Cook plantain in 6 ways

Cook plantain with 6 easy recipes

If you have a plantain patch in your yard, or access to one, then you are definitely looking for ways to cook plantain. With food prices constantly on the rise, substitutions for grocery items are important.

The best substitutions are the ones that you can make yourself. If you have followed our advice and started your kitchen garden, you would have realised that there are times when you have glut with certain crops.

So, if you have more plantain than you can use, this article tells you what to do about it. Here are 6 easy recipes for you to cook plantain for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.

Cook plantain in 6 ways

6 recipes to cook plantain

1. Plantain pancakes for breakfast

Have your pancakes with a sweet twist when you cook plantain for breakfast. Plantain pancakes are tasty and provide you with a lot of health benefits in the morning.

Ingredients

3 over ripe plantain

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 tablespoon oil to brush on frying pan (unless you use a non-stick frying pan)

½ cup water

Plantain Pancakes

Instructions

Peel ripe plantains and mash with a fork. You should use the plantains with brown spots for this recipe, or even wait for them to turn completely black. They are sweeter and peel easier.

Add flour and cinnamon to the mashed plantain and mix well. You’ll want to make sure there are no large chunks of plantain, but small chunks are just fine.

Add water and mix the batter until you get to the consistency of pancake batter.

If using a regular frying pan, brush it with oil. Skip this step if using a non-stick frying pan.

Put frying pan on medium fire.

Scoop batter with a ladle spoon or a regular pot spoon and add to frying pan.

Observe when bubbles form at the top of the batter and then flip with a spatula.

Cook the opposite side for 2 minutes.

Serve your plantain pancakes warm with syrup.

2. Plantain lasagna for lunch

Cook plantain as a lasagna for lunch and it will be your new favourite side dish. Plantain lasagna on your plate is mouthwatering and packed with the fibre, potassium and vitamins your body needs.

Meat plantain lasagna

Plantain lasagna

Ingredients

4 to 6 ripe plantains

1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

1-pound ground beef or ground turkey or ground chicken

1 medium onion, diced

1 green sweet pepper, diced

6 stuffed green olives, diced

1 teaspoon capers, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup tomato sauce

2 pounds cheddar cheese

2 large eggs (optional)

3 fried plantains

Prepare the plantains

Plantain lasagna

Cut off both ends from the plantain, then use the tip of your knife to cut a slit down the back. Using your two thumbs, remove the peel from the plantain and discard the peel.

Once you’ve peeled all the plantains, slice each one in half down the length. Separate the two halves and flip them onto their flat sides to create a stable base. Place your palm flat on top of the plantain, and use a sharp knife to slice parallel to the cutting board and cut the plantains into very thin slices (about 1/4-inch thick). Set aside.

An alternative method is you can use a mandolin slicer to slice the plantains thinly, but be careful because the plantains are soft and the mandolin slicer is sharp.

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Fry the plantains

This step is optional to cook plantain. The casserole is going to be baked, so you can skip this step. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil to 300°F over medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels or use a baking rack to drain the plantains after frying, and set next to the stove.

Place four or five slices of plantains into the oil and fry for about 1 and a half minutes on each side, or until the plantains are browned slightly. Remove from the skillet to the paper-lined plate or rack to drain. Continue frying the remaining plantains.

Cook the beef, turkey or chicken

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan you used to fry the plantains. Return the pan to the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and season to taste.

Finish the filling

Return the ground beef to the pan with the vegetables, along with the tomato sauce, and then stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat.

Continue to cook the meat, breaking it up into crumbles for 6 minutes or until browned. Drain the meat by pouring it into a colander, but leave a bit of the grease in the pan to cook the vegetables.

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Cook the vegetables

Return the empty pan to the heat and cook the onions and bell pepper for 3 minutes or until glossy. Add the olives, capers and dried oregano. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Assemble the lasagna

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a single layer of the fried plantain strips.

Add the egg layer

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and baking soda until frothy. Pour this mixture over the plantains.

Bake the plantain lasagna uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with the remaining cup of cheese. Return the dish to the oven and cook for an additional five minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Remove the plantain lasagna from the oven. Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. This helps it to maintain its shape when sliced.

Vegan plantain lasagna

Plantain lasagna

If you are looking for a vegan plantain lasagna, you simply substitute the ground meat with minced soya or vegetables of your choice. You may combine cabbage, pak choi, broccoli, potatoes, beet root, ground provisions, and carrots. Add some soy sauce along with your other seasonings and these make a flavourful filling for your vegan plantain lasagna.

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3. Boiled plantain side dish

This is a simple side dish idea for you to cook plantain. You boil either whole or halved plantains in water for 8 to 100 minutes.

When done, you drain off the water and peel the plantains, they can be sliced for easier consumption.

Remember the riper the plantains, the sweeter the result.

Boiled Plantain

4. Fried plantain side dish

The method of preparation is in the name when you cook plantain. The choice would be how you prefer your ripe or over ripe plantains sliced prior to frying. Slicing in longitudinal strips can be quite difficult and presents the risk of personal injury, unless you use a mandolin. Slicing the plantain diagonally is quick and simple.

Fried Plantain in pan

When frying the plantain, you would have to monitor it constantly. Since plantains have a high sugar content it can move from raw to burnt in the blink of an eye. Due to its high-water content the reaction to hot oil during frying can be violent at times. So, care should be taken.

You should remove the plantains from the oil when frying before your preferred done-ness as it would continue to cook when removed from the oil. Place on paper towels or a drain rack for best results.

Fried Plantain on plate

5. Plantain chips for snack

Plantain chips are a great way to cook plantain. These are essentially deep-fried plantain slices, done to a crisp. The difference between this and soft sweet fried plantain slices above is the thickness or thinness of the slices and the state of ripeness of the plantains to be used.

Plantain Chips close up

Where you would have used ripe or over ripe plantains above, this time you would use green or plantains that are about to ripen. Green plantains would give you a savoury chip, where the full plantains would give you a sweet and savoury chip. After frying and draining, they can be seasoned and salted to taste.

Plantain Chips

6. Plantain patties for dinner

Cook plantain for dinner with this easy plantain patties recipe. It is tasty, healthy and one of those fun staples that the family love.

Ingredients

3 over ripe plantain

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 ½ cups oil for deep frying (unless you use a non-stick frying pan)

ÂĽ cup water

Plantain Patties mixture
Mixture for plantain patties.

Instructions

Peel ripe plantains and mash with a fork. You should use the plantains with brown spots for this recipe, or even wait for them to turn completely black. They are sweeter and peel easier.

Add flour and cinnamon to the mashed plantain and mix well. You’ll want to make sure there are no large chunks of plantain, but small chunks are just fine.

Add water and mix the batter until you get to the consistency of oatmeal.

If using a regular frying pan, add oil. Skip this step if using a non-stick frying pan.

Put frying pan on medium fire.

Scoop batter with a ladle spoon or a regular pot spoon and add to frying pan.

Fry the plantain patties until the edges look lightly brown, then flip with a spatula.

Cook the opposite side for 2 minutes.

Serve your plantain patties warm.

Plantain Patties

Conclusion

These 6 ways to cook plantain will benefit you in a number of ways. You will utilise your surplus of plantain, cut down your grocery bill, make tastier meals when you cook plantain, and improve your diet with this healthy food option. If you know of other ways to cook plantain, please share with us at contact@sweettntmagazine.com.

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