Monfongo is made by mashing tostones (twice fried plantains) with garlic, olive oil, and chicharrones or bacon. It's a traditional Caribbean dish that can be found in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba (the Cubans call it fufu).
4 green plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pinch saffron, optional
4 cups well-flavored chicken stock
Olive oil for deep frying 4 thick slices bacon, or salt pork, prosciutto or cracklings
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.
Mix handful of salt into a bowl of cold water and soak plantain chunks. Combine saffron, if using, and stock in saucepan over low heat, keep warm. Bring at least 1 inch of oil to about 350 degrees in a deep skillet. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp; remove and drain. Remove plantain from water and drain, then deep fry the pieces (careful, they may spatter) until golden brown and tender. While still hot, add to food processor with bacon, garlic and some salt and pepper. You may have to work in batches. Process to consistency of mashed — not whipped — potatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then quickly shape into rough balls about the size of meatballs. Place in soup bowls, douse with broth, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.