by Simone Riddle
If there’s one fresh fruit you’re guaranteed to find in any ‘tiendita’ it’s plantain. Guatemalans love them and no desayuno chapin would be the same without it. Don’t let their over-ripe appearance put you off. That’s when they’re at their best! So whether you can’t face walking further than your corner store, or you were persuaded by the amazing deal of ‘10 por Q5’ at la Democracia and now have no idea about what to do with your platano surplus, then this is the recipe for you! Eaten as a mid-morning ‘refa’ or as a dessert with un poco de crema fresca, this will satisfy even the sweetest tooth.
Serves 4-5 people
- Four ripe plantains (roughly working out one per person)
- One cup of orange juice (preferably a bag of the freshly squeezed stuff for extra goodness)
- 15-20 cloves (roughly 5 cloves per plantain)
- One tbs of butter or ‘margarina’
- Two ‘ramitas de canela’
- Aprox one tbs of honey
1. Melt a large tablespoon of butter in a frying pan. You can use margarina but butter tastes better if you can afford it
2. When the butter has melted, add the whole, peeled plantains and begin to fry
3. Stick 4-5 cloves into the flesh of the plantain. Break the two ‘canela’ sticks in half and add them to the pan so the flavor infuses into the butter. Start to lightly brown the plantain over a low heat, turning to fry on all sides. This should take around 10 minutes
4. Once lightly brown on every side, take the plantain out of the pan and sit on una servilleta or paper towel to soak up some of the oil. Leave for a couple of minutes to cool
5. Take the cloves out of the flesh and cut the plantain into slices, not too thin
6. Put the pan back on the heat, add a drop of oil or more butter and start frying the plantain slices. Pour over the OJ. After a couple of minutes, drizzle half of the honey over the plantain slices. Then flip the plantains over and add the other half of the honey. To make sure they caramelize, leave the plantains for about 5 minutes on each side. Spoon some of the juice over occasionally so it soaks into the plantain
7. The sauce should become thick like caramel. You can always add more OJ if you think you need more
8. Once cooked, turn the heat off and leave to sit for a minute or two in the pan. Serve with a dollop of cream or ice cream and a sprinkle of canela.
Book your cookery class with Asociacion de Mujeres del Altiplano (AMA) where Women Circle members offer traditional Mayan techniques. Check out their website (www.amaguate.org) for more information.
My food blog online can be found at http://recetasguatemaltecas ymas.blogspot.co.uk