I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and got to spend some quality time with your family and friends. We had family over for a week, and while we loved spending time with family, playing board games, chasing little boys and wrestling with an over-excited dog, it’s also nice to get back to our quiet unassuming lives. I did a guest post at Sugar Be a while back, so in case you missed it, here’s a recipe you can use for your next holiday gathering, because yes, it will be here sooner than you think!
I first had this at a friend’s house, and found it delicious, so now we make our own. It’s a great one-pot-wonder to serve at family gatherings. And if you know me, you know I love me some one-pot-wonders. I’m really not very good with exact measurements, but this dish is very forgiving, so just have fun with it! You’ll need:
- 10 green plantains
- package of bacon
- 1 red onion
- handful of cilantro
- chicken broth or boullion
- salt and pepper
- Cook the package of bacon. When crispy, set aside, but do not discard the grease.
- Peel and cut plantains into 1 inch chunks.
- Boil the plantain pieces in chicken broth or water with boullion, just enough to cover the plantains. Boil until the plantains are mashable.
- While the plantains are cooking, dice up the red onion.
- Break the bacon into small pieces, and cook the onions with the bacon in the bacon grease until the onions are translucent.
- When plantains are soft, drain but reserve the cooking liquid, and mash the plantains.
- Add the bacon and onions, as well as chopped cilantro.
- Add seasoning and reserve liquid to achieve your desired taste and consistency.
Step 1. Cook the bacon. Depending on how much you want to make, you may end up using/needing/wanting the entire pack of bacon. But really, you can’t go wrong with bacon, so just cook it up, nice and crispy and do not discard the grease. Mmm bacon! Step 2. Peel and cut the plantains into 1 inch chunks. I used to have an incredibly hard time with this, since I used to try to peel them like a banana. Don’t. Cut the tips off, then cut a shallow slit down the length of the plantain and peel the whole thing off sideways, it’s much easier. Step 3. Boil the plantains in chicken broth. If you have homemade chicken broth, go you! If not, chicken bouillion or store bought broth works fine too. Put the plantains in a large pot and use enough liquid to just cover. Then boil, probably a half hour or more, until the plantains are easily mashable. Do not be afraid to use more bouillion in this step. It adds both seasoning and flavor to otherwise bland plantains. Step 4. Dice the red onion. Again, whether you use a whole red onion or half, or use a yellow onion, or shallots, is up to you. It’s all about just adding flavor. Check out this post for my onion-dicing tutorial! Step 5. Back to the bacon for a moment. Once all the bacon is cooked and patted dry on paper towels, break/cut them into a little pieces, sort of like chunky bacon bits. Use the bacon fat in the pan to cook the onions you just diced up. Sweat them out until they are translucent. There’s no need to add salt as the bacon fat should be plenty salty enough for most people. You can turn the heat off once your onions are done cooking. Step 6. At this point, the plantains should be done boiling. Check to make sure they can be mashed with a fork. If so, drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Put the plantains back into the pot, and mash. Step 7. Assembly. Add the onions, bacon fat, and bacon bits in with the mashed plantains and mix together. Chop up the cilantro and add that to the mixture as well. At this point, you’re done! You’ll notice your mixture might be a bit dry or chunky. Add in the reserved cooking broth a little at a time to maintain consistency. If you like your mashed potatoes chunky, you’ll need less liquid for your plantains. If you normally like your mashed potatoes mushy, then you’ll need to add more of the cooking liquid here to get a softer consistency in the mashed plantains. You can also season with salt and pepper at this point, but it probably shouldn’t require too much salt. This dish is also best consumed right away, as the plantains will dry out over time as they keep absorbing liquid. I think this is a delicious alternative to your normal mashed potatoes and gravy, and it adds a great splash of color to any holiday spread!
Happy Holidays Everyone!