PICKLED GREEN BANANAS – ESCABECHE DE GUINEITOS VERDES

“Guineitos Verde en Escabeche” is one of our most popular dishes.  You would say its a “Jíbaro” dish.

Jíbaro is a term used to refer to mountain people, who lived “in-land” in the heart of the island, and are the backbone of the Puerto Rican culture…

Carmen Aboy Valldejuly is the raining queen of Puerto Rican cooking.  Her book, Cocina Criolla – Puerto Rican Cookery, is considered the bible of our kitchen.  The first edition was printed in November 1954 and now about 40 more editions have been printed.  I have it in both Spanish and English and my copy is from 1983.

I am not adapting this recipe…its coming straight from her book.  This is the way my mother made it and we continue to follow the recipe to the letter.

When I make this dish I always make it with a salted cod salad and some avocado and cilantro, of course.

A.  Pickling Sauce or escabeche Sauce:

2 cups of olive oil
1 cup of vinegar
12 peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 pounds onions, peeled and slices
2 cloves garlic, minced

B.  10 green bananas (available in latin american grocery stores)

C.  8 cups of water – 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions:

In a heavy pot, mix ingredients included in A and cook over low heat for an hour.  Allow to cool.

Trim ends of bananas and slit just the peel, lengthwise, on both sides.

In a deep pot, bring to a boil water to cover bananas.  Add bananas, cover and boil over low heat for 15 minutes.  Drain and peel.

Fill the pot with ingredients included in C and bring rapidly to a boil. Add peeled bananas, cover and boil for 10 minutes. Add one cup of water and boil for another 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.

Cut bananas into one inch rounds. Place in a deep glass bowl, alternating with the escabeche sauce. Marinade for 24 hours.

BUEN PROVECHO!