In Nigeria, we call it Dodo. No, silly….. not the bird, I’m talking about fried plantains and please don’t ask me why we call them that, ’cause I don’t know the history! When I was at school, as a girl…..in the 80’s, I loved Geography. I made top grades in Geography. But obviously the theoretical aspects :-). The only place I’ve been to in Africa is Nigeria and that doesn’t count, does it? I mean, I am Nigerian. Born, Bred and still am. And so when I saw this announcement at Souvlaki for the soul, about Joan’s 13 week 2010 South American Culinary Tour, I signed up straight away for these reasons:
- Improve my ‘handicap’ in Geography;
- Know a bit more about food culture and cuisine across South America;
- Investigate similarities between Nigerian cuisine and South American (you’ll see why as we go along!); and
- Cook and eat….of course!!!!!!!!!
- Traditional – recreate the country’s national dish or any other traditional dish.
- Contemporary – use a traditional recipe and make it Nuevo Latino (contemporize it).
- Algo Nuevo (something new) – create something totally ‘your own’ by using the flavors and techniques of the destination.
- Published Chef – follow the recipe of a published chef/author specializing in that cuisine.
- January 11, Mexico: I missed it!
- January 18, El Salvador: Platanos fritos tortillas – Breakfast/Main – this post
- January 25, Nicaragua: Horchata, a type of…. – Drink
- February 1, Argentina – Pizza or empanadas
- February 8, Brazil: Acaraje – Snack/Main
- February 15, Colombia: not yet decided
- February 22, Jamaica: Jerk Fish with creole sauce – Main
- March 1, Haiti: not yet decided
- March 8, Cuba: not yet decided
- March 15, Puerto Rico: not yet decided
El Salvador (Spanish: República de El Salvador, literally meaning “Republic of the Savior”; original name in Nahuatl was Cōzcatlān) is the smallest and also the most densely populated country in Central America. It borders the Pacific Ocean between Guatemala and Honduras and is affectionately called the “Tom Thumb of the Americas” (“Pulgarcito de America”).Plantains are basically cooking bananas – the Dutch and others call them Bakbanen. They are never eaten raw (except you’re me, and many others who munch on slices of them en route the frying pan!).
Did you know that Bananas and Plantains are always picked green? Interestingly, they don’t start ripening till they’re harvested, which is why you’ll often find both green and yellow ones on the shelves.In Nigeria, we eat fried plantains in a variety of ways – sliced thinly to form plantain crisps (Kpekere) or ‘regular’ slices (Dodo), eaten on its own or also with beans, though sans cream and cheese! Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Platanos Fritos in a tortilla, with ‘Doritos’ salsa Enjoy with sour cream and a glass of something cold and refreshing. For the Platanos Fritos Ripe plantains (plátanos maduros) Vegetable oil for deep-frying Salt (optional)
How toHeat about 3-4 cm of oil in a pan over medium heat. Slice the plantains open and halve length ways and cross ways to yield 4 pieces. chilli peppers (or to taste), chopped finely 3 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely 1 tablespoon tomato puree 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used some homemade blackberry wine vinegar) 1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup 1/2 a teaspoon ginger powder 1/2 a teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 a teaspoon dried oregano Salt and black pepper, to taste How toHeat oil in medium sized saucepan. When hot, add chopped tomatoes, onions, paprika, chilli peppers and garlic. Salt to taste and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes till the vegetables are soft.
- Where El Salvador is on the map;
- The similarities in world cuisines; and
- …I need to make this salsa more often. It rocks…..
And feel free to head on over to Joan’s to join the tour….or watch! X X X