Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boniatillo (Cuban Tropical Sweet Potato Pudding)

Boniatillo, boniatillo is the name of a dessert in Cuban Cuisine that is like a creamy, sweet smooth pudding made from the Cuban White Sweet Potato. There are 2 versions of Boniatillo, 1 version is "Boniatillo Seco" (dry) which is dry, hard, and like candy, the other is "Boniatillo de Mesa" which is like a custard/ pudding (that is the one I am making) there are many versions of Boniatillo, some infuse it with coconut milk, other's add rum, some infuse with lime and cinnamon, others with orange, some add cream cheese, etc. the one I am making is from "Nitza Villapol's" book called "Cocina al Minuto" the NON COMMUNIST edition/ pre-castro not the other one that is communist and has dumbed down versions of Cuban food. (Sad)

I knew of this dessert because I've heard of it, but my grandmother never made it so I set out on a journey to find a good recipe and wa la someone had posted a photo of Nitza Villapol's book on the page where she wrote this lucky me. (I don't feel bad not buying it because Nitza stayed in Cuba and never got a dime for what she did, so money wont go to her anyway even if I bought the book plus she's dead RIP)

About Boniato is a type of white sweet potato used in Cuban Cuisine. It has a reddish dark purple skin, and solid white flesh, when cooked the flesh becomes a pale yellow. It can go by other names like "Tropical Sweet Yam", "Tropical Sweet Potato", "Cuban White Sweet Potato"

It is not as sweet as the regular sweet potato used in the USA (which is orange fleshed) it is very starchy, and has a potato like consistency with a hint of sweetness.

The Boniato oxidizes easily so it must be peeled quickly and put in water to prevent discoloration. Also it's very perishable try to use in less than 1 week stored at room temperature.

If you cannot find "Boniato" use a white fleshed sweet potato, like a Japanese sweet potato or something of that sort.

-2 lbs. Boniato (Cuban White Sweet Potato)
-4 cups regular white sugar
-2 cups water
-peel of 1 medium-large orange
-juice of 1 medium-large orange
-juice of 1/2 a lime
-1 tablespoon of butter
-1 tablespoon Vino Seco Dorado Edmundo (cheap dry white wine)
-4 egg yolks beaten well

-Ground Cinnamon

(1)Peel Boniato, cut into big chunks, throw in a pot with enough water to cover, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil covered for 15-20 minutes (until it is tender check it by piercing it with a knife)
(2)Meanwhile, add sugar, water, orange peel, orange juice, lime juice to a pot, bring to a strong boil on high then let it boil on medium for 15 minutes. Remove orange peel. Set aside.
(3)When Boniato is cooked, mash to a paste (you can use the food processor to help or do it the old fashioned). Set aside.
(4)Slowly mash in syrup to prevent lumps, bring mixture to a boil on high then lower to medium stir for about 6-8 minutes, add butter, stir well again, now remove from heat add beaten egg yolks slowly in a stream stirring fast in one direction.
(5)Return to stove on medium heat and stir for 3-5 minutes, remove from heat, stir in wine. Put in individual serving bowls dusted with cinnamon or in 1 medium large bowl dust it with cinnamon.
P.S. For a different flavor when making the syrup use 4 cups water, 4 cups sugar, peel of 1 lime, and 1 cinnamon stick and make into a syrup, and continue recipe as directed.

ALSO yes I know it's very sweet Cuban desserts are sweet, it's as sweet as marmalade, your only suppose to have a little bit, maybe like 1/4-1/2 cup after dinner to cleanse pallet from a garlic heavy Cuban dinner :)... sadly I can't help myself I had a big heaping bowl of this after dinner ha ha...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Frijoles Pintos Estilo Cubano? (Cuban Style Pinto Beans)

This NOT A TRADITIONAL/ AUTHENTIC Cuban dish...Wait aren't pinto beans Mexicans? How the hell is there a Cuban style pinto beans?

Well here's the story,
my grandmother from my fathers side (Cuban/ Spanish) whom I call Tata prepares Pinto beans like this. She got introduced to Pinto Beans by my mother (whom is Mexican) and she dislikes the Mexican way of preparing "Frijoles de la Olla"which is very simple, she'll only enjoy those "re-fried" so she found a way to make it to suit her taste by "Cubanizing"

It truely is delicous and ever since she prepared them that way I actually crave them occasionally, She makes them rich and thick she let's them thicken with the bean starch, gives them a nice color by adding a sofrito with the addition of tomatoes and gives them a smokey flavor with cumin and a special little extra something with a hint of oregano.

