Plantains or platanos, as they are known in Latin and Spanish culture, is also a staple to a West Indian diet. Growing up, my mom cooked them in soup or stew; or fried them using two different methods. There are two types of Caribbean people, the green plantain lovers (which are very rare and only limited to DR and some parts of the English islands) and the rest of us who enjoy a fried sweet plantain or platano maduro. These are the plantains you will most likely find served as a sweet side dish with rice and beans or fish, depending on which regional cuisine you plan on eating that day.
When travelling to Dominican Republic, I try eating this fruit every chance I get before an intense workout. Due to its richness in potassium and fiber, this fruit digests slowly releasing moderate levels of blood sugar. We are lucky that these fruits can be found in most warm climates and if not, you will most likely find them in your local Asian, Latin, or African market.
For this recipe, I am introducing a refreshing brunch substitute for your standard pancakes and bacon that is sweet and slightly spicy. These fried sweet plantains are served with a homemade bruschetta different from traditional Italian ones served on baguettes, incorporating unconventional ingredients like corn nuts and green spring onions. I not only like the sweet and salty taste, but the crunchy texture of the corn nuts in every bite.
Finally, the dish is finished off with a chipotle drizzle to give it that much needed kick to counteract all the sweet flavor. The chipotle peppers I used come straight from the can in adobo sauce. I preferably like to use the brand La Costeña, but if that is not available any canned chipotle peppers in adobo will do.
|5-7 minutes||20-22 minutes|
2 ripe yellow plantains (nearly brown)
Oil for frying (preferably coconut oil)
½ cup (about 15) of cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs of green spring onions
2 or 3 chipotle peppers (straight from the can) with a tablespoon of adobo sauce
½ cup (122 g) Greek yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon of cumin powder
1 small onion
1/8 cup (20 g) of chopped corn nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of water
In a blender, add garlic, yogurt, 1 tablespoon of lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of cumin powder, and the chipotle peppers. Blend all the ingredients until the texture is smooth.
If the chipotle sauce is still too thick for your liking, add water little by little to thin it out enough to form a smooth drizzle.
Fried Plantains Instructions:
Cut each plantain in half then remove the peel. Then cut each plantain in slices half an inch or a little over a centimeter at slanted angles.
- Once all the plantain slices are ready, pour about half cup of frying oil into a pan and turn the stove to medium high heat (between 6 and 7 on an electric stove). If your heat is too high then reduce to medium, plantains can cook fast.
Tip: To reduce the amount of trans fats released, you can substitute for coconut oil.
- Cook the plantains until slightly brown on each side then set aside. You can place each plantain on a paper towel to drain the oil.
- If you prefer to use an air fryer then the same instructions apply. You only want the plantains to be cooked until slightly golden brown. Once your plantains are done, set aside to cool.
Dice onions, cherry tomatoes, corn nuts, and green spring onions. Add them to a small bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil, salt, and lemon juice and stir for a minute. Once you are done you can plate the bruschetta mix on top of your plantains. You can add extra seasonings of your choice at this point and a dash of sugar if the bruschetta is still too acidic.
Brunch does not always have to be high in simple carbs and sugar. It can be refreshing and somewhat healthy without feeling sluggish or like you need a nap afterwards. I particular like eating this dish because I am still getting that sweetness I want out of the first morning meal without getting the toothache. In addition, this meal can be eaten at any time of the day as a midday snack or a quick lunch.
For more recipes like this, check out Hearty Lifestyle Recipes and share your thoughts on this recipe here.