A favorite appetizer in the Caribbean, the recipe for alcapurrias is to follow, so anyone can make them at home. These tasty delights are ground beef-filled fried fritters made from a mixture of grated yautía (taro root) and green bananas.
Vendors sell alcapurrias at street side stands and grills throughout the Caribbean islands, though they're best known as a Puerto Rican food. You can easily change the recipe up by using ground chicken, turkey, or pork or using a varying your sofrito recipe. For a luxury version, stuff the alcapurrias with Cuban picadillo, a spiced, tomato-flavored ground beef.
- For the Masa Dough:
- 5 medium bananas (green)
- 1 pound yautía (taro root)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- For the Filling:
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon sofrito
- 1 tablespoon alcaparrado (mix of olives, pimientos and capers)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Make the Masa
- Peel the green bananas and peel and wash the yautías. Place both in a bowl of cold salted water.
- Remove the bananas and yautías from the water and grate them into a medium bowl. To make it easier, you can also use a food processor.
- Add salt and mix well. Set aside.
Make the Filling
- In a deep pot or frying pan, brown the ground beef. Drain off the fat.
- Add sofrito, alcaparrado mix, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Fry the Alcapurrias
- On a piece of waxed paper, spread out 1 to 2 tablespoons of the masa mixture and make a shallow well in the center. You can also use the palm of your hand instead of waxed paper.
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of the filling into the well and cover it with a little more masa mix. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the masa all around the filling so no meat is showing. You can freeze the alcapurrias at this point if you would like to fry and eat them later.
- In a fryer or deep frying pan, heat enough oil to cover the alcapurrias when frying. The oil should be heated to about 360 F.
- Add the alcapurrias, being careful not to splash the oil or crowd the fryer. Fry until crispy and golden, from 5 to 7 minutes.
- Drain the alcapurrias on paper towels and allow to cool before eating.