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A Creative Fried Plantain Sandwich Recipe
Recently, my husband and I have discovered a great way to use plantains instead of bread in a sandwich. It is a unique combination of fruit, meat and vegetables we find delightful and fun to create as a meal. We always pick up a couple of green plantains when we visit our local farmer's market and let them ripen through the week for later use in this recipe.
I can't credit the originality of this recipe to ourselves, that belongs to Food Network's Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro. We have modified it to our taste and pleasure. My husband prefers to purchase a small ham and smoke it to add a unique taste to the sandwich. It is now a favorite meal that we enjoy about twice a month.
Although it involves fried plantains, we use a lighter oil and a lesser amount to make it "seem" a bit healthier. If you like, you can add a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate (see the recipe below) to increase the tropical, Spanish cultural experience. My favorite add to this is Jeff's home-made Garlic-Mayo spread that follows the main recipe; don't forget this treat if you like some spicy flavor in a sandwich. What can I say? It is a bit fattening, but you have to enjoy some of life's culinary pleasures!
Plantain Facts & Trivia
Plantains provide an alternative to bread and potatoes. They can be served steamed, roasted, boiled, fried and can be eaten raw when ripe (Make sure you take note of this because they are not so tasty otherwise. Believe me, I've done this!).
There are over two hundred species of plantains and they are grown in different parts of the world, including Africa and Indonesia. Most of our plantains in the US come from the Caribbean and Latin American countries such as Panama, Brazil, Honduras and Costa Rica. A small portion is grown and harvested in the topical United States.
Plantains are similar to bananas in appearance but differ in the taste and moisture content. Bananas average eighty-three percent moisture while plantains average sixty-five percent. This is why bananas ripen much quicker than plantains, it's all due to the hydrolysis (starch to sugar) process in foods. Additionally, bananas are used as dessert food items and plantains are commonly used as side dishes to a meal. As mentioned previously, we use them as sandwich "bread" and, surprisingly, they do handle well.
Plantains are also used medically in laxatives and respiratory treatments. The leaves are boiled as tea to treat cough and colds in some areas where they are grown.
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 40 min
- Yields: Serves Four
Cast Your Vote!
- 3 cups Extra Virgin Olive oil, or Vegatable oil
- 2 green plantains Cut in half and halved lengthwise, or ripened plantains
- Pinch Kosher salt, or table salt
- Pinch Ground Black Pepper
- 1 pound Ham, smoked and sliced thinly, or boiled ham, thinly sliced
- 1 Beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
- 4 leaves Romaine lettuce, or iceberg lettuce
- 1 clove Garlic minced, or granualted garlic for seasoning
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven to 375 degrees F. Fry four plantain pieces until they float to the surface (about 2 minutes). Drain on a paper towel and repeat with remaining four pieces.
- Use a tortilla press (or heavy pan, wooden cutting board) to flatten each piece of plantain. The goal is to press them between two heavy items so that they are nicely flattened and spread out for use as a topping. Refry each piece of flattened plantain, in batches, until golden (about 4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- Building the sandwich: On the bottom of four plantains, place a quarter of the ham, tomatoes and 1 lettuce leaf. Spread the Garlic Mayo (see recipe below) on the top plantain and close. Cut in half on the bias. Enjoy! Note: You can use slices of American cheese, Queso Blanco (Mexican Cheese), or a crumbled feta to add to your eating pleasure.
Markets Where We Find The Best Plantains
- West Palm Beach's President Supermarket: A Spanish S...
Enjoy a cultural experience in West Palm Beach as you shop at President Supermarket. It is a Spanish grocery store that offers specialty items with a Spanish/Caribbean flair.
- The Farmer's Emporium: A West Palm Beach Treasure
The Farmer's Emporium in West Palm Beach, Florida is a nice treasure. The market provides customers with reasonably priced, fresh fruits and vegetables and great customer service.
Jeff Mauro's Garlic Mayo Spread
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced or run through a press
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, mix together the mayo, chili powder, cumin, garlic and add a little salt and pepper to taste.
We usually have some spread leftover which we store to use as a dip the next day with veggies and tortilla chips, or as a spread on crackers.
Plantain Sandwich Nutritional Information
|Serving size: 1|
|Calories from Fat||1512|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 168 g||258%|
|Saturated fat 24 g||120%|
|Unsaturated fat 180 g|
|Carbohydrates 41 g||14%|
|Sugar 11 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 17 g||34%|
|Cholesterol 41 mg||14%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
In general, plantains sold in the United States come from our neighboring Latin American Countries and the Caribbean islands.