Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans

My Cuban starter

My Cuban starter

Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans served with flash fried cherry tomato & a coriander avocado chilli salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter beans (1 small tin 31p)
  • 1 garlic clove

    The essential ingredients

    The essential ingredients

  • 3 cherry tomatoes (10p)
  • 30g red onion
  • 1 ready to eat avocado (45p)
  • Lettuce (10p)
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 10g fresh ginger (10p)
  • Dry thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chilli flakes (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Plantain (40p)
  • 1 lime (29p)

Total spent: £1.75 or 0.44p per person. The cherry tomato was found in LIDL at 49p for a box of 15 units. The eating avocado cost 0.89p for 2 and as for the lettuce, I only used 5 big leave worth about 10p. The whole lettuce cost 37pThe rest of the shopping will be used for other dishes during the week. The plantain can generally be bought at 3 to 5 units for £1. I only bought 1 plantain as I did not have use for more.

Method:

The prep

The prep

Start by draining and rinsing the beans. Set aside. Dice the garlic, onion and 1 cherry tomato. Peel and grate the ginger, then cut in 4 each the other 2 of the cherry tomatoes (you should have 8 tomato wedges altogether).

1) Flash fry the quartered cherry tomatoes: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil add 1 pinch of salt, thyme and the tomato. Toss fry for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl for later.

The ginger butter beans

The ginger butter beans

2) Cook the beans in ginger: In the same frying pan, add and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the diced onion and fry for a minute. Add the beans and grated ginger. Stir, add salt and pepper as well as 200ml water then cover to simmer for 20 minutes. This will allow the beans to soften and really absorb the flavours. All the water to evaporate, but to not let the pan dry as we need the bean to be slightly wet.

3) Fry the plantain: The ideal frying plantain should be uniformly

Raw plantain

Raw plantain

yellow with both end still slightly green. When fried it will still be just sweet enough and firm. A very ripe plantain tends to be too sweet, absorbs a lot of oil and can be very sticky.

So, peel the plantain and cut it as on the picture on the right, about 1cm thick each. A whole plantain should provide about 10-12 slices.

The plantain can be fried in a chip pan with a lot of oil. If using this option, heat the oil as if for French fires, then drop the plantain pieces in and allow to fry and brown all over or 2 minutes an half.

Fried plantain... perfect brown

Fried plantain… perfect brown

If you do not have a chip pan, just us a frying pan, and pour in about 200ml of vegetable oil. Allow the oil to really heat up, then carefully place the pieces of plantain in one single layer. Fry each side for 1 minute or minute and a half, then turn over to do the same for the other side. If the fire is too high, the plantain will burn. Turn down the heat if necessary and continue. If the heat is too low, the plantain will absorb too much oil. Not ideal.

Plantain topped with Ginger butter beans & flash fried cherry tomato

Plantain topped with Ginger butter beans & flash fried cherry tomato

Which event method you choose to fry the plantain, once the plantain is fried, remove from oil, place on absorbing tissue and lightly dust with salt.

I served the plantain topped with the ginger butter beans and the flash fried cherry tomato all held with a tooth pick… with an avocado, coriander and chilli flakes salad.

4) Making the green salad: select the greenest leaves of the lettuce, wash them individually under the tap and roughly cut them. Do the same for the handful of fresh coriander.

Lettuce, coriander, avocado, lime & chilli flakes

Lettuce, coriander, avocado, lime & chilli flakes

Mix both in a salad bowl and sprinkle with chilli flakes. Just before serving, drizzle with olive oil and serve with slices of avocado and lime wedges as no vinaigrettes will be needed.

This starter could be great for a very Cuban brunch… add some barbecue chicken wings and fermented, radishes and green beans…

I had fun putting this together. Hope you will too. Do post your comments.

Tuck in!

Tuck in!

In the next post you will be able to see the main from this menu. The Ropa Vieja with Sundried Tamales…

See recipes in the next post - Tamale & Ropa Vieja

See recipes in the next post – Tamale & Ropa Vieja

Off to Cuba!

Hey ever heard of Santana?… If you’re between 35-45 you should have… Santana was all I knew about Cuba until 10 days ago…Hear Santana and his guitar here ignore the singers… Just the guitar (genius)!

Holla Ombre e Senora, buenos tardes !

If you were listening on 18th July, you would have heard Tom saying that he will be bringing a dessert for the show we are doing tomorrow…

He is bringing a Cuban dessert. Not sure what that going to be… I CANNOT stand uncooked desserts like cheese cakes and the likes and I really hope it is something that my face and my mouth would appreciate… Unfortunately for me, my face tends to speak for me even when I don’t want to say what I think.

So, Tom Cuban dessert prompted me to explore Cuban food which

Just in case you are wondering, here what the flag looks like!

