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Sweet Plantain Recipe
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 25 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- Yields: one plantain per person
A lot of Latin cultures use plantains in many of their dishes. From main ones to sides ones, each has a peculiar application and whether the plantain is green or ripe will dictate is main use.
Plantain (/ˈplæntɨn/; (as in 'mountain') also UK /ˈplɑːntɨn/ or US /plænˈteɪn/) is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana (which is sometimes referred to as the dessert banana). There is no formal botanical distinction between bananas and plantains, and the use of either term is based purely on how the fruits are consumed' Wikipedia.
For this dish we will be using the ripe plantain. They look like big yellow bananas and will usually have dark to black patches along its skin which signify sugars content. The more black patches the higher the sugar content. They should still be firm to the touch yet feel like a ripening fruit when squeezed.
Ingredients & kitchenware:
One large pot to boil the plantains
Yellow/ripe plantains (one per person)
Strips of cheese (provolone works better)
Strips of sweet ham
Boil the plantains complete with skin for about 20 minutes or so depending on their firmness. You can test if they are done by sticking a fork. It it goes through easily they are done.
Once the boiling is done take the plantains out of the pot and let cool for a bit. Cut the tips at both ends and peel. The peel should come out rather easily. Cut a slit on each plantain in a lengthwise fashion. Be careful not to cut all the way down. Fill this slit from end to end, with thinly cut strips of the sweet ham. Place equal amounts of thin strips of the cheese on top of the ham. Spread melted butter on each whole plantain and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Using toothpicks insert one at each end and in the middle of the plantain; from one side to the other.This is to bring the halves closer to each other. Finally in a pre-heated oven bake the plantains until the cheese starts to melt. Be careful not to let the cheese start to burn.
You can serve them alongside chunks of canned sweet pineapples chunks. They also go well with mash sweet potatoes or pumpkin. Some people also add sour cream, but this increases the caloric intake quite a bit and it may interfere with the other tastes.
As far as nutrition:
Plantains, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy510 kJ (120 kcal) Carbohydrates 31.9 g- Sugars15 g- Dietary fiber 2.3 g Fat 0.37 g Protein1.3 gVitamin A equiv.56 μg (7%)Thiamine (vit. B1)0.052 mg (5%)Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.054 mg (5%)Niacin (vit. B3)0.686 mg (5%)Vitamin B60.3 mg (23%)Folate (vit. B9)22 μg (6%)Vitamin C18.4 mg (22%)Vitamin K0.7 μg (1%) Calcium 3 mg (0%) Iron 0.6 mg (5%) Magnesium 37 mg (10%)Phosphorus 34 mg (5%) Potassium 499 mg (11%) Zinc 0.14 mg (1%)
Keep in mind that these values will be higher once you add the cheese, ham and butter. Baking them is an alternative method of cooking but it takes a bit longer. Boiling them is the quickest way.
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© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez