Monday, March 3, 2014

Plantin Banana gratin

Sun in our plate...

It's not very long ago banana plantain has appeared in supermarkets in France. 
And I am pleased to see that plantain has found its place among the vegetables we usually buy.

Therefore, sweet potatoes, if they are currently much consumed, the use of plantains is still confidential. And I hope this will change because it is an endlessly inspiring product that lends itself to recipes ranging from the most classics to the most originals.

I think unlike some tropical products, banana plantain supports quite well the journey from Caribbean’s Islands or Africa to Europe. The USA and Canada are lucky because these products come from nearby (Central America or South America).

Plantains are said to have Asian origins (Malaysia and Pilipino). It would have been brought by European sailors to Africa where they have been finally developed up to now.

They are different from the usual banana (the fruit) in many aspects; they are much longer, they are thicker and have a harder skin.
We can't eat them raw but we can cook them in various ways, sliced and fried or boiled.
Plantain can also be eaten ripe or not. As it contains starch, wherever it is consumed, it can replace rice or pasta.

The dish I suggest you today is one of the many Caribbean dishes that combine African and French origins.

Here's what you will need for this dish.

Ingredients (serve 4):

  • 5 very ripe plantains
  • 150 gr of butter
  • 50g flour
  • 50g potato starch
  • 100 ml milk
  • 30g Gruyere cheese or Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg (optional)


For this recipe, you can use a ready bechamel sauce.


Start with the bechamel.

In a bowl mix the flour and potato starch.

Heat the butter over medium heat.

When the butter begins to sizzle, add the flour mixture and stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes.

Add the milk gradually and whisk constantly until you use all the milk.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the nutmeg and half the grated parmesan or gruyere.

Cover the bechamel; put a plastic film directly on the sauce.

Preheat oven to gas mark 6, 180 °C or 356 F.

Wash plantains.

Cut off the ends, make an incision in the middle and remove the skin.

Cut bananas into thin slices.

Line a 30 x 18 cm baking dish with parchment paper.

Pour half the bechamel in the bottom of the baking dish.

Arrange the banana slices.

Sprinkle some cheese on the bananas.

Then spread the remaining bechamel.

Bake for about 25 minutes.

I served this with a yummy Colombo shrimp casserole! (West Indies curry)

This gratin is also good with fish or meat dishes.

The combination of ripe plantains, cheese and bechamel makes this a yummy dish.

Kitchen tips:

For this recipe, I used very ripe plantains. I bought them yellow and I left them
in my kitchen for 3 days until they become black.
You can make this recipe using ripe bananas, in this case boil the bananas for 10 minutes. Dry them and cut them into slices.

What about you? Have you ever tried plantains? What is your favorite way to cook them?

Thank you for reading and for your comments.

Hope you will try and appreciate this recipe.

See you soon

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