Monday, June 21, 2010

my favorite way to enjoy plantains

This is a dish I enjoyed making with three generations of women in my husband's family some time ago. It's a vegetarian dish that takes the humble plantain and gussies it up a bit.

Make sure the plantains are pretty ripe for this recipe - you want them much riper than you would for tostones. In the picture you can see they are starting to turn black in spots, this means they're just starting to get soft and sweet inside. The plantain's skin is very protective, much more than a banana, so don't fear the blackening. If it really gives way when you squeeze, then they've ripened too much.

Take off the peel, cut them in half, and boil until cooked.

Place the cooked plantains in a bowl. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice them lengthwise and remove the middle seeds and vein. Usually these stay inside fried plantains, but these will be mashed and the texture and appearance will be improved by taking them out.

Now mash them like mashed potatoes.

Take the mash and place a gob in the palm of your hand, make a thumb print to stick some cheese into. I really can't remember what cheese was in the recipe the first time I had it, but it was similar to feta and I like the way feta's salty bite contrasts the sweet browned plantain. Pull from the sides of the ball to cover the cheese, you can add a little more mash to cover and then smooth it - just make sure the cheese is covered, but not lost. Place the ball in hot oil and fry. give it a gentle press with the spatula to flatten a little, but not enough to break it open.

Cook through till cheese is cooked and the outside is nicely browned and sprinkle with a little salt.

They are delicious with crema, or sour cream and pico de gallo.


  1. oh, amazing. i know the cheese you mean and can't name it. it does look and taste a little like feta, but the basic flavor is more a neutral cream cheese taste. and it is very salty.

  2. For some reason I've been intimidated by the thought of preparing plaintains for years. The first time I tried was an utterly tasteless disaster. But after reading your post, I can't wait to try again.



Related Posts with Thumbnails