plantains recipe

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Tostones con queso was my favorite food when I stayed in Ometepe island in Nicaragua last February. Slightly melted salty queso fresco on top of a piping hot golden disc of plantains was the perfect partner to ice cold Tona beer. Since we’ve been back to the state, we make this dish often because it’s easy to make. Fried plantain is a great vessel to any kind of toppings. The possibility is endless!

Here’s a watercolor, wordless comic illustrating how to make tostones con queso. It’s been a long time I drew comics with traditional medium and I realize how much more fun it is to draw on actual paper with actual paints. I should do this more often. 

2

Jamaican Spice Plantain Porridge Recipe

Ingredients

  • 380-400g Peeled Green Plantains
  • 750 ml Water
  • 250 ml Coconut Cream
  • 1 Cinnamon Bark
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  • 250 ml Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 165 Condensed Milk (optional)
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg (about ⅛ tsp or 6 slides on a grater)

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel and slice green plantains into 3 cm slices slices into 3 cm.
  2. Put the plantain and water in a blender and pulse until chopped fine then blend to a smooth puree
  3. Pour it in a pot with cinnamon and turn on the stove on low heat. Keep stirring to prevent lumps. A lumpy plantain porridge is the result of an untended pot.
  4. Add salt and stir.
  5. Add coconut cream and stir for about 15 minutes
  6. Add milk and stir.
  7. Add vanilla and nutmeg and stir.
  8. After about 20-25 minutes of total cooking time, turn off heat, add condensed milk according to taste.

Pastelon (Sweet Plaintain “Lasagna”)

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion,minced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • ½ chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp adobo
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 envelope sazón
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 green stuffed olives, halved
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 4 plantains, peeled and sliced into strips
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 2 cups white shredded cheese
  • vegetable oil
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter square pan with 1 tbs of butter.
  2. Combine, beef, onion, pepper, garlic, cilantro, adobo, oregano, vinegar and sazon. Mix well.
  3. Heat a large skillet at medium-high heat with 2 Tbs of olive oil, add meat mixture.
  4. Cook beef until brown and of the juices bubble up, add bay leaves, olives, raisins and tomato sauce. Mix and let simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.
  5. Heat a large frying pan with vegetable oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Fry plantains for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and slitely crispy. Drain on a plate with paper towel, set aside.
  6. To assemble pastelon: Take your prepared square pan, start with a layer of plantains, then beef, then a fistful of cheese, repeat. You want to finish with cheese and plantains. Beat 3 eggs with 2 Tbs of milk, pour over the pastelón. Let it sit for a minute allowing the egg to soak in. Top off with just a bit more cheese.
  7. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

~MOFONGO BOWL~
(Makes 4-5 Servings)

Boil 3 Green Plantains in a large saucepan (each cut into at least 4 pieces) with 1 tablespoon of Garlic Paste & a dash of Adobo
Remove when plantains can be poked through with a fork
In a large bowl, mash plantains, leaving a few large chunks
Heat 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil in a pan and add mashed plantain along with 1oz. of crushed pork rinds. Let sit for about 1 minute for bottom layer to crisp up then toss.
Remove from pan after another minute.
Let cool slightly before forming “bowls” to fill with a saucy protein, as the mofongo tends to dry up.

~SPICY MEAT SAUCE~
for filling

Brown 1lb of Ground Meat
Add ¼ Cup Crushed Tomatoes, 1 Tablespoon Recaito, 1 Tablespoon Crushed Garlic, 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin and a few dashes of Achiote & Paprika.
Chop ½ Red Onion, 1 Roasted Red Pepper & 2 Jalapeños (remove seeds for less heat) and add to pan.
Let simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes (add water if necessary)

**ChefTiffy Tip**
To add greens, chop up some spinach and stir into meat sauce

4

I’ve been trying some new things the kitchen this summer. This recipe was my second favorite besides the Hawaiian steak I made a few weeks back. 

This is “Brazilian” chicken w/ a coconut milk sauce over basmati rice & fried plantains. Very spicy and had a lot of South American flavors. YUM :)

Ingredients 

  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Coriander 
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 - 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  • ¾ chopped onion
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of minced fresh ginger 
  • Olive oil
  • 1 14 oz can of coconut milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • And of course your 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Parsley or basil (your preference)

I don’t usually use measurements to cook unless I’m baking so those are rough estimates. 

Mixed about 1 teaspoon of each of the spices in a bowl and mix them. This will be used as the seasoning for your chicken. Sear it in a pan with olive oil until there’s no more pink inside.

Once you remove those from the pan, use the remain oil for the vegetables. Cook until soft. Add coconut milk and a little flour if you want it to be thicker then boom! Add salt & pepper to taste. Fried plantains optional

This was a recipe I found online. I would use LESS coconut milk next or try to find a different sauce base. It was almost too creamy. The spice was definitely needed. The plantains on the side helped by offering a little sweetness so I most definitely recommend those.