Up until two years ago, I spent my life not knowing about plantains. Oh, I saw those unripe bananas called plantains; but I didn’t know anything about how to cook with them. I was always looking for that perfectly ripe yellow banana. To me, green meant not ready to eat.
Two years ago I met plantains in the form of a pizza crust recipe. I still didn’t quite get the concept of the plantain though. I saved the recipe but never made it because I figured that I didn’t want sweetness in my pizza crust. Then I came across Perfect Paleo Pancakes from The Paleo Mom. I thought It would be like using a banana. I picked up the end slice from one and popped it in my mouth. Whoa!! That was where I finally got the concept of the plantain. No sweetness whatsoever. And BOY WAS IT DRY! After making the pancakes (many times), I make Paleo Chocolate Cookies. They were a hit.
Then along came eating the Auto Immune Protocol. Out went the eggs from my diet and I stopped using plantains for a bit. Then I saw a friend’s post on Tostones. I had seen Plantain Chips for sale but they had always had some non-AIP ingredient(s) in them. But I just had to try making them myself. I drove to my local Mexican market and bought plantains and made some. And just like that, I was hooked.
The worst part of plantains had always been in peeling them. I had read a few ways on how to do it but had always ended up digging at the peel with my nails. Then I came across the video linked below in the recipe. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to peel. Now I think peeling them is a breeze.
- 2 large green plantains
- Coconut oil for frying
Cut the ends off the plantains. With the tip of a sharp knife, score the plantains lengthwise on the side of each ridge that runs the length of the plantain. See this video for peeling green plantains. I actually have cut on both sides of the ridge which makes using my nails to peel it almost nonexistent. Cut the plantains into half inch rounds. Heat a ¼ inch of the oil in a large skillet (I use a 14-inch skillet) on medium high. Stoves may vary, but you want the temperature just below smoke point. Fry the plantains on each side until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Place on paper towels to drain. Flatten each round to ¼ inch depth. I use a hamburger press. You can place the rounds between 2 pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin or meat pounder to flatten. Return the plantains to the heated skillet (add more oil as needed) and fry again for about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Artichoke and Black Olive Tapenade
- 8 artichoke hearts
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped,
- 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
Place all ingredients except cilantro into food processor and pulse process, frequently scraping down the sides, until it has a coarse texture. Remove to a bowl and stir in the cilantro leaves.