Culture

These Innovative Plantain Dishes Will Make You Question How You Lived Without Them For So Long

Latino cooking is some of the most delicious and divine food one can consume. From Mexico’s mole sauce to Cuba’s ropa vieja to Brazil’s brigadeiro sweets, Latino food encompasses so many things. The unsung hero in a lot of Latino cooking is the plantain. It looks like a banana but the taste and texture is anything but. Here are 20 delicious recipes you can make with some plantains, time and practice.

1. Plantain Cake (Torta de Plátano Maduro)

Plantain Cake Torta de Plátano Maduro. My Colombian Recipes. Digital-Image. April 16, 2018.

Nothing like some cheese, guava and ripe plantains to create a perfect cake. Seriously. The textures and sweetness of the main ingredients are enough to put any cake to shame.

2. Plantain Bread

Plantain Bread Cake. ImmaculateBites. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

Because banana bread is a things so why not plantain bread? Just wait for them to get really ripe and use them as you would a banana for bread.

3. Torta de Maduro (Ripe Plantain and Cheese Cake)

Torta de Maduro Ripe Plantain and Cheese Cake. My Colombian Recipes. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

This take on the cheesecake is simply divine. There is just something to decadent about a plantain cheesecake that is so exquisite.

4. Pasteles en Hoja (Plantain and Beef Pockets)

Pasteles en Hoja Plantain and Beef Pockets. Dominican Cooking. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

You might think that these are typical tamales but you would be wrong. These bad boys are made using a plantain mixture instead of a maza mixture.

5. Mala Rabia (Guava and Plantain in Syrup)

Mala Rabia Guava and Plantain in Syrup. Dominican Cooking. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

This is essentially a sweet version of pickling anything. Instead of making things taste bitter, your goal is to make the very ripe banana and fresh guava taste sweet.

6. Piononos de Plátanos Maduros (Ripe Plantain Rolls)

Piononos de Plátanos Maduros Ripe Plantain Rolls. Dominican Cooking. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

What can you do with a ripe plantain, some prosciutto and cheddar cheese? These delicious rolls, that’s what. Just layer, roll and bake them in muffin tins for a real nice treat.

7. Pasabocas de Platanos

Pasabocas de Platanos. My Colombian Cocina. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

You don’t want your plantains to be too ripe for this recipe. They should be just a little bit firm because you want to slice them thin enough to fry and then mld into a ring. Stick a toothpick in them and fill with your favorite filling and enjoy. Just don’t eat the toothpick with it.

8. Green Plantain Cups

Cestitas de Plátano Verde Con Diferentes Rellenos. Estampas. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

This recipe is much simpler than one might think. All you have to do is roughly cut your green plantains and fry once. Then, smash them to form a cup and fry them again. Boom. Now you have some delectable plantain cups to enjoy.

9. Plantain Crepes

Plantain Pancake. ImmaculateBites. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

Once you puree your overly ripe plantains, create a basic crepe mixture and incorporate it all together. Once it is ready, make them like you would any other crepe and enjoy.

10. Aborrajados de Plátano (Ripe Plantain Fritters)

Aborrajados-de-Plátano Ripe Plantain Fritters. My Colombian Recipes. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

If you have ever dreamed of making plantain burgers with a cheese filling then you have found your recipe. Not only do you smash some friend plantains to make the buns, you dip them in a batter and fry once more for a delicious treat.

11. Mofongo

viagrupo / Instagram

This delicious dish from Puerto Rico really highlights the importance of green plantains. When they are green they are not ripe but make wonderful savory dishes. For this dish, you are going to want to fry the plantain piece then mash the up with chicharrones and garlic to crete this island delicacy.

12. Empanadas

petite_fer / Instagram

Who doesn’t enjoy a good empanada? Just make the dough as you would but make sure to add some of that very ripe plantain puree to give it an extra layer of flavor.

