Author Notes: I don’t even know how to describe the recipe, or if it even qualifies to be a dish. 5ingredients of which 2 are semi optional.
Background: Had an opportunity to discover a childhood snack whose taste & flavors I seem to have forgotten. Steamed plantains are a common snack across Southern India, especially Kerala. its usually served up warm with a drizzle of honey. All I can say is that the added honey must have put me off because of its tendency to stick on to the fingers, because when I tried the steamed fruit plain while on holiday in Bangalore, I fell head over heels in love with its complex, ethereal fruity notes.
(literally ) hungry for more, I got busy preparing the ripe plantains as soon as I got back to the US of A. As I pulled the pieces of steamed fruit, Amanda Hesser’s recipe for ‘smashed potatoes’ , came to mind and I squished them flat , fried the surfaces to a golden brown. Reached in for some Feta cheese to balance the sweetness and had one of those ‘weak in the knees’ moments. the second iteration had me adding a sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper to complete the dish. Depending upon your personal taste, (and the sweetness level of the plantain) drizzle some honey over the pan fried fruit before adding the feta. —Panfusine
large ripe plantain
teaspoons melted butter
cup crumbled Feta cheese
Fresh cracked pepper
- Cut the unpeeled plantain into 4 pieces (of about 1.5 inches long)
- pour about 1/2 inch of water in a pan. Place the plantains on a steamer over the water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes until the plantains turn a bright yellow and begin to ease out from the peels.
- remove from steamer, allow to cool slightly and peel the fruit. In a non stick pan, add about 1 -2 teaspoons of the melted butter.Place one piece of fruit on the pan and using your spatula, press down gently with your fingers (Take care to keep your wrists away from the edge of the frying pan). Fry for about 4 minutes before flipping the ‘patty’ over for the other side to brown.
- Transfer the pieces, to a serving dish, sprinkle some freshly cracked peppercorn, drizzle with honey depending upon your preference and add the Feta cheese over. Serve warm . (the plantains tend to get tough once cooled)
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