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Roasted Plantains w/ Cajeta & Pecans

23 comments /
Plantains are a bit of a wonder to me.  They look like bananas...they're even called plátano macho (large banana)...but that's about as far as the similarities go.  They're pleasantly meaty and starchy, resembling the taste and texture of a root vegetable. And I enjoy them.

But until now, I've only ever fried them.  Whether cut into rounds and fried once then smashed and fried again to make tostones or cut lengthwise and handled the same way to make the "bread" for jibaritos.  For this method, green plantains are usually used.  Or my favorite way which is to just slice them fairly thin on the bias and fry them once for one of my favorite desserts (put them hot from the oil on top of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with sweetened condensed milk).  But for those we use ripe (black) plantains.
This recipe calls for roasting the plantains.  And doing it when they are about as ripe as they'll get.  The blacker they are, the sweeter they are.  But even that isn't sweet like you'd normally think of sweet - just sweet for a plantain.

The crazy thing I noticed about roasting them, though?  The scent!  It's intoxicatingly musky like a vanilla bean on steroids.  If only I had known this before I started making this for dessert.  I would have taken the time to make my own cajeta, adding the seeds from a couple of vanilla beans while reducing the goat's milk.  Fortunately this will not be my last time making them, so that plan is on for the future!

If you enjoy desserts that aren't too sweet, you'd dig this one.  The sugar in this dessert comes from the amber drizzle of cajeta, but that rich sweetness is dampered by the toasted nuts and those oddly addicting roasted, earthy chunks of plantain.

Roasted Plantains w/ Cajeta & Pecans

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: roast dessert vegetarian caramel nuts plantains Mexican

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 4 small/medium plantains (black-ripe)
  • ~3 oz. (~1 c.) pecan halves or pieces (or use walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts)
  • ~½ c. cajeta (goat's milk caramel)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 450° F.

Cut pointed ends off of each plantain, exposing just a bit of the flesh. Make a shallow slit through the skinn on the inner (curved) side of each plantain. Lay on a baking sheet. Roast until completely soft, ~20 minutes.

In the meantime, toast the nuts in an ungreased skillet over medium-low heat until toasty and fragrant. Set aside. Heat the cajeta in the microwave or gently in a small saucepan over low heat.

When plantains are finished roasting, remove from oven. When they've cooled down just a bit...enough to handle...peel back the skin and slice into ~½" chunks. Pile into a mound on top of the skin on a serving plate. Drizzle with cajeta and sprinkle with toasted nuts.

slightly adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
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23 comments

  1. What a great way to prepare plaintains! Love the flavors you used. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Heather!

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  2. I absolutely have to try this! I love plantains and not overly sweet dessserts: it looks like this might be exactly my thing!

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  3. Plantains have been tempting me for a while, but frying is not for me, so I have stayed away. It's good to know that roasting them is a nice option. Love the plating with the plantain skin.

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  4. I'm embarassed to say that I have never tried plantains in my life. It's time to change this :).

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  5. I have never cooked with plantains. Perhaps this time with Rick Bayless will change that!

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  6. Estupendo con esas nueces pecanas.

    Saludos

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  7. I use plantains in stews..mostly West African and Brazilian stews, but I love, love this.. I checked out the recipe for cajeta. I can do this. ... wonder what the addition of some chocolate would do?

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  8. I've roasted sweet plantains before for peanut butter and plantain sandwiches...and they're kind of the best things on earth. I'm thinking these look mighty dreamy. Mighty.

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  9. Wow, I never thought to roast plaintains, what a great idea!

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  10. I also love plantains and have only ever fried them! This sounds insanely delicious, I love all the components!

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  11. I've only ever made tostones with plantains - these look yummy! I'm all for not-too-sweet desserts.

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  12. I have always thought that plantains and bananas are the same! Hehe!
    Looks wonderful with the cajeta and pecans, a lovely dessert to snack on!

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  13. Mmm, I haven't had plantains in so long!! I need...

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  14. I've also only eaten plantains fried. When I read pecans...well, it's like someone calling my name. And to pair them with cajeta. Oh my.

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  15. Be still my heart! I can't wait to make theses, my mom would love them!

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  16. This just looks sinful!

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  17. I have been wanting to try this combination forever! I think I could probably lick the cajeta right off that plate ;-)

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  18. Yvette MWCAdventureMay 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Great combo isn't it, i liked it to when i made this a few weeks ago. And you're idea of adding vanilla to homemade cajeta sounds great too, My first batch of cajeta is finnished so maybe i'll try this too.

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  19. I have eaten a lot of plantains but for some reason I never cooked with them except once in a cooking class. Not sure why. ;-) This looks like a great way to start though. Loving the drizzle of cajeta.

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  20. Oh, wow! I too have only ever fried them ... hubs LOVES plantains, this would be a super fun thing to make!

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  21. I love this. So unique and original

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  22. Maybe that's because in certain Latin American countries (or at least the Caribbean), green (unripe) bananas are used as vegetables.

    Malice in Dunderland

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