-2 cups pinto beans
-water enough to submerge beans maybe about 2 inches use your judgement you want it to thicken a bit?
-1 green bell pepper (or half green half red)
-1 onion finely minced
-5-6 cloves garlic mashed to a paste
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce (homemade better but I usually use canned or the one in cardboard container)
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (fresh is nice in this dish but I only had dried)
-1 teaspoon or more of salt to taste
-2-4 regular potatoes (optional, she sometimes added it, sometimes not up to you I left it out I already eat enough rice, sugar, and starchy veggies in other way's ha ha)

(1) Wash beans well, drain, put in a pot with water, bring to a boil on high then simmer on medium low heat for about 1-2 hours (depends on your beans)
(2)Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a pan, on medium high, to check if it's hot enough drop a piece of minced onion if it sizzles your ready, add onion and bell pepper, sautee until translucent (maybe 6-10 minutes) add garlic, sautee another 1 minute, add ground cumin and oregano sautee moving constantly for 1 minute, add tomato sauce stir well. Bring to a bubble on medium high.

(3)Add this sautee to the cooked beans, add salt to taste, let raise heat to medium on beans and let it boil 20 minutes uncovered to thicken nicely, stir after 10 minutes to prevent sticking. After 20 minutes check if it's as thick as you like, if not simply with a wooden spoon smash and press the beans to the sides of the pot while stirring to thicken nicely. If it doesn't thicken that mean's you added to much water. Use better judgement next time (sorry if it sounds harsh I still love you :)

(5)Serve with anything, over rice, or if your mexican and like to eat tortillas go ahead.

This can also be done with "Flor de Mayo Beans", White Beans and "Mayacoba Beans"/ "Peruvian Beans"

ALSO I know the pinto beans in my picture didn't look the typical brown color of pinto beans that is because they are very fresh the one's I got and when cooked had a lighter color and cooked in less than 1 hour without soaking.

FURTHER MORE the color will alter depending how long you cook it with the "sofrito" after 10 minutes it is a pinkish orange color if you want it that color and it's thick enough stop cooking it, after 20 it will be a light pinkish cream color sort of yellow and cooking longer sometimes results in the color to dissapear and turns beige sort of. I don't know why I am not a scientist :)

Carne Guisada Con Chile En Rajas (Beef Sautee with Roasted Pasilla Peppers)

"Chile En Rajas" is used in a variety of Mexican dishes, it is fresh Pasilla Chiles sometimes also called "Chile Poblano" it resembles a green bell pepper in size and color except it is more sharp looking and is mildly smokey and spicy with no hint of sweetness. The peppers are fireroasted, covered in a plastic bag to sweat then peeled, seeded, and cut into long strands. This is called "Chile En Rajas"

My mother learned to make a dish in which beef is sauteed with aromatics then tossed with the "Chile En Rajas" she didn't learn this from her mother though, she takes care of an elderly Mexican lady sometimes and the lady told my mother how to cook it for her, my mother liked it and introduced it to our household.

You can see another way to prepare these chiles on my other blog post for "Chiles Rellenos" here:

- 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced and cut into pieces steak (you can use sirloin, etc.)
-1 onion chopped
-2 tomatoes (fireroasted, peeled and chopped)
-3 cloves garlic minced finely
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1-2 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
-5 fresh Pasilla/ Poblano Chiles (fireroasted, peeled, seeded and cut into long strands)

(1)Fire roast "Chiles Pasillas" by placing them on the flame on the stove while until all or most parts are blackened you can rotate it or move it around with some tongs aka "pinsas" (in Spanish)

(2)Put in a plastic bag 10 minutes (this well help the skin come of easier because of the steam)
(3)Get a wet paper towel on your hand, lay the chile on your hand and peel of all the outer skin by hand. Make a small opening, remove seeds and core then slice into thick long slices. Set aside