13. Tostones

foodbrothersrd / Instagram

These need to be done with the plantain is super not ripe. The greener and tougher the better. Just cut them up and fry them, smash them, then fry them again. Sprinkle salt over them and enjoy those bad boys.

14. Maduros

foodieluvalatina / Instagram

These are all about the sweet plantains. Let them get yellow and ripe and cut them up. Fry them once and until they are golden brown and you have a sweet, sweet treat.

15. Tostone Burger

v.v_connects / Instagram

Remember those tostones? Well, make some jumbo ones with bigger piece of plantain, follow the typical process, then use them as burger buns.

16. Sese Plantains (Porridge)

Sese Plantains (Porridge). ImmaclateBites. Digital Image. April 16, 2018.

A nice hearty porridge for the cold nights is always a good choice. Nothing like using plantains to give it a unique and delicious flavor.

17. Sopa de Platano

cafecolao2638 / Instagram

Ever made a leek and potato soup? The same applies to this soup as in you just need to get the vegetable cooked and th soup seasons then you just blend or mash it all up. Enjoy.

18. Bolon de Queso O Chicharron

cafe_del_campo / Instagram

Fry the plantains in a skillet until they are a golden brown but not crispy. Once they are cooked and still hot, mash them up make them into balls. Once that is done, add the filling you prefer and fry again.

19. Pastelon

jessicajemmott / Instagram

Lasagna only with plantains and Puerto Rican style. The pastelon takes all fo the techniques of lasagna but adds the bonus of using plantains instead of lasagna noodles.

20. Mangú

stromstyle / Instagram

This traditional Dominican uses the unripe plantain. However, this time the plantains get boiled instead of fried, which gives them a different texture. Mash them up when done with some onion powder, salt and water you used to boil the plantains and swerve with friend salami and cheese.

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7 Avocado-Packed Super Bowl Snacks That Aren’t Guacamole

Culture

7 Avocado-Packed Super Bowl Snacks That Aren’t Guacamole

Football fans all over the world are getting ready for one of the most important sports events of the year: the Super Bowl. Sure, this Super Bowl is going to look very different since we should all be watching the game from home. But we should still be able to treat ourselves to the awesome snacks that come with the game, even if you’re not a legit sports fan.

The biggest party of the National Football League will take place this Sunday in Tampa Bay, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This year has promised an unforgettable event that will feature The Weeknd performing for the game’s half-time show..

Of course, avocados are the official food of the Super Bowl but – as our tias taught us – there’s so much more to them than guacamole. Here are seven mouthwatering alternatives to guacamole to put those decadent avocados to good use.

Avocado Hummus Dip

Can’t choose between hummus or guacamole? Try this delicious mash-up of the two. Get the recipe here.

Cheesy Stuffed and Baked Aguacate

stuffed baked avocados

This is some superior stuffing technique, people. And if you haven’t tried cooked avocado before, trust us: You’re in for a treat.

Avocado Mac-n-Cheese

Mmm… Cheese is delightfully creamy, avocados are delightfully creamy — it sounds like a match made in heaven to me!

Baked Avocado Fries

With a crunchy, crispy coating and a mouthwatering, tender inside, these fries will have you coming back for more. And more. And more…

Avocado Banana Horchata-Style Smoothie

Avocado Banana Horchata-Style Smoothie
Credit: Aguacates Frescos – Saborea Uno Hoy

A twist on a traditional drink, avocados and bananas give this horchata a boost of fruit flavor and more health benefits, including a good source of fiber and calcium. Adding fresh avocados to smoothies is a great way to help the family — from kids to aging parents — get more nutrient-dense foods in their daily diet.

Click here to start your day with this recipe.

Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Don’t knock it until you try it! These chocolate avocado brownies are incredible.

Creamy Avocado Daiquiris

Avocado in a cocktail? Sign me up! These creamy avocado daiquiris are a game day must.

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From Making Sure Your Turkey Actually Fits Into The Oven To Keeping It Moist — Here’s How To Avoid Messing Up Your First Adult Thanksgiving!

