Friday, December 31, 2010

plantains gone bananas!

any good chef knows how to cook with plantains. so says Lisa of Top Chef: Chicago. 
I use the bananas out of plantains because they are so plentiful here in Nicaragua (at some point, I'll post my recipe for plantain lasagna). After leaving Granada and the mainland, I’ve been on Little Corn for about 2 weeks. If you were overwhelmed reading about my last post regarding getting products to a small lake resort, multiply it by 5 and you’ve got the jist of getting products to the Caribbean (for example, don’t order papaya, because it smushes all over every other item. fail.). One treat (and source of chaos) is the farm on our property, products that I can get without ordering them 10 days in advance. The most plentiful products are yuca, coconuts, and plantains. I have devised a list of what products we can get, and the grounds crew picks the goods up for us in the morning. 
Pablo and his garden crew help me out by helping to harvest any products I need each morning. Most of the time we can get everything on the list, but it depends on how busy the day is and whether different plants are fruiting. Because some of the guys can’t read, I had to reorganize my list system: the template has pictures of each item as well. The guys pick green plantains by the bunch (day-o?). For this recipe, I ripen them under a towel for a few days and they turn yellow and soft, perfect for dessert!
Chocolate Crisp with Plátano Maduro
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup whole oats
6 Tbs. flour
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 ounces of cold butter, cut into cubes
For the filling:
3 cups chopped yellow plantains, boiled until soft
2 Tbs. dark Flor de Caña rum
1 tsp. lime juice
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. flour
pinch of salt
For the topping, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using cold fingers or a fork, cut the butter into the dry mixture to create a crumbly mixture with small balls the size of peas. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the filling, I used ripe plantains, but they were still a little starchy and raw. I steamed them cut up pieces in a pot with a few inches of water in it until they were bright yellow and soft. Next, combine the cooked plantains with the remaining ingredients and toss well. 
Place filling in a greased baking dish (a 9” round or 3-4 quart pyrex will work just fine). Gently layer the topping over the filling without packing it down. 
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, until topping is dark and crispy. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
this recipe is versatile for any tropical fruit. mango season starts soon! *i did not make up the topping for this dessert, it is from a dessert cookbook.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing and hearing how you 'make it work'! The list of images is genius, and also acts as a tutoring tool because you're guys are learning the word associated with the picture next to it. I bet those pictures aren't clip art - you drew them yourself am I right?!