Fried Plantain Delight Bites

It’s Labor Day weekend.  Here in Denver, that means it’s the A Taste of Colorado festival – a popular music and food festival that draws half a million people to Civic Center park over four days.  I’m sure it’s a joy for some.  I live just a few blocks from the park so to me it means on-street parking is a hassle and hundreds of thousands of people are over-eating on funnel cake.  (Actually, I don’t think that’s true.  Many nice restaurants – and even a paleo food truck! – are serving food.  But I get a little bitter about the parking so I exaggerate.)

If you are not at the festival, Labor Day weekend is a wonderful time to treasure the last summer days and indulge in leisurely afternoons with friends.  Today, I wanted to share a lovely, healthy dish that would be great to serve at a barbeque.

These little bites are flavorful and pretty!  Like a lot of cute little appetizers, they take little while to put together.  I wouldn’t whip these up on a weeknight, but on a three-day weekend, it’s kind of fun to make a batch.

When I gave a few to Matt to sample, he said they were delicious and that he had never had plantains before.   I reminded him that I had made them twice this summer.  Then I remembered that I ate them all before he got home both times.  They are that good.

Three quick tips on making these –

  1. The timing on cooking the plantains is approximate.  You may need to go a little shorter or longer.  Just don’t undercook them.  You want them to brown.  Even the burnt looking ones taste delicious.  And don’t worry if the house gets a little smoky.   Mine always does.
  2. If you are going to make these in advance of serving, toss the avocado with some lemon juice first so it doesn’t brown before people get a chance to admire how pretty they are.
  3. If you buy a bunch of cilantro, you will have extra.  Please don’t waste it!  Just puree with garlic, olive oil, salt and walnuts for delicious topping to any veggie.

Fried Plantain Delight Bites

Plantains, 2

Coconut oil, 5-6 tablespoons

Fresh cilantro, about 30 leaves

Pineapple chunks, about 1 cup (I used canned.)

Red onion, ¼ cup chopped

Avocado, 1

  1. Peel the plantains.  Cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick
  2. Squish each slice slightly to flatten.  (I just place them on the cutting board, put a glass on top and squish.)
  3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil to the pan.  Turn heat to medium/high and let oil get hot.
  4. Add plantains.  Cook for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  You may need to cook in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of your pan.  Be sure to add more oil each time.
  5. Remove from pan and place on paper towel.
  6. Set up your preparation station.  Cut avocado into chunks.  Have chopped onion, pineapple and cilantro leaves ready.
  7. Place fried plantains on serving plate.  Top with avocado, a few bits of onion, a piece of pineapple and a cilantro leaf.   Secure with a toothpick to keep them from sliding apart.
  8. Serve and convert some skeptical friends to the paleo way.

This recipe makes about 30+ little pieces.