I tried another recipe from Melissa Joulwan’s newest masterpiece, Well Fed 2! I am absolutely loving this cookbook and I can’t wait to share my full review and…host my first giveaway! Before I give too much away, let me share this recipe.
First of all, until this recipe, I had never held a plantain. Nor tasted one.
I thought a plantain was just a gigantic banana, nothing to see here, move along. Because Melissa includes a lot of useful information along with her recipes, I learned that a plantain, in their green state, are used in other countries like we use white potatoes. And, they pack a more powerful nutritional punch than white potatoes without raising the blood sugar. I was still skeptical.
But wikipedia doesn’t lie, right?
Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, the tenth most important staple that feeds the world. Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.
I mean..look at this thing. It’s a gigantic banana.
However, if there was a remote possibility that I could find a paleo-friendly substitute for all the white potatoes that I have not completely abolished, I was willing to risk the 49 cents that I paid for a green hard-to-peel banana.
The verdict: I had no idea a plaintain could be savory. They absolutely must have a little salt, but they are not sweet like bananas. Once I got over that “banana nachos”, and actually tasted these, I was an instant fan. I have been looking for more savory recipes using plantains. They may be my favorite food find this year. That’s saying a lot.
Here is the recipe, in Melissa’s own words:
Plaintain Nachos (pg. 146 Well Fed 2)
- 2 green plantains
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/2 medium onion, minced (or 1/2 a cup)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground round or ground sirloin
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Garnish: scallions, black olives, lime juice, lettuce, avocado
1. Preheat oven to 350*. Cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper
2. Prep the Plantains. Cut off both ends. Use the tip of a sharp knife and make small slits lengthwise along the plantain. Use your fingers to pry off the skin. Slice the plantain very thin. If you have (and are not deathly afraid of losing an appendage) a mandoline, use the thinnest slice setting for quicker slicing. Use two wooden spoons to toss the slices in a large bowl with melted coconut oil.
3. Bake the plantains: Use 4 coins to make 1 nacho. Lay them flat and lightly press the sides. As they bake, the starches will make them stick together. Bake for 30 minutes, but start watching them at 25 minutes so they do not burn. They should get brown, but not black.
4. Make the taco meat. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne, and salt. Add to the onions and stir until everything is mixed well.
5. Crumble the ground beef in the same pan with the onions. Brown it completely, using a wooden spoon. Push to the side of the skillet and add tomato paste, broth, and vinegar. Stir to combine, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes until the meat has thickened.
6. Assemble nachos! Place a spoon full of taco meat on each plantain nacho (made from 4 slices, see above). Garnish with favorite toppings. Eat immediately.
Here are the 4-part plantain nachos.
And here is another look at these beauties.