Recipe courtesy of Larisa Alvarez for Food Network Kitchen

Patacon Maracucho

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A patacon is a sandwich made from fried plantain halves (think larger and softer tostones). Maracucho refers to people or things from the city of Maracaibo in Venezuela, which is where this sandwich calls home. It is traditionally made with a protein (pulled chicken, beef or pork) and lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado and a sauce. You can go in the direction of an avocado and mayonnaise sauce, but I prefer what we lovingly call pink sauce, which is a humble mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches
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Ingredients

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. Add 1 1/2 inches of oil to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or medium Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer reaches 350 degrees F. Drop in the plantains and cook, flipping halfway through, until they’re light golden brown with light brown streaks, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove to a cutting board to rest until cool enough to handle. Keep the oil at 350 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle the plantains all over with garlic salt. Make a small cut down each side of each plantain half to ensure they will flatten evenly on both sides. Using the flat surface of a small cutting board or sturdy plate, flatten the plantains so they are about 1/4 inch thick. Return the plantains to the oil and fry until the softer parts have a little crunch, about 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with another pinch of garlic salt.  
  3. Combine the ketchup and mayonnaise in a small bowl.  
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of the pink sauce on one side of each plantain half. Top 4 of the plantain halves each with one-quarter of the avocado slices, 1/3 cup of the chicken, 1/4 cup of the shredded lettuce, 2 of the tomato slices and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Top with the remaining plantain halves. Serve immediately.  

Cook’s Note

Look for queso duro (hard cheese) or queso de mano (hand cheese) at a market that carries Latin American products. Queso duro will give a sharp saltiness to the sandwich, whereas queso de mano will serve as a much milder, but very melty addition. If you cannot find either, mozzarella or queso de freir will also work.

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