Thursday, February 9, 2012

Platanos Rellenos with Smokey Black Beans, Green Chile Crema & Tamarind Broth

Plantains are one of my favorite things to eat so when I discovered the idea of stuffing them, I was quick to jump on creating a recipe. This dish seems like a lot of components but each one is important in the overall flavor experience! Slightly sweet stuffed plantains, smokey black beans, tangy tamarind broth and slightly spicy yet cooling green chile crema. This is a dish I will definitely make again.

Pick yellow plantains with small amounts of black markings for perfect sweetness and consistency. Green and they will be dry and hard, black and they will be too ripe and won't hold up to cooking.

Platanos Rellenos
makes 6 stuffed balls
2 yellow plantains, each cut in half
1 tbl canola oil plus 1/4 cup
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1/2 celery stalk, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp agave
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbl chopped, fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fine ground cornmeal

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Drop the plantains (still in their skins) in the water. Boil for 12 minutes. Drain and once cool enough to touch, remove the skins. Mash the plantains and set aside.
Saute the onion, celery and green bell pepper in 1 tbl of oil until soft and translucent, 7 minutes. Add the cumin, agave, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes more until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Taste and season.
Divide the plantain mixture into 6 equal sized balls. Flatten each one in the palm of your hand, fill the center with a small spoonful of vegetables and seal up to enclose the mixture. Once they are all formed, toss in cornmeal.
Heat the remaining canola oil up in a saute pan and cook until golden brown on all sides.

Green Chile Crema
4 oz fire roasted green chilies
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
3 tbl chopped, fresh cilantro
salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt.

Smokey Black Beans
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 oz fire roasted green chilies
1 tbl cumin
1-15 oz can black beans, undrained
salt and pepper

Saute the onion and bell pepper in olive oil until soft and translucent, 7 minutes. Add the garlic, chilies, cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes more. Add the black beans and all of their juices and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes.

Tamarind Broth
1-12 oz can tamarind nectar
1 tbl white vinegar
1 tsp lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes until the mixture has reduced somewhat. Pour around the black beans.

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