Mashed Plantains (Banana Plantain Puree Recipe)
Unlike regular bananas, plantains require cooking and cannot be eaten raw. They're cooked in the same manner as you would potatoes. Their texture is denser, firmer and starchier than bananas but they still have a mild sweetness. As you let the plantain ripen the skin turns almost black, and it becomes slightly sweeter.
For the plantain purée, I used ripe yellow plantains. I boiled and then pan-fried them to caramelize them and enhance the natural sweetness. Finally, I mashed them and added caramelized onions and various herbs, completing this flavorful savory side dish.
Garlic chives from the garden.
Yields: 6 servings6 ripe plantains (3 pounds)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic chives, finely snipped
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or evaporated milk), warm
1 tablespoon cilantro, for garnish
Boiling the plantains:
Fill a large pot with cold water. Add the whole, unpeeled plantains and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes. The skin should be totally dark and the plantain should open and split. Drain the water.
Once the plantains are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them into slices.
Pan-frying the bananas:
In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil. Cook the onions until nicely golden. Add the chives. Toss for a minute until fragrant. Drain and reserve the oil and set the fried onions and chives aside.
In a mini-blender (or a regular blender), mix the onions, chives, coconut milk, ground ginger, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
In the same pan, use the same onion-flavored oil. Brown the first batch of sliced bananas for about 3 minutes. As soon as all pieces are nicely golden, gently lift and flip the plantains using a silicone spatula. Cook for another 3 minutes. Check for doneness; they should be golden and crispy on the outside and soft but still firm on the inside. Transfer to a platter, lined with paper towels. Immediately season with salt while the bananas are still glistening. Cook the rest of the bananas.
Place the pan-fried bananas in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash them. The texture should resemble oatmeal. Add the onion-flavored coconut mixture. Stir well. Check seasoning and add more salt (if necessary) and pepper.
Decorate with cilantro and serve hot.
You could use any aromatic herbs. I used garlic chives from the garden.
I use AROY-D brand coconut milk, sold in 14-ounce cans. It has no preservatives. You can buy it in Asian stores.
You could sprinkle the plantains with sugar while pan-frying them but if the fruit is very ripe, the natural sweetness is generally enough.Published By: on July 28, 2010.