Just in case you are wondering, here what the flag looks like!

turned out to be very educational read-up about the Cubans, their origins and colonial past… All that reflected in their food. I will do my best to interpret it as I understood it. I didn’t really want to copy a recipe and the WIKI page was very very helpful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_cuisine.

So the menu I came out with reflects their African origins where the old slaves came from, the Spanish origins for their colonial past and then, the West Indies which they are often referred to as despite being South Americans. Cuban speak Spanish… Of course. Duhhh!

Since we are cooking on a budget, I sadly had to avoid fish stuff as my £10.00 would have been very quickly spent.

The menu is as follows:

Ripe, but firm plantain, still has traces of green

Ripe, but firm plantain, still has traces of green

Starters:

Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans with avocado and Lime

Main:

Ropa Vieja (old clothes) with black olives and sweet peppers served with something cooked in fresh corn leaves.

I will just be using the corn leaves here... this is what fresh corn looks like. All dressed up.

I will just be using the corn leaves here… this is what fresh corn looks like. All dressed up.

Do tune in to hear what we’ve both cooked and do come back here to see the recipe next week.

Thank you for checking in! And remember a recipe is only a suggestion… you do not have to stick to it. JUST EXPLORE and have fun!

X

Here it is! Listen to the show’s podcast from here.

The Cuban Feast!

The Cuban Feast!

Green plantain and black beans stew

Green plantain stew

Green plantain & black beans stew

Menu for 6

Chicken 1kg – I used legs & thighs £ 2.25 – LIDL

The Marinade:

Marinated chicken

Marinated chicken

  • 50g diced onions – 10p
  • 2 stock cubes crushed – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or any vegetable oil – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • Salt

Rinse the chicken, make some deep scoring on the chicken pieces. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

The stew ingredients:

  • 1kg marinated chicken

    Dry black beans

    Dry black beans

  • 3 green plantains – £1.00 from the market
  • 2 big carrots – 10p
  • 200g black beans – soaked for 24hrs & Cooked for an hour if using dry bean like I did. 58p
  • 2 corncobs – shave off the kernels as on the picture – £1.38
  • 100g chopped tinned tomato 20p
  • 1 teaspoons chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard

    Ingredients for the stew

    Ingredients for the stew

  • 1 red onion – 10p
  • 3 big garlic cloves – 5p
  • Halves of 1 green, orange and yellow sweet peppers – 10p (20 pepper from the market cost £1.00)
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • Corn oil

Total spend: £5.81. Cost per person: £0.96p

Prep:

Don’t forget to soak the bean the day before and boil them for an hour before using in the stew.

Also marinate the chicken for few hours before using it.

removing the plantain skin

removing the plantain skin

Remove the skin of the plantain and cut as in the picture, cut in 2cm thick and slanted. Do the same for the carrots. Set aside.

Remove the corn kernels from the cob.

Rinse the black beans now boiled. Rinse the corn kernel, set both aside.

Cut the red onion in big chunks or wedges, cut the sweet pepper in about the same size. Peel & crush the garlic, set aside.

Corn and palntain

Corn and plantain

Method:

Use a big pot with a lid. Heat 4 tablespoons of corn oil (or any vegetable oil) fry the chicken pieces to seal in the flavours and obtain a brown crispy skin. 2 to 3 minutes on each side should do. Once all the pieces have been fried. Set aside and cover.

plantain & carrots

plantain & carrots

In the same pan, add the onion and brown. Then, add the plantain, carrots, beans, corn and half of the stock. Also add the chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic and salt. Stir and cover to simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it so the liquid won’t dry out.

After 30 minutes, add the sweet peppers, tomato, the fried chicken pieces the rest of the stock and adjust the seasoning. Stir.

Add another 200ml of water if necessary as the contents of the pan should almost (not completely) covered with liquid to keep everything moist. Cover the pan and leave it to simmer for another 30 minutes…

Sealed chicken

Sealed chicken

From the time the plantain is added the total cooking time should be 1hr and by adding the chicken half way, it means that the chicken won’t fall off the bones but will be very well cooked and ask soft as the plantain.

That is it! Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to post a comment if you’ve tried it. Click to see the starter (Avocado Salsa & Paprika corn crackers) & desserts (Tropical fruits sorbet, Bunoelos, Mango & red grapes nectar) from this Mexican menu.

Note:

If you are using tinned potatoes, carrots and tin bean, cut the cooking time by half. As both the potato and beans are already very soft. Include the chicken at the same time as the other element and still cook it for the full 30 minute to allow it to absorb all the flavours.

Mexican-No Tacos!

Mexican-No Tacos!

Thank you for reading! See you next month.