This week our F U E L E D F R I D A Y feature is brought to you by one of our dear friends, foodie and all around RAD creative chick, Michelle Battista. Michelle is a Creative Contributor to rabbit, Creator of Small Suppers, Owner of Stockpot Collective, 1/2 Owner of Ned Ludd, Proprietress of Elder Hall - - - Currently at home in sunny Portland, Oregon.
I grew up in Kissimmee, Florida which claims it’s fame from being ‘Home to the Silver Spurs Rodeo”. It was never my favorite place (still isn’t) and honestly the better part of my youth was spent devising a grand plan to get the hell out of dodge as fast as I possibly could. I’m a swimmer…so I spent countless hours quietly doing sets and laps crafting my exit strategy. Florida offered me nothing and creatively I felt so stifled I could barely breath. I’m fair-skinned and freckled so ‘Spring Break’ and the beach wasn’t appealing. The typical weekend pastime of Nascar and canned beer didn’t resonate with me either. Then I found food. Cuban food to be exact. Bored one weekend I headed downtown looking for something stimulating and I discovered a little restaurant called Numero Uno. I still remember the first time I tasted their Platanos Maduros. Sweet, ripe plantains fried into a delicious sweet, sticky side dish served with fluffy white rice. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I was hooked. I’ve experimented cooking the versatile and healthy fruit in various stages of ripeness since my Florida departure. You can prepare your very own version of my life changing sweet Maduros moment by frying very ripe plantains in oil until caramelized cuban style or you can simply smash and bake green plantains into savory Tostones or Patacones (depending on what country you are from) just add salt and sometimes cream cheese says my dear friend from the Dominican Republic. I like to grill mine. Super simple and full of fuel for quality workouts and recovery. Start by buying the ripest (ie. blackest) plantains you can find. If you can’t find over ripe fruit buy the spotted ones and let them sit on the counter for a couple of days until they darken. Make your glaze and slice the plantains in long halves with the skin on, brush glaze on and grill until super soft and caramelized. It’s brain and body food that’s potassium rich, boosts the immune system and regulates digestion so fire up that grill and meet your new addiction.
3 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
3/4 cup raw honey or packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
4 very ripe (black) plantains
1 Prepare the butter glaze
Place the butter or oil and honey or sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted and the honey or sugar is dissolved. Add the vinegar and stir well. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2 Prepare, grill, and serve the plantains
Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing. Careful oil the hot grill grates.
Slice the unpeeled plantains in half lengthwise and place them cut side down on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the plantains over and brush baste the cut sides of the plantains with the butter glaze. Close the lid and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Brush a bit more glaze on the plantains before removing them from the grill.
Serve the plantains in their skins while hot from the grill.
You can prepare the butter glaze a few hours in advance. It will thicken when cool and will need to be reheated before you brush the plantains.
Veg / V / GF / Paleo