In which I use groundnuts and peanuts interchangeably.
Because I can.
Anyways, Bake plantains with cheese?
Hard to imagine? Well, I can tell you that this was one of the most delightful things I’ve had in a bit and a half.
See when it comes to Latin Americans and plantains, I have to give them all my trust.
From Jibaritos to Empanadas, not once have I failed in my quest to use plantains in new ways. Well, once…when I did a cinnamon-sugar thing. I didn’t like it but…but…I think it was because the plantains were too ripe and I had it with rice pudding in a ‘rice and dodo’ type dish that did not work.
Still, they’ve done good with their plantain dishes.
There was no doubt that I would do this.
I toyed with the idea of buying bole, roasted on the streets but in the end decided to use home baked. I think you could totally get away with street-bought plantains and finish off in a pan at home.
I went a bit streetfood with the recipe, Lagos-style at least. I paired the plantains with roasted groundnuts, a combination popular on Lagos streets.
To finish? A bright green, fresh herb oil of scent leaves.
Every bight, every mouthful was heavenly. Ever.
Because I used just-ripe bananas, they were soft but not overly sweet and not at all mushy.
I rubbed them in some oil and chili powder to counteract the sweetness but the possibilities?
The peanuts added wonderful crunch and nuttiness and the cheese, oh lawd, the cheese was gorgeous. I used soft cheddar and …sigh. I just loved it. Tasty, meaty, baked. What else could a girl ask for?
Well, some hot pepper sauce. I felt as though I wanted some ata dindin – that fiery red sauce of the Yorubas.
Still, this was a win.
- As many ripe plantains as you need
- Oil or butter to rub plantains
- Chili powder, suya spice or other dry rub
- Thick slices of soft cheese - mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and the like work well
- Roasted peanuts
- Herb sauce
- Pepper sauce
- Spicy peanut sauce
- Pre-heat oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F)
- Peel the plantains, place them on a (lined) baking sheet and rub them lightly with butter or oil.
- Sprinkle chili power or other spice rub all around the oiled plantains
- Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 - 30 minutes, then turn each one and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden on both sides. If you're weird like that - brown them a bit 🙂
- Remove the plantains from the oven, leaving it on for a few more m inutes
- Slice down the centre, along the length to create pockets for the cheese and peanuts.
- Stuff the cheese and stud with peanuts and put back in the oven for a couple of minutes, till the cheese is melted and runny 🙂
- Remove and serve immediately, with or without hot sauce.