1. Peel the plantains and put them in a bowl of cold water. Set aside.
2. In a cup, place the raisins with the sherry or rum to soak. Set aside.
3. Mince the hot pepper and garlic together. Set aside.
4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the bacon and saute, stirring, until the bacon has released most of its fat and starts to get golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in the hot pepper-garlic mixture; add the onion, carrot, and paprika, if using, and saute, stirring now and then, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
5. Add the raisins, together with the sherry or rum, and continue cooking until all the liquor has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, with their juices, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Cook, while stirring, until the liquid had evaporated, about 10 minutes.
6. Mix in the ground meat and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring now and then. Remove from the heat; strain the contents of the skillet through a fine sieve or strainer into a bowl and let drain, pressing gently to extract most of the oil and juices. Reserve both the oil and the meat. Set aside.
7. Meanwhile, in a large enameled saute pan, bring 8 cups of the stock to a boil together with the rosemary, celery tops, ginger, if using, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Remove the peeled plantains from the water and add them to the boiling stock. Lower the heat and let simmer, covered, for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the plantains are soft. Remove from the heat; remove the plantains, saving the stock.
8. Place the piping-hot plantains in the work bowl of a food processor together with the reserved oil, the cheese, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Process for about 1 minute, or until you have a totally smooth dough. Transfer the dough to a stainless-steel bowl and let cool. When cool, incorporate the egg and the egg yolk with a rubber spatula until they are totally absorbed. Knead in the butter.
9. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Place 1 portion in the palm of your hand, and with your hand slightly cupped, flatten the dough into a circle 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter; form a well in the center. Place 1 tablespoonful of filling in the middle and close the dough over the filling by pinching the edges together. Gently roll between your palms to shape into a perfectly smooth ball. Repeat this process until all the dumplings are assembled.
10. Strain the reserved stock in which the plantains were cooked through a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Add enough of the remaining chicken stock to make about 13 cups.
11. In a pan just large enough to hold the 16 dumplings comfortably, bring the stock with the bay leaf to a boil. Correct the seasoning with salt to taste. Lower the heat, carefully drop all the bolas into the stock, and simmer gently, without boiling, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve the bolas in the broth. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Omit the paprika if achiote oil is used.
Substitute 1/2 pound of peeled, cleaned, and chopped shrimp for the ground meat. Add to the onion mixture in Step 6 but cook for only 1 minute, not 10 as for meat. Remove from heat and proceed with the recipe.