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Culture Kitchen: Nicaragua

Hi all! Thank you to everyone who joined our last Culture Kitchen event in October, where we featured guest chef Karen from Nicaragua!


Karen walked us through how to make Plantains, which are a staple for Nicaragua and many other Latin American countries. Plantains can be cooked in many different ways depending on ripeness, preference, and accompanying sides/dishes. The recipe we made together used ripe plantains sliced and fried, topped with queso fresco or crema (sour cream). This method/recipe of cooking plantains is called Tajadas. The plantains were golden, soft, sweet, and delicious!

The full recipe can be found below.



As shown to the right, plantains can look different depending on how how ripe they are, similar to bananas. The black/yellow plantain was much sweeter than the other two shown, so it makes a big difference when picking your plantains out the store! If you can't find any that are ripe enough, one method to speed up the ripening process is to place them in a brown bag for a couple days.



Wondering what the difference between bananas and plantains is? Plantains are usually larger, tougher, and more starchy than bananas. They also have much thicker skin.


Once again, thank you to Karen for showing us how to make this variation of plantains and teaching us about the history of Plantains and Nicaraguan culture!

Keep an eye out for our next Culture Kitchen event in November for another opportunity to learn and cook with us!


Ingredients

  • Plantains – preferably ripe ones

  • Salt

  • Queso fresco

  • Olive oil

    • You can use other oils, but this oil is preferred.

Steps

  1. Using a knife, cut the ends of the plantain off. Make a long cut lengthwise down the plantain and peel the skin off.

  2. Cut the plantains into diagonal slices about 1/4 inch thick.

  3. Heat up the olive oil on medium heat in a frying pan until hot enough for frying. The amount of oil used is based on preference, but you usually want enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

  4. Gradually add the slices into the oil. Let cook for about 3-5 minutes until golden.

  5. Once cooked on the first side, flip the slices to cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.

  6. Remove the slices from the pan and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil

  7. Sprinkle with salt as desired (can be omitted).

  8. Serve with queso fresco or crema (sour cream). The sweet and salty combo of the queso fresca with the plantains was definitely a group favorite!

Enjoy!


If you made this recipe, let us know what you think!




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