Friday, May 22, 2009

Classic Sandwiches 2 - the Jibarito

Most people don't know this one, but it is fast becoming a classic. The only problem here might be to find plantains, but large green bananas would work. The plantains should also not be too ripe (just starting to go black)

From Wikipedia:
"The jibarito (pronounced hee-bah-REE-toe), a specialty of Puerto Rico and Chicago, is a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread. It was invented in 1991 by Jorge Muñoz y Coquí Feliciano in Aguada, Puerto Rico in their famous restaurant named "Plátano Loco" (crazy plantain) where it is the king of the house. It was later introduced to Chicago at the Borinquen Restaurant, a Puerto Rican restaurant, by owner Juan "Peter" Figueroa."

So this is the way you do it:

1 large green plantain, peeled and sliced lengthwise and in half (4 pieces)
If you can't find plantain, try 2 very large green bananas. 
oil (for deep frying) 
30 ml butter 
15 ml Olive oil 
1 large thinly sliced onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
Pinch cumin 
1-2 pinch cayenne or dried chipotle powder, to taste 
200g thinly sliced steak (Skirt steak is best) or thinly sliced chicken breast. 
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
4 slices American cheese 
1 tablespoon mayonnaise 
romaine lettuce 
thinly sliced tomatoes or roasted red peppers 
15 ml teaspoon melted butter 
15 ml Fried minced garlic

You will also need 2 heavy cutting boards

Heat the oil, then fry the peeled and sliced plantain for 1 minute.

Remove the plantain from the oil, place on a heavy cutting board (if wooden, wrap board in plastic first, which will assist in the spreading of the softened plantain), top with another cutting board, and flatten the plantain between them.

Fry the now-flattened plantain in the oil again, until the outside is golden and crispy; remove from the oil, set aside on paper towels dry, keep warm.

Over medium high heat, melt 15 ml butter and olive oil together, then sauté the onions until just soft.

Add the garlic, cumin, and cayenne to taste, stir well, then add the meat slices and sauté until browned; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread mayonnaise on the bottom slice of flattened fried plantain, followed by 2 slices of American cheese, then the meat and onions. Top with lettuce and thinly sliced tomato (or roasted red pepper), then the remaining plantain top. 
Combine 1 teaspoon melted butter with 1/4 teaspoon fried minced garlic, brush the upper plantain slice with the butter garlic mixture.

Makes 2 sandwiches

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