I remember visiting Puerto Rico about six months after going Paleo and being so excited that I could purchase alcapurrias from street vendors without any worry of gluten contamination. I remember how luxurious it felt to be able to eat a meat-stuffed fritter that was naturally Paleo. The blend of green banana and malanga yields a dough that is soft in the middle and crisp on the outside.
- Yield: 10 Servings 16 to 18 Fritters
- 1¼ cups (216 g) Carne Molida for authenticity, or other meat filling of your choosing
- 4 very green bananas, peeled
- 5 tsp (24 to 30 g) fine Himalayan salt, divided
- 2 lb (905 g) malanga or taro, peeled
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for parchment paper
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp (10 g) minced garlic
- 1½ tsp (3 g) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp (7 g) ground turmeric
- ¼ cup (56 to 75 g) fat for frying (lard or avocado oil recommended)
- Prepare and chill the carne molida or other meat filling of choice in advance so that it is chilled when you are assembling the alcapurrias.
- Cut the tips off the bananas and cut 2 to 3 slits in the peel down the length of each, then slice each banana into 3 pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl with sufficient water to cover and stir in 2 teaspoons (12 g) of salt. Soak for 15 minutes to ensure the bananas are easy to peel.
- After soaking, remove the peels by lifting them away with your fingers or cutting away with a knife. Place the pieces in a food processor (recommended) or blender.
- Peel the malanga, chop roughly and add to the food processor. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the meat filling and the fat, and blend until a smooth dough forms, scraping down the sides 2 to 3 times. Place the dough in a mixing bowl and allow it to rest for 15 minutes (this is important and allows the dough to firm up to the correct texture).
- Use a piece of parchment paper to form the alcapurrias: Grease an area 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20.5 cm) across with olive oil and rub a bit into your hands as well. Measure ¼ cup (60 g) of dough into the greased area and smooth it into a flat disk with the back of a spoon. Place about 1 tablespoon (15 g) of the meat filling in the center. Fold the paper together so that the dough folds over the filling. Use your (oiled) hands to form the dough into a cylinder shape, ensuring that the meat is completely covered with dough.
- In a small or medium skillet, heat your fat of choice over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until shimmering. Carefully slip the alcapurrias into the hot oil, using a spoon to help push them off the paper if necessary. Fry in batches, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they are browned and crispy. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate and serve hot. Enjoy alone or dipped in Ajilimójili Sauce.