Concón, the dominican crust of rice
Downhearted songs, riddle with deep nostalgia and feeling had accompanied the endless journey.
But those ships that crossed the Atlantic full of slaves, not only transported to the new world the workforce for mines and plantations; but also their decks that were packed with a rich culinary tradition. In the dark holds they brought to America yams, bananas, watermelon, pigeon pea, malagueta or taro; old recipes, the way to prepare and combine foods, cooking utensils and name of dishes. Such an important influence was the beginning of the second great Dominican food merger; a mark that has survived up to our day.
Even today, the similarities between the cookery of West Africa and Dominican are overwhelming. The Ata Yoruba sauce is very close to marinades and hispanic sauté. The Mofongo, fried banana with cracklings, comes from the word cufongo used in Cape Verde, which means “ball of corn”. The Chenchén finds its ancestors in the sadza or nshima, and the stew (despite his Spanish heritage) also has its versions on the African calalú (although its color is green). Even the rolls that are placed inside have a relation to the banku.
The concón, that crust of rice at the bottom of the pot, is equally important as the crust of rice made in Nigeria (it is even called Konkón). By being served with green beans and meat sauce, its intense flavor makes Dominicans crazy. But, the crispy feature of the yanikekes and cassava bread or fried chickenis the one that unleashes more passion.
Remember that the perfect concón has to meet three principles: must be crispy, form a thin layer and show a nice golden color, not burnt. If it leaves the whole pot, having a shaped-hat, then it’s outstanding.
Despite popular rice cookers have not been very helpful to cook concón, we wanted to give it another significance. There are three recipes in which the Caribbean little concón takes on another dimension.
Blinis of Concón, blood pudding and shrimp
We will use
For the blinis: ½ cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of yeast, ½ cup of beer, 1 egg, 1 cup of fl our, a pinch of salt, 1 cup of shredded concón, 1 egg white, 2 tablespoons of butter.
For the blood pudding: 2 tablespoons of oil, ½ chopped onion, 1 blood pudding, 3 tablespoons of concón, 2 eggs, salt, ground pepper, 2 tablespoons of fi ne chopped leek.
For shrimps: 8 large shrimps, drops of oil, salt.
For blinis: warm milk up and add yeast. Add the fl our, beer, egg yolk and salt. Stir well until getting a smooth mixture. Let rest for one hour. Add the shredded Concón and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Heat a pan greased with butter and cook the blinis on both sides. For blood pudding: fry onions lightly in a pan with oil. Once they are soft add the chopped blood pudding, the concón and beaten eggs. Season and mix like a scrambled. Remove from the fi re and season with fi ne chopped leek. For shrimp: cook the shrimp on both sides in a pan with some drops of oil. Salt them out of the fi re. In this order, put the blinis in the dinner plate, then the scrambled blood pudding on the blini and fi nally the shrimps. Dress lightly with oil of fi ne herbs.
Lacquered Pork with Green Beans and Concon
We will use
For pork: 2 lb of pork tacos, ¼ cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 minced clove of garlic, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of clove, a pinch of cinnamon, pinch of ginger , salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of butter.
For concón: 3 cups of shredded concón, 4 tablespoons of egg white, 1 minced clove of garlic, a pinch of nutmeg, pinch of cloves, salt and pepper, 4 tablespoons of oil.
For puree: 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 chopped leek, 1 stalk celery, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 cups of cooked red beans, salt and pepper.
For pork: put together soybeans, sugar, honey, garlic and spices in a bowl. Season all and add the pork. Stir well and let marinate for 2 hours. Drain the pork and reserve the marinade. Put the marinade in a pot to reduce it until getting thicker. Sauté pork in a fry pan with some drops of oil, once it cooked add the marinade and continue sautéing to become tasty. Remove from the heat to add the butter.
For concón: put together all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Give the shape of pancakes and cook in a pan with some drops of oil.
For puree: chop all vegetables and garlic. In a pan greased of butter sauté vegetables and garlic until tender. Add the green beans and sauté for 10 minutes. Season and make puree using a food processor.
Concon Sticks, Vanilla Cream and Strawberries
We will use
For sticks: 1 cup of shredded concón, ½ cup of nuts, ¼ cup of raisins, 5 tablespoons of corn flakes, 3 tablespoons of black sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 3/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of water.
For frosting: 2/3 cup of butter, 1 ¾ cups of sugar glass, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of milk. Strawberries ice cream, chopped strawberries.
For sticks: put together the concón, walnuts, raisins, corn flakes, sesame and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir well. Place vanilla, honey, oil and water in a pot. Heat until all ingredients are blended and add to the concón mixture. Stir well and extend on baking sheet oil surface. Compact it and bake at 320 ° F for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and once it is cold cut it.
For frosting: Stir softened butter with the other ingredients in a bowl. Beat for Beat for one minute at low speed and high speed for 5 minutes until getting a foam and then cremy. Put a layer of frosting on the stick of concón, chopped strawberries and fi nally strawberry ice cream.