Gimme Plantains & Friendship Breads

>> Saturday, 29 September 2007

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When many people think about Caribbean food, plantains quickly come to mind. While you can't blame them because we do eat a lot of plantains in these parts, we're much more than plantains, but that's for another column and another post :) Often when plantains are thought of in the Caribbean-food context, it is usually as fried ripe plantains. However, there are so many other ways that we prepare and eat plantains.

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In my column this week, I share some of the plantain dishes I enjoy the most and also a new spice-paste combo for sauteed green plantains that I learnt from here. Thanks Sailu. Click here to read the column.

If you'd like to learn more about the plantain and the plantain versus the banana, then Jugalbandi is the place to go. This week they had an insightful and informative post about the plantain.

Asha of Foodie's hope also has profiled some interesting plantain recipes this past week.

Without further ado, I present some plantain treats for you. If you'd like the recipe to any of these dishes, please do not hesitate to email me.

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Plantain chips

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Plantain Foo-Foo
(Foo-foo/fu-fu is an African dish: made by boiling and pounding startchy root vegetables and making them into balls to be eaten with stews or in soups. Plantains are also made into foo-foo though strictly speaking it is not a root vegetable though we think of it as a ground provision)

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Foo-foo with stewed beef
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Boiled ripe plantains with herb butter

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Fried ripe plantains (very ripe)

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Boiled green plantains sauteed with a mustard-coconut-ginger-chili paste

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And now for more fun stuff. Over two weeks ago, a lovely lady by the name of Suganya of Tasty Palettes fame, emailed asking me if I'd like to receive one the Amish Friendship-Bread starter that's been making its rounds all over the USA (that I know of so far). I enthusiastically responded, "yes!" So, here are some of the things I made with my starter after feeding it and sharing it with my friends.

First up - a Currant bread (which is more like a type of sweet bread)

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Second - A Tipsy bread (tipsy because the grounded fruits that I used to make this bread have been macerating and marinating in rum for a year!)

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Finally, I made the no-knead bread with the starter.

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I found the dough to be a lot more sticky and difficult to handle because of the additional liquid. Nevertheless, the bread came out great as you can see. I got the same crust, but the texture was different, not as airy and holey as the original no-knead bread and what was particularly interesting is that the bread had a slight sourdough-taste to it. That, definitely comes from the starter.

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