This Amazonian dish reminds me of green eggs and ham! The traditional preparation involves roasting green plantains on the grill, then mashing them (with a rock or mortar and pestle) with some lard, and shaping them into balls, stuffed with a bit of chicharron (fried pieces of fatty pork) or bacon. Tacachos are typically served with a piece of Amazonian cured ham called cecina and sometimes chorizo as well.If you don't have a grill, you can roast the plantain in a skillet. The fritters can also be stuffed with bacon, chorizo, or cheese. I like to fry the fritters quickly before serving to crisp them on the outside.
- 4 green plantains
- 5-6 slices of bacon
- 4 slices of cooked country ham
- 2 tablespoons butter or lard
- 4 chorizo sausages
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon in a large heavy skillet until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside to cool on paper towels.
- Peel plantains (see How to Peel Plantains) and slice each one in half lengthwise. Place slices in the same skillet that cooked the bacon. Roast plantain over low heat, turning from time to time, until golden brown and soft inside, about 25 minutes. Alternatively, grill plantain slices (rubbed with vegetable oil) over low heat for about 25 minutes, turning frequently).
- Place hot plantains in a bowl with 3 tablespoons lard and mash with a pestle, or heavy spoon or potato masher (or a rock, to be really traditional), until the plantains are well ground up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Chop bacon. Divide plantain mixture into 8 portions, and shape each one into a ball. Flatten each ball in your hand, pressing a well into the center. Fill with some chopped bacon (or chicharrón) and cover the bacon with plantain, reforming the ball with the bacon inside. Set plantain fritters aside.
- In the same skillet, fry the chorizo in a half inch of water, turning often, until the water has evaporated. Brown the chorizo on all sides.
- Add the ham to the skillet and fry on both sides until hot. Remove meat and keep warm. Add the plantain fritters to the skillet, adding a little vegetable oil if necessary, and cook them quickly on both sides to warm them up and give them a little crispiness on the outside.
- Serve each plate with 1 slice of ham, 2 plantain fritters, and a chorizo sausage. Serves 4.