Our Baked Plantains recipe is a favorite in many households and restaurants. It is simple to prepare and delicious. For this recipe, the main ingredient will be three or four very ripe plantains, so ripe that the skins have turned black. When the skin blackens the plantain is at its ripest and is best prepared in the oven.
Though this recipe is meant to be a side with the main course in Costa Rica it can also be a set up as desert. Throughout South America (especially the northern side) and the Caribbean plantains are eaten regularly as a part of the meal. There are recipes for boiling them as well but that is a little bland and they use the greener ones for boiling. Don’t be afraid of a blackened skin plantain, which is when the sugar level is highest and tastiest.
One of the advantages when baking Baked Plantains is that it can happen alongside other food being prepared inside the oven. Bring the temperature to a minimum 350°F (176.7°C) (can be higher). That is the perfect temperature for baking this delight. But be careful, timing is everything as it can burn if left in the oven for too long and especially if the temperature will be higher.
Also note that Liqueur is part of the flavoring during the baking process. Although flammable on its own, we use it to prevent the plantains from scorching on the hot baking dish.
The topping, above, is sour cream. However, they are interchangeable and can be replaced, as you see fit. So, select your own toppings , but try one or a combination of them first. Here are common examples:
Begin with three or four very ripe plantains, and peel off the dark skin after nipping off the tips and discarding them. The skins are good for compost heaps or rabbits.
Cut the plantains in half, first length wise and then diagonally. Then cut length wise again into ‘tongue shaped slices. Set aside for the next step.
Take the heat proof baking dish and coat generously with butter or coconut oil. Place the plantains close together in the dish with their broad side on the oiled surface. Spread a little more butter/ coconut oil on the top surfaces of the plantains before sprinkling with cinnamon powder, and a hint of ground nutmeg, not too heavily now.
-Next, sprinkle with ‘brown sugar; do not make the mistake of substituting ‘granulated brown sugar’ for ‘brown sugar’. The granulated version of this natural cane sugar has a lower moisture content than regular brown sugar.
Cover the dish with aluminium foil and place in the already heated oven (remember you were already baking something else?) bake at 350° F (176.7°C) for 10 minutes.
Remove the dish, take off the foil add your choice of liqueur.
Drizzle with Amaretto, or a little of your favorite liqueur, and then replace in the oven this time without the foil cover.
Glance at the dish every few minutes to make sure they do not burn at this stage, remove the plantains when they are golden brown.
Next, take out your selected toppings. Get the hang of preparing with these and then experiment with others.
Whilst the dish is still warm place you choice of toppings e.g. cool sour cream, grated cheese, or guacamole made from fresh avocados. If you are tempted to top it with ‘ice cream’ you would not be the first to enjoy that marvelous combination.
Yet another simple recipe to get you going on Blackened Plantains
1. Take a ripe plantain and do not peel it.
2. Wrap it in aluminum foil.
3. Bake/ roast it in the oven or on the BBQ.
4. Cooking time varies, 10 minutes in the oven, and 5 minutes on the grill; 3 minutes on one side then the remaining 2 minutes on the other side.
5. Remove plantain from the foil and peel off the skin, slice in 1” wedges and enjoy.