Catering to my inner (imaginary) Puerto Rican side

I am the product of two Black parents…. but I swear there has to be some Latin in my blood, based on the way I obsess over the food. Here in Chicago, we have a number of places that claim to have the best JIBARITOS, and after trying out a few, we’ve found our A+ spot – Papa’s Cache Sobroso in Humboldt Park (with the jibarito originator “Borinquen” pulling a close second for the sandwich, but taking #1 for mofongo in Chicago).

For a while, Bobby and I were making regular trips for their tender, tasty rotisserie chicken dishes (with Spanish rice and tostones) and the wonderful jibarito sandwiches. The prices are what we call EXCELLENT for date night (dinner for 2 can easily come in under $20 and you’ll be full when you leave). This is a pic of our standard meal – a steak jibarito with Spanish rice. The sandwich comes with cheese (“white” or “yellow”), lettuce (which I remove), tomato, and mayo. Instead of bread you get all of this smashed between two perfectly fried garlicky plantains. Here’s a pic from our last trip to Papa’s…

IMG00265-20100717-2114

After a few regular trips, it got me to thinking…. can I channel my inner imaginary Puerto Rican and make this dish myself??? Hmmm…..Why not try??? The hardest part was the research on cutting and frying the plantains… oh, and seeing the amount of oil that I had to use. LOL (don’t ask for nutritional content on this sandwich, I have convinced myself it doesn’t exist). In the end, my version came pretty close visually and the flavor was really good!!! I’ll definitely have to add this to my successful recipe list!

Plantains frying in the skilletSandwich openedFinished meal - great presentation :-)

The item of the day, since I’m in a cooking mood, is something I have no room for in my kitchen but sure plan to get one day….. A couple of years ago my cousin found a great recipe a while back for potatoes au gratin that included Jarlsberg and Raclette cheeses (both of which were expensive and difficult to locate among the abundance of cheeses in Whole Foods). This was the BEST side ever. Half of the fun was in making it, and I had the job of potato slicer. In my kitchen this would be dreadful, with my somewhat dull knives and shaky hands. But in her kitchen I learned about a “mandoline” (a.k.a. “slicer”)… talk about amazing!

I don’t recall the brand she had, but it was similar to this one by Oxo, featured on the William Sonoma website:

oxo madeline slicer

Based on my past experiences (and the line on my pinky from the stitches that I got after slicing an avocado the wrong way) I think this may be a good idea to go with my mandoline, whenever I get it… the cut resistant glove from Microplane. Great invention indeed:

microplane

If I don’t see you before then…

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

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4 thoughts on “Catering to my inner (imaginary) Puerto Rican side

  1. Now you've made me hungry! I've never tried fried plantains, but now I'm curious.

    I think I want the glove…especially when I'm going full bore with the chef's knife, but I'm afraid everyone will start making Michael Jackson comments if I start wearing one. 🙂

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  2. Every time I see that picture I want some tostones! I really like them when they have a salty, garlicky flavor and are crispy on the edges but kinda soft in the middle… yummy! I used plantains that were green-yellow, not all green.

    This recipe is closest to what I ended up doing for my sandwich: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/jibarito/Detail.aspx
    The rice was Goya “Rice with Pigeon Peas” in the box.

    The glove is very “Michael Jackson-ish”… you don't think your boys would love it?? Then again it may end up in someone's toy box. LOL

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  3. Rhapsody B. says:

    Blessings…..
    We are of a multiplicity of identies so more than likely you are.

    Merry Christmas to you dear and have a splendid New Year.

    Peace…
    food looks good. I imagine it was a good as it looked.

    Like

  4. @ Rhapsody B – that is so very true about the identities!

    Merry Christmas to you, and best wishes for a happy and blessed New Year!

    Like

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