(4)Now in a "comal" (griddle) put aluminum foil and fire roast the tomato until blackened on some sides, let cool a bit then peel and dice. Now also have all your other stuff prepared
(5)Now heat a pan on high heat for a little bit, now lower to medium high add 1 tablespoon of lard and melt it let it heat and brown the meat on one side for about 5-8 minutes during that time sprinkle with salt, cumin, and pepper, do not touch meat let it brown and the juices released evaporate.
(6)Now add another tablespoon of lard and sautee onions until translucent, add garlic sautee until fragrant, add diced tomatoes and sautee until they release some juice, now add the fireroasted cut into strands chile pasillas, fold in gently, let it cook a couple minutes, taste for salt, add a little more if necessary then toss gently and your done.
(7)Serve with rice and beans or tortillas and beans or you can use it as a taco filling.
P.S. I know what I am about to say is not "traditional" or "authentic" but for my reader's who may not be able to get a hold of Pasilla/ Poblano Chiles that are fresh maybe green bell pepper would work fine in it's place even though the taste will be different but can end up with nice results for sure

ALSO you don't have to use lard I just used it because it's more traditional, but you can use any oil you like, I have preference for extra-virgin olive oil for anything, I love the taste and it's good for you.

Malta Con Leche Condensada (Malt Sugar Drink with Sweetened Condensed Milk)

The name say's it all. This is a favorite drink among Cuban's of all ages. It is made by combining a fermented malt sugar drink called "Malta" (the brand "Hatuey" is the one most Cuban's consume) with sweetened condensed milk until you get a creamy light golden brown color, it's like drinking a rich, creamy, dense cold bubbly soda that has a very light molasses/ caramel flavor? Hard to describe one must try it.

It's a very sinful, calorie laden, concoction so drink it slowly and savor every second you enjoy of this delicious drink.

My Spanish/ Cuban grandmother loved this concoction she use to drink it "pa'engodar" (meaning to get fat), my grandmother always wanted to gain weight, she said, "Si engordo se me quitan las arrugas po'que se estira la piel unas 20-30 libras me ase bien" translates to "If I gain 20-30 pounds maybe my wrinkles will go away" because the skin would stretch out more ha ha. Though she never gained weight from anything through out her life even now that she's in her 80's.

-1 Malta Hatuey
-1/4- 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (depends how sweet and creamy you want it)
-ice (in cubes or crushed to make this cold and refreshing)
(1)Get a big tall glass, add the condensed milk you wanna use to the glass, pop open your bottle of Malta and pour it in as you stir to combine. Taste it if you want add more condensed milk. Add some ice and your done simple (or you can add it at the beginning)! There's really no right way to do it.
NOTE: The Malta Hatuey bottles I have are pretty big like 12 oz. you can probably split it between 2 people. I drink the whole thing though, and then the leftover condensed milk in the can I eat it by the spoonfuls ha ha.

INTERESTING STUFF: The Indian "Hatuey" on the Malta bottles was actually a real person he was a Taino Indian who resisted the Spanish rule, and warned the Taino's of Spanish people arriving to Cuba, most thought he was crazy, some joined him and he was able to confine the Spanish conquering Cuba in "Baracoa, Cuba" eventually though he was captured and burned alive on a stake in Yara, Cuba.

Pretty sad story but alt east he still lives on every bottle of Malta ha ha just kidding.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Patas de Puerco Cocidas (Boiled Pork Feet)

This is a very simple typical Mexican dish , they are pork feet boiled in a pot with water and heavely spiced and salted, then they are drained and served with freshly squeezed lime juice, salt and tapatio sauce (a type of loose vinegar based hot sauce that to me I find it very mild)

No one in the household likes pork feet (only me and my mother) so whenever we make pork feet we make another meat dish for my father and sister. Me and my mother love the fatty, chewy pork feet, it's so delicious!


-3 pounds pork feet
-limes (to clean pork feet)
-water heavely salted more salty than normal
-1 onion halved (unpeeled)
-3-5 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
-2-3 bay leaves
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1 teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients to dress cooked pork feet:
-Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
-hot sauce to taste
-salt to taste


(1)You will need to clean the pork feet very well, when buying them ask the butcher to cut them in segments, about each foot should be cut in 2's or 3's.
(2)Wash the pork feet well in a bowl, squeeze lime juice and rub them with the limes, rub them with salt, wash them with salt, water, and limes. Rinse them again under water.

