Fun with Plantains
I recently returned from a trip to Central America and am now obsessed with cooking plantains. I'd love to hear recipe suggestions -- both savory and sweet. I have made patacones, plantain chips, and sauteed plantains with booze and caramel, and the boyfriend is experimenting with salty-sweet fried plantain "baskets" for desserts.
Of course the standard platanos maduro of pan fried ripe plantains are wonderful. I have used yellow unripe plantains in a vegetable soup. They work like potatoes in that application. Forgot to add tostones to the list
I posted an easy recipe for plantain empananda dough on a recent thread:
Here is an amazing and simple recipe for plantain empanadas - the result is just slightly sweet.
3 large yellow ripe plantains (about 2 lbs.)
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
cut the ends off the unpeeled plantains. make a shallow incision down their length, then cut crosswise in half. bake on a sheet for about 40 minutes at 350. remove, peel and release steam and cool. place in food processor and puree. add flour and salt.
Search for recipes for sancocho, a Colombian stew, usually with chicken as the main ingredient. Plantain is included with, or in place of, potatoes. As a variation you can pan or deep fry the plantains before adding to the stew to keep them crispy (add just before serving if you do it this way).
You can also make a plantain version of Bananas Foster. Saute whole or split, very ripe plantains in butter and a generous amount of brown sugar. Top with ice cream, with or without the flaming rum.
Arroz a la Cubana is rice in a sofrito with the addition of a picadillo of pork and beef, topped with a fried egg and fried plantains. Sweet plantains can be dipped in batter and deep fried then topped off with cinnamon sugar. They're also lovely wrapped in an eggroll wrapper, fried and then drizzled with caramel and sesame seeds.