Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breaking the fast

It is NO LONGER 110 degrees outside.

In fact, it should only get up to 85 today.  I woke up itching to get in the kitchen, frantic to turn on the oven and make some magic happen.  Visions of chocolatey cupcakes and savory quiches danced through my head.

But, since it is the end of the week and our fridge is barren, I settled for a simple breakfast:

My friends, meet the plaintain:

It's like a banana that you must cook first, and it's incredibly versatile.  It can be eaten when green or bright yellow, and then it tastes like a starchy, slightly banana-flavored potato.  Or you can eat it when it's so ripe that the skin turns black, and then it is soft, sticky-sweet and flavorful.

Last night my husband took some unripe (bright yellow) plantains, sliced them in half (with the skin on), and boiled them until they were soft.  We sliced and ate them with stew like a potato.  There was a whole boiled plantain left over which we stuck in the fridge.  Since one of my favorite kitchen activities is taking foods unfamiliar to me, usually my husband's traditional foods, and turning them into something unusual, I give you:

Plantain Pancakes

1 plantain, boiled and cooled
1/2 cup flour (I used a Gluten Free whole grain blend 
that I whipped up myself, based on this recipe)
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1 egg
splash of vanilla extract

Mash the plantain in a bowl until it is fairly smooth, though some chunks are okay.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.  The batter was slightly thick, so you may want to add a little more milk if you prefer thin pancakes.  Grease a pan with butter or cooking spray and heat it on a medium flame.  Plop a pancake-sized scoop of batter, spread around a bit, flip when necessary (you know the drill).

They came out think, dense, yet still fluffy and flavorful.  We were working with an unripe plantain so they were not very sweet, but a little maple syrup on top fixed that.   Next time I think I'll use a riper plantain, and swap out the vanilla for cinnamon and cardamom. 

Deeeeelish.  Happy Saturday!

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