(3)Now bring water to a boil in a pot with plenty salt it should be salty. Add the pork feet, boil about 15 minutes, then drain them well. This will get rid of most of the scum.

(4)Now bring water to a boil with onion, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, black pepper and salt in a large pot. Add pork feet and boil covered for 1 hour until tender.

(5)Drain them, discard broth (throw it away you don't need it, it's to salty, and what use could you possibly have for salty pork feet broth)

(6)Serve with limes to squeeze over to taste, sprinkle salt to taste, and some hot sauce to taste :) Enjoy.

P.S: It may feel like you used a lot of salt, but remember the salt is in the broth, you are throwing away the broth anyways, and draining the pork feet, the pork feet need to cook in salt or they will be bland.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chile y Ajo En Aciete (Chili Garlic Paste)

This is my mother's friend's recipe whom is Mexican and lives in San Francisco. She loves spicy food, so she makes this really spicy blend of dry chili peppers, garlic, and olive oil which she carries in tiny glass bottles wherever she goes so she can add a little flame to whatever she's eating. She brought a large jar of this spicy concoction when she came down here to Los Angeles to visit her elderly mother and my mother LOVED it and has been in love with this sauce since our last visit from San Fran., so she finally decided to ask for the recipe.

Let me tell you, it is delicious, smokey, has hints of sweet garlic, and spiciness. You must like heat to appreciate this and once you make it, it can last for a long time (probably up to 6 months stored in a tight class container or whatever you have on hand: jar, glass bottle, glass bowl sealed well, Tupperware, etc.) You can leave it out, covered, on the table with tiny metal spoons as well for convenience.

You can use this as a condiment by adding a couple teaspoons or tablespoons to any meat stew or soup to give a smokey, slow cooked, robust spicy flavor. You can put a little on your food when eating the same way you would use a hot sauce. You can use it for every bite you eat as well! It could also be incorporated into marinades or even in Chinese stir fries that call for Chili Garlic Paste. Really, it can be used for so many things. Use your imagination.

-3 oz/85 grams of Chile Japones" (Dried Japanese Chiles, my mother used a medium bag, which is about 3 cups maybe? It had the ounces and grams written on it.)
-1 head of garlic (separate the cloves, peel them, and take off the tough bottom part)
-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (a.k.a. E.V.O.O.)
-3/4-1 tablespoon salt (to taste, remember it's suppose to be a little salty because it's not meant to be eaten by the spoonfuls ha ha even though I do eat it that way sometimes!)
-1 tablespoon white vinegar (to make it last longer)

(1) If the dry chiles have stems then remove them. DO NOT WASH THEM IN WATER!!! Or just don't bother to make this! :)

(2) Heat the olive oil on medium heat until it's hot enough. Add the garlic cloves and stir them around until they are golden. Then add the dry chiles and stir them over and over again the until garlic is slightly browned on the outside and the chiles are toasted to a slightly darken color. DO NOT let them blacken completely or you'll have a bitter flavor. My mom lowered the temperature to medium low as she was doing this. The point of tossing the chiles and garlics over and over again is so that the garlic does not stick to the pot and trust me, when it sticks, it STICKS!!! This process takes about 10-15 minutes and once they are ready, take them off the heat for them too cool a bit before putting them in the food processor or blender.
(3) Add all the contents into a food processor or blender along with the vinegar and salt using a food processor. If you use a blender, you'll need to stop every now and then and stir or push with a spoon because of the sauce's thickness.

(4) Your done! Store well by sealing it. It can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. Enjoy! You'll want to make more

P.S. I don't even know what to name this exactly. My mother's friend never used a specific name, it was just "El chile en aciete" which translates to "The chile in oil." For me, it's just a "Chile Garlic Paste." Sort of a little looser, but yeah, call it whatever you want :)

ALSO, you may use "Chile de Arbol" (Dried Arbol Chile Peppers) but my mother prefers using "Chile Japones" (Dried Japanese Chile Peppers) because she says, "No ay que quitarles la cola ni nada" which translates to, "You don't have to remove the tail/stems." The "Chile de Arbol" translates to "Chile of Tree."

Edited by: Travis Thi

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Calabaza Con Piloncillo (Winter Squash in Cane Sugar Syrup)

Very simple only about 3-4 ingredients. Winter Squash simmered in cane sugar syrup, sweet, warm comforting, and you'll feel less guilty about the sweetness because the squash is healthy ha ha.

