I grew up eating plantains as an essential part of my Nigerian diet and I find it fascinating to experiment with them. I’ve tried chocolate-filled gnocchi and Plantano Frito tortillas for nouveau cuisine, and traditional Nigerian steamed pudding. And so when I read about bacon-wrapped plantains at Cynthia’s of Taste of Home, its fate was sealed.
A Yoruba Proverb says, ‘The man that eats no pepper is weak, pepper is the staff of life.’
To bring some heat into the dish and to balance the sweet of the ripe plantains, I made a batch of yellow pepper sauce. And I say pepper because that’s what Nigerians by and large refer to when they talk chilies :).
This makes delightful small chops aka appetizers.
- de-salt your bacon in hot water if the brand you buy is too salty for you
- you can use homemade or store-bought chilli sauce – use your fave!
- 3 ripe plantains – firm, still holding their shape but ripe
- 8 rashers of bacon, desalted if you like
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of chilli sauce –
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper – set aside.
Peel the plantains and cut them into 1-inch rounds.
Cut the de-salted rashers of bacon in half along the length and brush on some chilli sauce, then wrap each piece of plantain with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick or two.
Place the plantain pieces on the baking sheet so that the meaty side of the bacon is in contact with the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bottom of the plantains are caramelized and the bacon is cooked through.
Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.
Serve baked plantains warm or at room temperature and bottoms-up to show off the caramelised base. Serve with extra chilli sauce, some herbs and anything else you like. Enjoy!