Latin Grill: Sultry and Simple Food for Red-Hot Dinners and Parties by Rafael Palomino, includes recipes like Grilled Sweet Plantains, Abuelita Style; Grilled Arepas with Farmer's Cheese (or Queso Blanco); and Grilled Chorizo (Colombian Sausage with Ají Rojo).
People who know me know that I often say, "Less is more!" This sweet side dish, which I learned to make from my abuelita—grandma—back in Colombia, definitely illustrates this credo. In this case, we're cooking up sweet plantains, which are quite different from the plantains you use to make tostones! These are encased in what will become a crispy wrapper, and subsequently become caramelized and soft. They're a perfect side dish, not unlike a potato or rice. One of the reasons that I love this grilled plantain, aside from the nostalgia it brings, is that it complements any grilled dish or salad. I've served it along with my Grilled Shrimp with Watercress and Sweet Corn Vinaigrette salad (page 49 of the book)—and it worked beautifully.
Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Using a sharp knife, cut a single, lengthwise slit in each of the plantains.
Place the plantains on the grill, rotating them as needed, until the skins are crispy, they start to open, and the plantain feels soft—like butter, about 15 minutes. Remove the plantains from the heat, cut them in the middle (widthwise), and place them on serving plates. Open the skin alongside the original slits and serve with a spoon for easy scooping. (Of course, you can also scoop out the plantains and place them in a serving dish—but it's much more fun to eat them straight from the skin!)
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This page created July 2010
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