-About 2 pounds winter squash (I used Castilla, Kabucha, Jamaican/ Carribean, or Butternut are good for this)
-1 cup water (no more because the squash releases liquid)
-2 cups dark brown sugar or "unrefined solid cane sugar"
-1-2 stick cinnamon

(1)Place water, pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon stick into pot, bring water to a screaching boil on high heat covered, now lower heat to medium or medium low simmer for 1 hour then go back, stab pumpkin with fork or knife if tender your done, if you want to make syrup thicker (because it's usaully just a very light syrup but you may make it heavier by letting it boil uncovered until it reduces to desired consistency.
(2)Ta-da simple right you can do this with sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin.
P.S. I'm labeling it as Mexican because Mexicans make these types of stuff often during winter months, but so do some Cubans and my grandmother but for navigation purposes I will label it as such.

I've done it in the rice cooker before using sweet potato you can check my post for that here:

Camote Con Piloncillo

Costillas de Cerdo Guisadas Con Patatas (Pork Rib Stew with Potatoes)

This recipe is from a Galician home cook known as "Pilar Lechuza" she has a cooking blog that is dedicated to the home style, traditional, simple Galician cooking. (La Cocina de Lechuza)

As I was surfing through her blog, I found this delicious, colorful Pork Rib Stew with Potatoes, it had great commentary and I realized that is seems to be a favorite among many Spaniards and some have slight variations of it.

It is delicous pork ribs in a very simple sauce flavorful sauce made from the browned ribs, combination of the delicious rendered fat from the ribs used to sautee the aromatics, dry white wine, a fresh grated to a puree tomato, seasoned with paprika, salt, and saffron. Sauce is made richer and thicker with potatoes! YUM, beautiful colors, wondeful smell, rich sauce, delicous meat I loved it.

I did change some things in it only like 2 things, one was that I went heavier on garlic because well I love garlic and so does my family, second I used bijol instead of saffron because I have no good saffron on hand, and I did some of the procedures a little different but almost identical, I went a little bit heavier on paprika because I like it but only a little heavier I used like 1/2 tsp. extra that's all. Umm and I also cut the ribs into smaller segments.

-3 1/2 pounds pork ribs (I asked the butcher to cut the long ribs in half long way to make smaller ribs that are finger sized, but that's just my preference)
-6 cloves garlic (about 1/2 a head mashed to a paste with teaspoon of salt in a mortar)
-3 tablespoons Extra- Virgin Olive oil
-1 onion chopped
-1 green bell pepper chopped
-1 red bell pepper chopped
-1 carrot chopped
-1 big tomato (grated, to a puree, or you can blend in blender then strain DO NOT USE CANNED PLEASE UNLESS YOU HAVE NO CHOICE)
-1 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
-1 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
-saffron to give some more color (I used 1 1/2 teaspoon of "bijol" also called "annato seed powder)
-salt to taste
-3 or 4 potatoes cubed and peeled

(1)Wash pork ribs well and clean, add garlic that's been mashed with salt in a mortar and rub all over, now cover well in a bowl or in a zip-lock bag, and let it marinade 1-2 hours.
(2)Now heat large deep pot on high heat for a little bit like 2-4 minutes, lower heat to medium high, add olive oil and add pork ribs in about 2 batches, fry them on each side until browned about 7-8 minutes each side do not move until browned on one side then flip. Again I did it in 2 batches. Now set aside. They will render some fat which will be great for the rest. REMEMBER to make your life easier while the ribs are browning you can chop everything your gonna use for this dish, and have stuff on hand.

