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh “dry” scallops
Light the grill. Remove the side muscle from the scallops, season with salt and pepper.

Peel plantains and cut into one inch slices. Soak for 15 minutes in salt and water. Drain well.
Heat vegetable oil (350 degrees if you are using a deep fryer). Add plaintain slices and fry until golden on both sides. Do not brown. Drain on paper towel.

While the plantains are frying, put the scallops on the grill. Cook for 2 minutes per side until medium or until barely cooked through. Don’t cook to long or they’ll turn to rubber puckies.

In a mortar, crush the garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and the smoked chile. Add olive oil to the mixture and continue pounding. Add the fried plaintains and and continue pounding until smooth.

Spoon the mixture and shape into 1 inch balls. Stuff a piece of the grilled scallop into the ball. You can keep in a warm oven for up to 10 minutes until you are ready to plate and serve.


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