AT THE TABLE WITH: Jose De Los Santos

Jose De Los Santos
Jose De Los Santos

In 2001, at the age of 13, Jose came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. He joined his family living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the middle child of three children in his immediate family. There is a younger brother and an older sister. But a large extended family are in the area. As a kid, he and his siblings were grateful for whatever had available to them — imply games and play, not high-tech items found today.

Jose finally settled in Pennsylvania. He attended Delaware County Community College. He is an application engineer for a company in West Chester. The job offers him the opportunity to travel the world.

He moved to Phoenixville approximately 3½ years ago. Jose resides in the north side of town with his fiancée, Krystal, and their son, Joell, age 6.

Jose has a passion for photography. He has become part of the “high bridge” gang. This is a group of area photographers who shoot pictures from the bridge, sharing them on Facebook. You can also find his work on his page under “Jdls Imagry.” He continually works at bettering this passion, adding to equipment and enhancing his work. No longer is a photographer’s dark room necessary with digital photography.


He talked about the beauty of the Dominican Republic and the culture and foods of the island. Plantains are a staple food used almost daily. They are a cooking banana and should not be eaten raw. This fruit is high in nutrients and a good substitute for rice and potatoes. The difference between plantains and bananas is a matter of custom, in the way of preparation and use in eating and cooking.

The Induveca salami used in the following recipe is a smoked meat that adds flavor to the salami. It is used by many Hispanic cultures and be found in many local or specialty markets. It is so tasty and definitely adds to the dish when used.


Green plantains

Oil for frying

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup ketchup

Garlic cloves

Sea salt

Induveca (Dominican) salami

For plantains: Peel and cut plantains into ½-inch slices. Heat skillet with about ¼-inch of oil over medium heat. Fry plantains for about three minutes or until hard shell forms on the outside of slices. Remove from skillet, and flatten each plantain with a flat bottom cup, mug or glass. Return to skillet, and continue to fry for three additional minutes. Remove from skillet, and sprinkle with sea salt.

For pink sauce: Mix mayonnaise and ketchup together in a small bow. Mince garlic, and add to mixture according to taste.

For sausage: Cut Induveca salami into ¼-inch slices. In ¼ inch of oil over medium heat, fry sausage, turning after three minutes. The longer you fry, the crispier the salami will become.

Plate plantains and salami with pink sauce on the side.


Let Better hear from you: Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.