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Les Petits Chefs make “Temptation Plantain” with Chef Rossy Earle

It was a big week for Les Petits Chefs last week – not only did they teach their parents how to make chicken tikka masala from scratch for Food Revolution Day but they also had regular cooking club.  With a guest chef, to boot – Chef Rossy Earle.  The boys have already had the chance to work not once but twice with Rossy – once making empanadas and Panamanian milk candies and once making alfajores.  What could she possibly make with the boys to top those amazing dishes? Why “Platano en tentacion” of course! What the what???

One of the things I love about having guest chefs come in and work with the boys is that they introduce them to different ingredients and dishes they might not have heard of. The boys were fascinated to hear all about plantains from Rossy and quickly got to work cutting them up.

We talked a little bit about where the boys could find these in Toronto – Kensington Market, most likely – and I have NO DOUBT that some of the guys will be taking their parents on a little field trip in search of plantains and queso fresco (also used in this unusual side-dish).

It’s an easy dish – we were actually done the class early for once (thanks Rossy for choosing a stress-free dish for me and the guys last week – I don’t know we could have handled too much more excitement!) – with only plantains, lime zest and juice, sugar, butter, cinnamon and water, it’s a perfect example of how sometimes simple ingredients can create amazing flavours!

Rossy talked the guys through the cooking and answered all sorts of questions.

We got to smell amazing cinnamon from Panama (so different from what we are used to – it’s more subtle), marvelled at the BUTTER and SUGAR going into this dish – they boys couldn’t get over that it was not a dessert but a side dish! – and enjoyed the wonderful aromas.  Since plantains are not at everyone’s local supermarket, we discussed alternatives that might work as well. We also decided that this might make a great pie filling too. Not very Panamanian but a pretty great idea!

As the boys waited for their take-home portions to cool down enough to add the cheese, Rossy portioned out a tasting sample for everyone.  I was very surprised to see the boys going back for seconds…

And thirds… And then I turned around to see one of my guys, Stefan, helping himself to the last little drops of sauce in the frying pan. “It’s SO good” he proclaimed!

The we portioned out the cheese and I was thrilled to see all the boys were taking some – even just a little. And then sneaking away and starting to eat before they left the lab. Yes boys, Ms Carter, Ms Lynch and I saw you. Yes, you – the ones who told your mums that it was “ok” when you got home. Ahem!

“Temptation Plantain”
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A sweet and savoury plantain side dish. Or a pie filling. Or a dessert.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 2 as a side
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe plantain – not too soft
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • a pinch white pepper
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional – crumbled Queso Fresco or fresh mozzarella or feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the plantain into 1″ slices.
  2. Place all ingredients in a frying pan, except butter and vanilla.
  3. Add water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add plantain slices making sure they’re covered with the liquid. Top with a bit more water if necessary.
  5. Mix and let cook for around 15-20 minutes. As the sugar & spices blend, the natural starch from the plantain will make the liquid thicker.
  6. At this point, stir in butter & vanilla.
  7. Once they are caramelized & soft, they are ready. Do not overcook as they will get mushy.
  8. Serve hot with cheese crumbled on top.

 

Verdict? Well I’ll be making this again – as both a side dish and a dessert. Or, sans cheese, I could even see this on some yogurt for breakfast. Thanks Rossy for opening our eyes to new ingredients and unusual uses for them!

Follow Rossy on Twitter and check out her range of hot sauces – SupiCucu.

 *** It’s my THIRD blog birthday! To celebrate, I am giving away a copy of Wini Moranville’s “Bonne Femme Cookbook” – open to anyone, anywhere.  Contest closes on today Tuesday May 22nd at 9pm EST and winner will be announced tomorrow Wednesday May 23rd. Good luck!

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23 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make “Temptation Plantain” with Chef Rossy Earle

  1. idiosyncratic eye May 22, 2012 at 08:29 #

    ‘Side dish’ surprised, what a great opportunity to explore such exotic ingredients and cuisines. :)

  2. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen May 22, 2012 at 09:02 #

    They look like they are having such fun. I haven’t had a good plantain since I left the islands.
    Sam

  3. Conor @ Hold the Beef May 22, 2012 at 10:53 #

    Hey there superstar, it seems I haven’t forgotten my way to your place… it’s a good thing I wasn’t relying on the Freckles I left on the path behind me last time I left – they seem to have mysteriously disappeared. Ahem….?

    SO pleased to be greeted by Les Petits Chefs! It’s wonderful that you are continuing this still, it really warms the cockles. And let me say, the cockles need warming. Winter is coming, they say. I, for one, refuse to admit defeat, though I am typing this wearing uggies.

  4. Steph@stephsbitebybite May 22, 2012 at 13:33 #

    Loving all the pictures! This dish looks incredible!

  5. Paula May 22, 2012 at 15:23 #

    I too thought this was the makings of a dessert rather than a side dish. I was glad to see at the end that it could be both and I like your idea to serve it with yogurt. I’ve never had plantain but this recipe sounds lovely.

  6. cathy May 22, 2012 at 15:59 #

    You need a Peckham stylee market near you for all those things – plantain, yum!

  7. Marina@Picnic at Marina May 22, 2012 at 16:12 #

    Wonderful and simple dish. Those little chefs do learn a lot, I wish I could send my kids there… Congratulations of your third blog birthday!

  8. Nelly Rodriguez May 22, 2012 at 16:23 #

    Oh LOVE this! I was just eating rice and beans the other day with hubby and chopped a banana up to eat it on the side of my rice. He looked at me like I was CRAZY. This recipe is very similar to a Dominican recipe I make called Platanos al Caldero. Basically the same, minus the lime and more sugar added! Becomes a sticky, sweet, plantain goodness that’s the perfect side dish to everything rice!

  9. Kim Bee May 22, 2012 at 23:02 #

    This looks like so much fun. So great when kids get to try new things and be creative.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 1, 2012 at 18:51 #

      Well from my experience they are much more likely to try something they have made themselves, right?

  10. Mr. Neil May 23, 2012 at 08:15 #

    Reminds me of one my my favourite barbie desserts.

    After the steaks, chicken or prawns are done, simply slice a banana (or plantain) lengthwise, and squeeze open slightly. Sprinkle in a healthy amount of demerera sugar and some dark rum. Okay, add butter if need be. Toss on the barbie at medium heat, and let the magic happen.

    Eat the soft gooey goodness right out of the skin with a spoon. Deee-lish. Skip the rum if you’re a paranoid North American around young-uns…but most of the alcohol burns off anyway.

  11. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 24, 2012 at 16:10 #

    This looks fabulous, Mardi! Love the recipes that you make with your Petits Chefs. I am just imagining how fabulous the combination must be with the queso fresco!

  12. Tanusree April 30, 2013 at 08:10 #

    This is such a lovely recipe to take home ! Love your Petite Chefs at work.

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