After trying to explain to my friend, Yoli, why I love eating at the pollo place in my barrio so much (see last blog entry on Pollo con Tajadas), she told me she would be happy to show me how to make tajadas on my own, including all the special sauces! I learned a lot in the process, including that my favorite kind of tajadas are not actually made out of plantains at all, but rather very green bananas! Wow! For your Honduran cooking enjoyment, I present....
How to Make Homemade Tajadas!
Step one--Gather some friends around and start peeling the green bananas. Slice a slit in the skin lengthwise and ¨unwrap¨ the peel. Don´t peel it from the top--the bananas are almost brittle and might break, and you want them nice and long for the best tajadas. If your hands turn black and sticky, that is normal :)
Step two--Chop the peeled green bananas up lengthwise into long strips. Toss the strips with lime juice and a liberal amount of salt.
Step three--Fry it up in vegetable shortening
Step four--Remove from oil and drain. Prepare sauces and toppings for tajadas (recipes at the end of the post).
Step five--Pile on the toppings and enjoy your tajadas!! Toppings include a tomato-based sauce, mayonnaise or a cream sauce, shredded cabbage and carrots, chismol (chopped tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers), shredded hard cheese. Fantastic!
Recipes for Sauces:
Yoli´s Salsita para Tajadas
1 small red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 chicken boullion cubes
4 oz tomato paste
1-2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable shortening
Sautee the onion, pepper, and cilantro in the oil until softened. Add the crumbled boullion cubes. Dilute the tomato paste with an equal amount of water in a separate bowl, and then add to the pan. Allow to simmer until slightly boiled down. To serve, strain out pieces of onion and pepper, or simply blend everything together for a smooth texture. Serve over tajadas.
Emilia´s Spicy Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 jalapeno pepper
a few tablespoons milk, to taste
1 chicken boullion cube
Place all ingredients in a blender, adding a tablespoon or two of water or milk as desired to thin out the dressing. Blend until smooth. Serve over tajadas.