Let’s take a moment to show some respect to the almighty plátano. For all you Mexican/Mexican-American readers, that would be the plátano macho because those who eat plantains on the regular use either la bananá or guineo to say banana. Plátanos are truly a gift from the produce heavens. You can have them sweet or savory, fried or baked, solid or liquid, and they can even transform into full meals. Here are just a few uses of plátanos that you should try.
1. Plátanos maduros are a sweet side to liven up your arroz con frijoles.
While some people use bananas to make maduros, the plantain is really the way to go. Just let them get really ripe and brown to make sure that they are sweet and ready to be fried.
2. A good plátano verde will make mouthwatering tostones or patacones.
If you are in the mood for something salty and savory then you want to use the plátano while it is still green and not very ripe at all. This will require you literally cutting the skin off the plátano in strips, but it is so worth it. Fry them, smash them, fry them again, and cover them in salt. If you want to be extra (and you do) make a side of olive oil and chopped white onion to drizzle on top.
3. If you are feeling adventurous, you can turn those tostones into burger buns.
Does anyone really need any convincing with this?
4. Mangú is one way to wake your tastebuds up in the morning.
This Caribbean dish is something to behold. You want to take your green plátanos, remove the peel, chop and boil until they are soft. Once the plátanos are good to go, mash them and add some water and oil. You can top them with sautéed red onions and seasoned to your taste.
5. Mofongo is another delectable Caribbean dish that’s all about the plátano.
The plátanos used for mofongo are fried in a skillet instead of boiled like you do for mangú. Once they are fried, mash them up using a mortar and pestle, adding pieces of garlic and chicharron. Take a bite and wait for your mind to be blown.
6. Yes. You can even use plátanos verdes to make empanadas.
This one takes a little time since you use the plátanos to make the dough. It requires some serious kitchen equipment but how can you turn down some empanadas?
7. Pastelon is the plátano’s answer to a lasagna.
Instead of pasta, the plátanos become the starch for this lasagna. First, you want to fry your ripe plátanos so they are sweet when you make the dish. Layer the plátanos, ground beef, and cheese until you have your lasagna. Add some butter and bake that bad boy until it is ready to eat.
8. Fried plátanos rolled in balls with cheese is something one simply cannot miss.
Once again, you take your green plátano and chop it up and sauté it until it is golden brown. Then you want to mash it and roll it into a ball. From there you want to fill the balls with whatever kind of meat you desire and some cheese. Roll them again into balls and fry.
9. Plátanos can even be turned into soup.
Nobody ever said that soup was easy to make. There are very few steps to this recipe but you’ll have to blend some onions, garlic, scallions, and chicken broth together to start. Add that to a pot with the plátanos and heat it up until the plátanos are tender. Purée it all in a blender and return it to the pot to heat up a little more before serving.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!