Culture

From Making Sure Your Turkey Actually Fits Into The Oven To Keeping It Moist — Here’s How To Avoid Messing Up Your First Adult Thanksgiving!

So you’re stuck in a pandemic without your parents or abuelos to make the turkey and the duties are falling on you. Just about everyone knows that the task of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey is a real job that no one takes on lightly. Whether you’re roasting it or deep frying it, there are legends of just how dangerous and intense prepping a turkey can be.

In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires happen every year across the country. Even more so, the National Fire Protection Association has said that deep fryer fires cause an “average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year.”

To help, we dug around for the best tips on Reddit!

Below check out some recipes on how to avoid a Thanksgiving turkey disaster!

“When I did my first turkey I followed Altons method. Featured here on youtube. It was the best bird I have had, so moist and flavourful. I now have everyone in my family do the same. Low and slow is no way to go with turkey, unless you are bbq´ing it. Brine it for flavour and moist meat. And NO STUFFING the bird, keep it seperate. Just watch the episode, I know it is kinda corny but it is good advice.”- RolandIce

“Get yourself a good probe thermometer. A model like this one works well, you leave it in the bird while it cooks and you can see what’s happening inside. It’s impossible to overcook it this way. Remember to rest it as the temperature will continue to rise even when you pull it out of the oven.” –Hillside_Strangler

“You start with eliminating the fear. People have been cooking large animals and eating them since the invention of fire and they didn’t even have Youtube. You’ll be fine…

  • Thaw the bird. If that takes a few days, okay. If you have to put it in a sink full of warm water the morning of, that’s okay too. It’s meat, not Ebola.*
  • Start early. Nobody’s going to obsess if the mashed potatoes are holding you up. Waiting on the bird is a drag. Don’t put it in the oven at 6am, but figure whatever temperature/time recommendations you’re getting should have an hour or so of slop on either side because they’re always wrong.
  • Stage well. You’ve got vegetables, potatoes, god knows what else that needs to be ready, too. Mashed potatoes that sit out for an hour aren’t nearly as good as mashed potatoes made 5 minutes ago. A turkey that’s been in a warming oven for two hours? Tastes damn near exactly the same as one fresh off roast.
  • Check it every half hour. If it gets too crispy in spots, tent those spots with tin foil. Juice should be basted (in my opinion – I also add white wine. Well, truthfully, I add mead that my wife makes, but you can’t have any). Stick a thermometer down into the meat between the drumstick and where the breast ceases to be a breast. Your oven is probably going to reveal that it doesn’t cook as evenly as it should because nobody bakes any more so most ovens made in the past 10 years are absolute shit. No worries, just rotate the pan 180 degrees in the oven every time you check it.
  • If you don’t want the wingtips to turn into jerky you need to truss them up underneath. I’ll bet there’s a youtube video for that.
  • Let it rest. This is your opportunity to get all the sweet, sweet karma from a beautiful bird. Or, you know, finish cooking everything else. Trust me, your “beautiful bird” is “just another turkey” to everyone else on the Internet so spare us the Instagram please.
  • Carve out of sight. You can do a better job in the kitchen where things are clean, the lighting is good and you don’t have to reach over everyone. This is much easier than you think, too. You need a sharp knife, a fork of some kind, and a cutting board, preferably one with a juice groove. Cut down the breast bone on one side, then under it to free the breast. Poke a knife in the shoulder joint of the wing to get the wing off. Poke your knife in the hip joint and cut the meat to get the leg off. Now cut the thigh from the drumstick at the knee joint (easy) and put a wing, a thigh, and a drumstick on a serving platter. Now cut the breast against the grain into slices about half an inch thick and lay them out. Doesn’t that look beautiful? Doesn’t it dust the shit out of hacking at a carcass in front of your friends and neighbors? And hey – you’ve still got half a turkey.

