Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2007


JibaritoSource: Julia

The Puerto Rican style jibarito (pronounced hee-bah-ree-to) sandwich was created at the Borinquen Restaurant in Chicago by owner Juan "Peter" Figueroa. Here’s my take on making his famous jibarito at home. The plantain "bread slices" for this sandwich are most easily made if you have a large deep fryer, but it can also be done in a deep skillet with oil. I originally saw this made on FoodTV’s "Roker on the Road" (episode "On a Roll"). According to the Borinquen website, these sandwiches are known as "emparedado de platano" in Puerto Rico.

1 large green plantain, peeled and sliced lengthwise and in half (4 pieces)
oil (for deep frying)
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1-2 pinch cayenne or dried chipotle powder, to taste
6 ounces shaved shoulder steak (or other tender cut such as flank, or thinly sliced chicken breast meat)
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices American cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
romaine lettuce
thinly sliced tomatoes or roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon roasted minced garlic

2 servings 2 sandwiches

(Also, you will need 2 heavy cutting boards – rectangular ones work better with the shape of the plantain).

Heat oil, then fry the peeled and sliced plantain for 1 minute.

Remove plantain from oil, place on a heavy cutting board (if wooden, wrap board in plastic first, which will assist in the spreading of the softened plantain), top with another cutting board, and flatten the plantain between them.

Fry the now-flattened plantain in the oil again, until outside is golden and crispy; remove from oil, set aside on paper towels to blot oil, and keep warm.

Over medium high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil together, then sauté the onions until just becoming soft.

Add the garlic, cumin, and cayenne (to taste), stir well, then add the meat slices and sauté until browned; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread mayonnaise on bottom slice of flattened fried plantain, lay down 2 slices of American cheese, then the meat and onions. Top with lettuce and thinly sliced tomato (or roasted red pepper), then the remaining plantain top.
Combine 1 teaspoon melted butter with 1/4 teaspoon roasted minced garlic, then brush the top plantain slice with the butter garlic mixture.

Repeat steps to make another sandwich.

Serve completed sandwiches with Arroz Con Gandules (Yellow Rice With Pigeon Peas).

Jibaritos can also made with other combinations of roast pork, white or dark chicken meat, vegetables or ham – don’t be afraid to experiment.