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Battered Plantains with Peanut Sauce | Bakabana

Bakabana is a traditional treat in Suriname. All you do is take very ripe plantains (i.e. blackened), deep fry them, and dust the crispy, fried goodness with powdered sugar. Alternatively, you can serve them with homemade peanut sauce. The result is a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside, finger-licking snack. What could go wrong? (Actually, a lot.  I made this recipe three times, before I finally figured out that I needed cornstarch to make the batter crispy. For reference see below. The piece on the left is an all flour batter, the lighter piece on the right is half flour, half cornstarch – and much crispier… …I also made a really bad peanut sauce…so bad I had to toss the recipe. Thankfully, I have an amazing peanut sauce recipe… my old standby, from when we cooked Indonesia. If you decide to make this peanut sauce, it will look like the picture below, not like the one pictured with the plantains.) Thanks to our readers on Facebook, Megan H. and Natalie F., who suggested we try Bakabana. This was a fun one. …

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Rwandan “Agatogo” with Collard Greens

There’s an old Rwandan saying “The most extensive land is the human belly.”  I like to think there’s mountains and streams in there, glorious sunsets and easy, glimmering sunrises. Is that somehow unsavory? I don’t know. I do know I want this land to be vast, and include as much variety as possible. I want to fit the whole world in there. And this, my friends, includes the plantain. Plantains have been an issue for my family from the beginning. Ava isn’t really keen on them (or bananas). Mr. Picky has consistently pushed aside his in favor of other foods (except for that time I made Plantain Chips with Sea Salt for Panama and that other time I used them as a butter-fried cheese wrapper, a.k.a. tortas de plantano). It’s time for us to love the plantain, after all they are the starchy cousin to the banana, but more savory and filling. For this reason, they are an important staple all over the tropical regions of the world. Plantains fruit all year round, which makes the crop …

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Plantain Chips with Sea Salt | Tostones

Fried plantain chips are a slice-it and deep-fry-it situation that you’ll find all over Panama (and beyond). They’re the kind of yummy you can enjoy whether you’re grouchy and glum or over-the-moon happy. Today I made a nice “thick cut” chip – for a little crispy-chewy action, although tostones are often shaved skinny, like potato chip. Either way you’ll find it helpful to use a mandolin for nice, even slices. This is nothing like a sweet banana (looks can be deceiving). This is her savory cousin – full of good fiber and lots of potassium. I like to remind myself of that, as I reach for my second and third helpings. Serves 2-4 as a snack Ingredients: 2 green plantains vegetable oil for deep frying sea salt cracked black pepper Method: For starters, peel your plantain. Tip: Peeling a green plantain can be a little tricky. The easiest way is to cut off the top and bottom and score a line along the length of the plantain. Lift up from this line to remove the peel. If …

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Grilled Plantain spears with crushed peanuts | Boli Bopa

This is so quick, it’s silly. All you need are a few medium-ripe plantains (as pictured), some red palm oil, and a bit of salt & hot pepper. You can find the red palm oil at your natural grocer or, if you’re lucky enough to have an African market, there. You brush on the red palm oil (back in the day I wrote a bit about this popular west African oil)… Sprinkle with salt and whatever spices you like (think hot, like cayenne… or mild, like paprika)… Grill until tender and charred, but not mushy. Slice and serve… … preferably with crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of extra spices, as desired. This would also be great with minced chili peppers, like jalapeno. That’s it! A quick and relatively fuss-free taste of Nigeria. Adapted from The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent by Jessica Harris. Here’s what you need… Ingredients: 3 plantains 1-2 Tbsp red palm oil handful crushed peanuts salt cayenne pepper, optional Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe This is so quick, it’s …

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Plantain Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

  I’m not really a dessert person, so it’s all the more surprising when I come across a recipe which makes me want to lock the doors, draw the curtains, and eat until every last crumb is gone. I mean, seriously. Plaintain Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake??! If this isn’t the perfect holiday recipe, I don’t know what is. And of all the places for it to come from… Denmark is known for gingerbread. Germany. Even the United States. But I was genuinely surprised to find gingerbread cake in the bustling big cities of Liberia. Now, I’m not talking the same-old gingerbread you’ve had before. This is an African spin. Yes, it’s a standard upside-down cake, but instead of pineapple, it boasts a dizzying spiral of ripe, tropical plantains – a perfect match for the molasses-based cake.  The butter and brown sugar bubble and brown, making the edges of the cake just a little bit crisp – which is the best part. For those of you wondering, the love of gingerbread comes from Liberia’s historical ties with …

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Plantain & Cheese Turnovers | Tortas de Plátano

Makes 8-10 Imagine. It’s the height of summer. You spend all day roughhousing with the ocean. When every muscle in your body is heavy, you lay down in the sand for an impromptu picnic with a package of street food – tortas. In less than a minute you make several cheesy, crispy, fried plantain tortas disappear into your happy belly.  After the last bite, you lick the salt from your fingers and drink a tall glass of water. You stretch out for a nap, still warm from the glow of a little too much sun. Did I just find one of the secrets to a happy Honduran childhood by the seashore? I sure hope so. What is it about summer and fried food? While I don’t normally include loads of oil in my daily line-up, there’s nothing like a big bite of crispy fried goodness to cap off a great day in the sun.  Play around with this recipe – make it your own. Our tortas simply contain cheese, although beans are traditional as well. Ingredients: 4 …

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Mashed Plantains

Serves 4-8 The plantain’s dense texture makes this a particularly hearty side dish. Our version is a rather coarse mash – like extra heavy duty mashed potatoes. You could keep going until it s as smooth as you’d like (you may need some hot liquid, like milk or stock, to help though). Ingredients: 5 ripe plantains salt pepper 3 Tbsp butter Method: Make sure your plantains are ripe. This is what ripe looks like… the blacker they get, the sweeter they taste, and that’s a promise. Peel and chop into even sized pieces. Steam for 25-35 minutes, or until a fork pierces them with no resistance. Mash with a little melted butter, salt and pepper. While it isn’t traditional, you can add milk, if needed, to loosen things up a bit. Especially good served with sauces and stews. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe The plantain’s dense texture makes this a particularly hearty side dish. Our version is a rather coarse mash – like extra heavy duty mashed potatoes. You could …

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