I wish at times that I was the type of person who could write out a weekly menu and shopping list and actually stick to it.  Instead, I constantly find myself seduced in the grocery store by awesome sales and beautiful produce.  That would probably be okay for some people, but with my teeny tiny tendency for hoarding, I wind up with freezers full of meat, and produce that I absolutely have to use…right this minute…before it turns and I have to chuck it.  That kind of waste is painful to me, so I find myself throwing meals together just to utilize my groceries before they spoil.  Once in a while a happy accident occurs, and a new favorite is created!

That’s what happened to me last week after shopping at Fresh Thyme.  If you’re lucky enough to have one near you, check it out.  They have great produce and meat, carry some hard to find items, and on Wednesday their weekly sale papers overlap, so there are plenty of great deals to be found. 

They happened to have boneless country style ribs on sale for a steal, so I picked up a few packs.  Okay, I picked up all the packs… but to be fair, there were only five available.  Plantains caught my eye as I was perusing the produce.  I haven’t had much luck finding green plantains for Jibaritos lately, and $.88 per pound seemed like a good price to me.  Thankfully, I only grabbed two.  

After coming home and getting all the groceries put away, I proceeded to make a frozen pizza and promptly forgot all about my lovely green plantains.  About a week later we were hanging out with our friends discussing food trucks when one of them brought up Jibaritos.  Oh crap, my plantains!

Still greenish, so they should be good, right?  I am far from a plantain expert, but I’d rather take the chance on cooking them than just letting them go to waste.  As much as I like green plantains, I’m not a fan of sweet ones, so time was of the essence. 

I first sliced through their skin lengthwise and microwaved them both for seven minutes.  When they came out of the microwave their skins were dark and splitting where I had cut them open. They’re incredibly easy to peel using this method.

   I just sliced them in half lengthwise and across, then flattened each quarter on some parchment paper with my cutting board.  I don’t own a tostoneria or tortilla press, so placing them under my cutting board and pushing down hard gets the job done and counts as my arm workout…for the week.  Don’t judge, we can’t all be athletes.  

  After everything was nice and flat, I just fried them in some hot oil for a few minutes on each side until they turned golden brown.

 I placed the fried plantains in a strainer to drain and added a dash of salt.

I used pork as the meat component for my sandwich since I had an abundance of it in my freezer.  I was going to list all the marinade ingredients, but, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Marinating the pork was actually the first thing I did in the morning.  You can always do it the night before if you’re the prepared type.  I’m not, so I normally just do it for a few hours.

  I like to marinate my meat in a ziploc bag.  It’s easy to mix, less mess, and one less dish to wash.  All pluses in my book!  Do yourself a favor and fold the top of your bag down before you put anything in it.  It keeps the edges cleaner so you don’t get your hands all messy when you close it up.

  After a few hours, I threw the meat on the grill for about 15 minutes.  I don’t test for doneness with a thermometer.  I just know it’s done when it starts to glisten.  Once the pork was nice and shiny I removed it from the grill and let it rest while I prepped the rest of the sandwich ingredients.
You can add whatever you want to your jibarito.  I added garlic mayo (minced raw garlic mixed with some Hellmans and a little salt), avocado, cilantro, tomato and jalapeño.  If I had any radishes, carrots or daikon on hand I probably would have made a quick pickle and added that as well.  They must not have been on sale the previous week.  

All that’s left to do is assemble and enjoy! There you have it, my Asian inspired jibarito.  I hope you like it, and if you have any questions or recommendations, please feel free to comment!