Jibaritos

By • March 10, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: The first jibarito sandwich was invented in my hometown, Chicago. It's a metaphor for Puerto Ricans there; it's that blend of tradition and Americanism that makes this sandwich so great. It has Puerto Rican steak, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and "bread" made of tostones, or twice-fried plantain. It's comfort food and my guilty pleasure.
Note: The original sandwich, meaning "little hillbilly," has mayo, iceberg lettuce, and is topped with a garlic mojo. I put my own touch and made a garlic slaw with cabbage and roasted garlic.
global guppie

Serves 2

Garlic Slaw

  • 1 cup Finely shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
  1. Roast the garlic in your preferred method until soft. I heat a cast-iron pan and darken it on all sides so the middle still has some bite while the outside is soft and sweet.
  2. Meanwhile, add salt to the cabbage in a colander for 5-10 minutes to draw out some moisture. Rinse it in cold water at your discretion in that time. This keeps the coleslaw from getting watered down as it so often does.
  3. Mash the garlic with the mayo, add the dried cabbage, and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated while you do the rest.

Plantain "Bread" & Composition

  • 2 Green plantains
  • 2 cups Canola Oil
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • 2 Slices of American cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise
  • 1 Recipe for Bistec encebollado (Puerto Rican steak)
  1. See my recipe for bistec encebollado, or Puerto Rican steak in onions. The 0.8 ounces is perfect for two sandwiches. Have this cooked and kept warm while you fry the plantains. Everything for the jibarito should be waiting on the plantains.
  2. Much like my recipe for tostones, the plantain "bread" is fried in 350 degree oil once, smashed, and fried a second time. Make sure you use a long spatula like a fish spatula to flip the plantain. Heat the oil in a 12" cast iron pan.
  3. Peel the plantains by cutting off the ends, scoring three times lengthwise, and working the peel off with your fingers.
  4. Cut the peeled plantain lengthwise down it's back. You shouldn't cut down the "C" shape, but rather down the middle as if it were a boat. I'm sorry if it's confusing, but the main idea is that after you smash the halves they match together.
  5. Soak in salted water with a smash garlic clove for 5 minutes and the oil is hot.
  6. In batches, fry each plantain until golden brown. Move to a paper towel to strain.
  7. Using a heavy 12" skillet and a large cutting board, smash each fried plantain half to about 1/4" thick. I cut a paper grocery sack to line the plantain with to soak up some oil.
  8. Fry the smashed plantain halves again until brown and crispy. Be careful not to get it too brown in the pan as it will continue to darken as it rests. It should take about 2 minutes a side. Remove and set on a paper towel to drain a bit.
  9. Add a slice of American cheese on each plantain half followed by the steak and onions, tomato slices, and the cold garlic slaw.

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