Once your feast is done, strip the rest of the bird from the bone and put the meat in the fridge. Take the bones and put them in a stock pot with water and whatever spices your mother-in-law insist go in turkey stock (she’ll have an opinion). Let it just-barely-simmer overnight. House will smell awesome the next day and you can make this soup.” –kleinbl00

“I have entries broken down by the hour in my Google calendar to tell me when I need to be chopping stuff, when I need to be putting things in the oven, when people are arriving, what tasks I can hand off to anybody asking, “Is there anything I can do to help?”, etc. If you’ve got a game plan, everything will run a lot smoother. Some general tips for people that might have more time to prepare (these tips are applicable to OP as well, just might have to do test runs on a weeknight instead) – don’t try anything on Thanksgiving day that you haven’t given a shot prior to Thanksgiving day. Have you ever brined anything? Give brining a test run on a chicken this weekend if you have no experience but want to wow people for the holiday. Never tried making a pie crust from scratch? Definitely worth testing that in advance and/or freezing a second batch prior to the holiday shows up. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything new on that Thursday, because it will frazzle you if it doesn’t come out well when people arrive. My final recommendation is do as much possible prep work as possible prior to Thanksgiving day. Chop vegetables in advance, if you can. Line up spices and baking ingredients in an orderly fashion in your pantry or fridge. Mis en place is going to save your ass from wondering where the fuck you put the brown sugar. It also ensures that you have every ingredient necessary before you attempt cooking whatever you’re cooking.” –mattjeast

“Here is the best turkey recipe: Beginning at least 1 hour before dinner, add wine to your guests. Continue to add wine until dinner is over.” –paularbear

“Be sure to buy the bird 2-3 days ahead of time, EVEN IF THE BIRD IS A “FRESH” BIRD. You can bring home a bird that looks ready to go, but the inside is hard as a rock. They call it “hard-chilled,” I call it frozen. If you buy it a couple days before, you won’t get an icy surprise.” –paularbear

“When the bird hits 165, take it out and simply let it rest. Resting a turkey is vital to ensuring that the meat is moist and tender, instead of dry and stringy. I usually rest a turkey for 5 for about an hour, possibly more.” –Willravel

“I was totally in your shoes two Thanksgivings ago. I was holding a dinner for friends who couldn’t make it home for the holidays. We had about 20 odd people show up! I’d never made a turkey before either. A friend suggested that I stick my defrosted (important!!!), and lightly seasoned turkey into an oven bag. While it is baking, it keeps the moisture in, and cooks in its own juices (read: no obsessive basting!). Really easy and foolproof.” – vickasaurusrex

“As long as its not overcooked or dry, you can edit and recover. Make sure your bird can fit your oven, and time your prep to fit your kitchen. 10-15 is a huge amount of food, too much for a single day prep even for a seasoned home cook, get help. List out what can be done a day or 2 ahead. Have enough containers to store every nicely so there is no cross contamination. Have a back up plan.”- deadmantizwalking

“I have always just used a cooking bag, put the turkey breast side down so all the juices flow to the breast meat. I do stuff my bird, b/c I like how it tastes better. I also let it rest after taking it out of the oven before cutting into it, doing so helps the bird retain it’s juices. I don’t get that perfect skin but I don’t mind, b/c I don’t show it off at the table and nobody eats the skin.” –drawdelove

“If you do decide to stuff the bird remember to include the weight of the stuffing when you calculate the number of hours to cook the turkey. Also, when you order the bird or buy the bird make sure she is not frozen on the inside. I’ve had both these things happen to me and we didn’t eat until late haha.” –ladyloowho

“Also, don’t forget the sides! I had a subscription to CooksIllustrated for many years, and their website is great for that kinda stuff. All their recipes are good/great and often they have ‘pre-cook’ tips. For instance, you can make the sauce and other components for your green bean casserole a day or two before, which makes the day-of SO much easier. Timing is always the hardest part, so make yourself a time schedule for the day, working backward from your serving time. Don’t forget to ensure you have time for the turkey to rest. If you cover it in foil, it’ll stay warm/hot for over an hour, so take that into account.” –BloaterPaste

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