By Liliana Moyano for Shine LatinaMandocas ready to enjoy!
A few months ago, my friends Tati, Mari and Catha invited me to have breakfast to a small Venezuelan place. They said I had to try the Mandocas; small fried bites filled with plantain, corn flour, panela, and cheese dipped in table cream. I have never been a fan of plantain but given their persistence I decided to give them a try. The waiter brought a tray of these beautiful bites with table cream on the side. I ate a few and liked them enough to order them again but I felt they were missing something.
Mashed plantain Immediately after, I came home and looked up a few recipes for mandocas and got ideas to make them myself. Last week, I invited my Venezuelan friends over to delight them with a typical desayuno Zuliano. The Zulia region is where the mandocas originated due to the plantain growth. I used the basic ingredients but instead of buying shredded cheese I bought the block of queso latino and grated it myself. I made the dough to perfection and fried them in medium-hot oil to avoid overcooking the skin without cooking the inside. Finally I served them with table cream; which balances the sweetness of the plantain and blends perfectly with the cheese. I highly recommend this delicious recipe.
Enjoy!Mandocas shaped, ready to fry
½ lb. panela or brown sugar
5 ½ cups water
1 cups corn flour
½ lb. queso blanco or mozzarella cheese, grated
3 cups canola oil
DirectionsFrying the Mandocas
Place the panela or brown sugar in a pot at medium heat and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Remove from the stove and let it cool down for 5 minutes. Place the plantain with the skin in a pot with 4 cups of water, cover it and cook it at medium heat for 30 minutes or until the plantain softens enough to mash it. Remove from the stove and peel off the skin, place it in a cutting board and mash it with a fork until it becomes a paste. Mix the flour with ¾ cup of the water-panela blend and add the smashed plantain, and grated cheese. With clean hands, mix all the ingredients until they become a light-brown dough. With the hands, make small tubes and wrap the ends on top of each other. Preheat the oil at medium heat in a deep frying pan and taste the oil by adding a small piece of the dough. If the dough moves to the top of the oil add the mandocas and fry them on each side for 3 minutes. Serve hot with a side of the table cream or whipping cream and enjoy!