Sensational Sides: Mashed Plantains

By: Cameron Curtis

While on vacation in the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have time for a leisurely breakfast each day featuring a Dominican classic: mangu. Mangu is mashed plantains with butter or olive oil and can be served plain or, as I often ate it, with fried cheese. Back at home and craving mangu once again, but with very little time to make breakfast in the morning, I decided to turn it into a side dish for dinner. In keeping with the flavors I missed from my trip, I made Camarones al Ajillo or Shrimp with Garlic to serve atop the mangu.

For mangu, you'll need green (unripe) plantains.

Put a few slits in each plantain skin, then boil them for about 15 minutes in a large pot until the skins start to open and the plantain is exposed.

Once they're ready, the skin will peel off easily.

Remove the plantains from their skins but don't throw out the cooking water just yet.

Mash the plantains and slowly add the reserved cooking water until you create a smooth texture. Add a few tablespoons of butter and mix in.

Top with shrimp, fish or even pork, and you'll have a filling Dominican-inspired dinner.

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