(3)Now in same pot add onion, red and green bell peppers, carrot sautee 8-10 minutes until soft, add paprika and saffron (or bijol in my case) lower heat to medium and sautee 1 minute. Now add tomato, let tomato cook about 3-5 minutes. Add dry white wine, stir well bring to bubble on high then lower to medium high let it reduce a couple minutes. Add 1 cup water bring back to boil, add peas.
(4)Season with 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste REMEMBER meat is already salted. Now add meat back along with any juices it released and peas. Coat well in sauce cover and simmer on medium low for 25-30 minutes. Add cubed potateos afterwards and cook another 10 minutes so potatoes can help thicken sauce. Taste for salt if it may need more now turn of heat. Your done.
(5)Serve with crusty bread or rice. Maybe a raw salad on the side.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Bacán" (Green Plantain Tamales)

Bacan is the tamal made in Baracoa, Cuba. My grandmother calls them "Tamales del Oriente" because the eastern provinces of Cuba are known as "El Oriente" people from those area's have a different style of cooking and eating. They are more heavely African influenced, and native Taino influenced and influenced also a bit by Haitian cooking due to mass migration from Haiti during the Haitian Revolution. They have a type of flat bread made from Yuca which I have never tried in my life, they use allspice (I read that somewhere) and some things have coconut milk and are just different.

Cooking from Western Cuba is more Spanish influenced, by Catalan and Galician cooking as well as Canary Islands, with small hints of African, Chinese, French, Taino, etc. In it's core it's Spanish Cuisine adopted to use the ingredients available in the Island as well as using imports from Spain.

Atleast that's my opinion.

These Tamales are different from the typical Cuban tamale because the dough is made from green plantains, stuffed with pork, and wrapped in Banana Leaves then boiled. They have a strong perfume like scent, and a flavor that is unique on it's own.

Typical Cuban Tamales are made from a corn based dough, and the pork is mixed into the dough then wrapped in either corn husks or banana leaves.

I adapted this recipe that comes from a book called "Taste of Cuba" I altered it a bit because I found issues with a lot of the procedures, firstly the procedure I changed was the way they prepare the banana leaves because they boil it in water that will make the leaves sort of fall apart and not be to workable. I have made before Salvadorian Tamales that use Banana Leaves, the way to make them workable is to pass them through a flame and they turn maleable and dark green then wipe with a damp cloth. Then the other change was I added cumin to the stuffing because some Cuban things just need cumin. I also changed the measurements.

Ingredients for filling
-1 lbs. pork stew meat washed and chopped into really small pieces
-1/2 green bell pepper minced
-1/2 onion minced
-4 cloves garlic mashed to a paste
-1 tomato (seeded, and skinned then chopped, to do this boil tomato in water 1-2 minutes, then peel, cut in half and scoop out seeds)
-salt to taste
-1 teaspoon ground cumin

Ingredients for dough:
-8 green plantains
-4 cloves garlic mashed to paste
-1/2 tsp. bijol (annato/achiote seed powder)
-salt to taste
-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
-1 1/2 cups coconut milk
-1 teaspoon- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 small lime)

Needed for wrapping:
-1/2 pound banana leaves cut into 7 by 10 rectangle squares 12 pieces and other 12 into 8 by 10 (don't worry to much about exact proportion)
-string to tie them up

Directions for pork:
(1)Heat a pan on high heat till hot, then lower to medium high, add olive oil and heat a bit, then add pork in one layer season with some salt and don't touch until it starts browing and juices evaporate then stir and let it brown some more, about 10 minutes.
(2)Add a little more oil and sautee onion and bell pepper for 5 minutes, then add garlic and sautee 1 minute, add tomato stir well to deglaze and crush tomatoes and cumin with a wooden spoon, cook 5 minutes on medium low, then raise heat again to high to bring to a bubble then stir cover for 10 minutes. Remove from heat the filling is done.

Directions for dough:
Peel green plantains carefully by making incesion with knide straight down then removing peel. Grate in the finest grater, mix with coconut milk, bijol, garlic, salt, and pepper then put in a food processor to get a very smooth dough. Set aside.

For wrapping:
(1)The cut plantain leaves should be through your burner on medium high heat, until it turns a deeper green. IT WILL NOT BURN! TRUST ME! Then set aside and wipe with a damp cloth.
(2)Cut string into long strings use your head. If you don't have string feel free to use aluminum foil to seal them tighter and more "water proof" (I didn't even if my mom insisted)

Lay 2 leaves in shape of cross, add two HEAPING tablespoonsfuls of dough, flatten a bit into round shape, add 1 tablespoon of filling in a roundish line. Fold leaves over to form "rectangular shape" and tie with string.

(4)Add to a pot of boiling water to steam, cover and cook atleast 30 minutes, Drain well and ready to eat!
You can also just mix the meat into the plantain dough, so the dough is flecked with pork pieces, you just add the pile of dough and wrap.