The plantain is a crop that looks like a large banana. There’s no botanical distinction between a banana and a plantain; they’re both members of the genus Musa which no doubt you’re well familiar with… =)
Plantains are firmer and lower in sugar content than bananas. While bananas in general are eaten raw, plantains usually require cooking or some other kind of processing before you eat them.
Plantains are staple food in the West Indies, and often used the same way as potatoes. They can be cooked and eaten boiled, roasted, mashed, baked or grilled. They can also be chucked into stews, eaten as crisps or turned into nice desserts.
Here’s a recipe for sweet(ish) plantains that can be eaten as a side when you have a BBQ or as a pudding with ice cream or something. The recipe is from one of the cooking programmes on BBC.
- 2 ripe plantains – the skin must be black
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 8 tbsp freshloy sqeezed orange juice
- salt & pepper to taste (optional)
- Peel the plantains and cut them crossways into 2.5 cm thick slices.
- Lay each plantain on a large sheet of foil keeping the slices together so it still looks like a whole plantain.
- Smear each plantain with butter – or just put little bits on top of them if the butter is hard – and sprinkle them with sugar.
- Shape the foil into a little boat around each plantain.
- Pour orange juice over the plantains
- If eaten with meat, you might want to grind some salt and pepper over them as well.
- Wrap the foil so that the plantains are completely enclosed inside. This can be done up to 24hrs before they’re to be cooked!
- Put foil parcels on the BBQ rack or in the oven and cook for about 30mins until the plantains are soft.
The first time I heard about the rundown it didn’t sound as something I’d like, but taste is a funny thing and when it comes to food you just have to taste your way to the descision. Sometimes things that sound as if the would clash (like strawberries and chilli) make excellent taste fusions.
A rundown is basically a mix of coconut, plantains and veggies and it can also contain chicken or shrimps. This is a quick version where we use Walkerswoods Rundown Sauce to make it.
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 green bananas, peeled and sliced
- 2 chochos (christophenes), peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 escallion (spring onion) stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 okras, trimmed and sliced
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 0,5 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 300ml Walkerswood Coconut Rundown Sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the sweet potatoes, bananas and chochos in a saucepan with enough water to cover.
- Boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain
- Heat the oil and then add the escallion, garlic, okras and tomatoes and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the boiled vegetables, allspice, tyme and coconut rundown sauce and cook until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Enjoy as it is or with rice!