Sweet & savory PATACONES

I’m on a plantain kick.

It’s dangerous.  Very dangerous.  

When I was in Colombia in 2010 I gained back all my post break-up weight thanks to plantains and arepas.  This is where my first real introduction to plantains happened.  Whether grilled in giant balls with onion salsa, grilled with butter and salt, or deep fried super super thin I was hooked.  My daily food for 6 weeks.  That and arepas every meal of the day.  I love Colombia.

My local verdulería is selling green plantains now.  They didn’t before but now they are.  Right around the corner from my apartment.  Like one block!

At first I was making patacones  (pictured above) with the plantains using a method I learned in Salento, a super peaceful valley town that hosts the worlds largest palm trees.   It’s very beautiful in Salento.  There they serve the plantains with fruit chutney and grated cheese on top.

Now I’m slicing them super thin, frying them up and serving them with mango & shrimp gazpacho or alongside guacamole instead of corn tortillas.  If you do this I highly recommend using a mandolin.

Then I started making linguini like sizes and making savory funnel cakes and eating them with salt, lime and chili powder.  This my friends is like crack.

Maybe if I share my ways I’ll get over my latest addiction and move on to better things.  Like arepas.

Patacones  ::

  • sunflower oil or other neutral frying oil
  • 2 plantains
  • salt
  • lime

Heat one inch of oil in cast iron skillet over high heat.  You want 400°F oil.  If it’s too low they wont fry properly and you’ll get soggy plantains.

Carefully peel off the skin and cut the plantain into 1 inch rounds.  Fry on both sides until lightly golden brown.  We do the first fry to soften them.

Using a tortilla press or frying pan wrapped in a plastic bag smash the cooked plantains til you get a flat circle.  One smash should do the job.  Return smashed plantain to oil and fry on both sides til crispy and golden brown.

Transfer plantains to cooling rack and sprinkle with salt and fresh lime juice.

Apple topping  ::

  • apple
  • .5 tsp cinnamon
  • gruyere, shredded
  • lemon
  • butter
  • 1 TBS cane sugar
  • salt

Remove skin from apple, cut into small dice and toss with lemon juice.  Melt butter in pan add apple/lemon juice, cane sugar, cinnamon and a dash of salt.  Cook over medium heat til the apple is soft.

Top patacones with apple and finish with grated cheese.

*Use this apple topping for apple pies, apple sauce, with cheese, or alongside juicy pork chops.

Avocado topping  ::

  • avocado
  • orange
  • salt
  • yellow pepper, small dice
  • red onion, small dice
  • jalapeno, small dice
  • cilantro, coarsely chopped

Cut avocado in half, remove pit, and scoop out flesh into a mortar.  Spray generously with fresh orange juice,a fat pinch of salt your diced veggies.  Mix it well without breaking down the avocado to where it gets really creamy.  I prefer this chunky.  Add cilantro and taste.  Adjust seasoning.

Top patacones with avocado mix or use as a condiment on EVERYTHING.

**If you’re feeling a bit health conscience you can bake the patacones in the oven instead of frying them.  Obviously fried is better but some swear they can’t tell a difference!