Mofongo (Mashed Plantains)

12 green plantains, washed well

2 heads of garlic

2 c. olive oil

8 oz. pork belly, cubed

1/4 c. canola oil

salt, to taste

*Take 10 plantains, cut off the ends and strike the tip of a sharp knife down the side, creating an opening in the skin without cutting the plantain.

*Place those in a pot of salted boiling water and cook for at least 45 minutes...if they boil longer, better yet!

*In the mean time, take the remaining 2 plantains, and again, cut off the ends and strike the middle. Cut these into very thin disks and peel the skin off of them, starting from your strike point.

*Heat canola oil over medium heat in a heavy, deep sided skillet and fry plantain "chips" until crispy, turning once. Drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Set aside.

*Peel paper layers from garlic and put all of the cloves in a small food processor. Pulse just until garlic is finely chopped. Set aside.

*Once boiled plantains are ready, drain them, and place them in a large bowl one at a time, using tongs to peel the skin from them. Season with salt, add in garlic and olive oil and mash. If the mofongo appears too dry, add in more oil, or broth - you should get a consistency of mashed potatoes.

*Pour frying oil out of pan, wipe pan with a paper towel and place back over medium heat. Add pork belly to the pan and cook until golden brown. Add pork belly WITH drippings to the bowl with mofongo and mix again. Spoon into dishes and top with plantain "chips."