By Taymer Mason
Who said you have to fry plantains all the time? Sweet plantains are also good when boiled in the skin. If you carefully remove the skin after steaming, the plantain will still be intact. Prepared this way, they can be eaten with vegan margarine, Creole Sauce, or Onion Gravy, but I think Sauce Chien is tastiest. Serves 4
- 4 ripe plantains (see Island Tip)
- 2 teaspoons vegan margarine 1 cup (240 ml)
- Sauce Chien
- Trim off the ends of the plantains, then steam them in their skins for about 25 minutes, until tender.
- Cut an incision down the length of the plantains. Dot the margarine on the plantains, then drizzle the Sauce Chien into the incision. Serve warm in the skin.
If you only have half-ripe plantains, it is better to peel them before steaming.
When cooking green, unripe bananas, you need to remove the skin before steaming or boiling. Otherwise the banana flesh turns black and the skin imparts a slightly bitter taste to the flesh.
To peel a green banana, use a sharp paring knife and cut off the two ends of the banana. Score lengthwise down the banana in at least two places, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Slip your thumb under the incision and pull back the skin. It should come off in one piece. If the skin breaks, peel off any small leftover pieces of skin with a knife.
Green bananas are best steamed or boiled in shallow water, as these cooking methods help them retain their flavor. Cook them in moderately salted water. Ripe plantains can be steamed, baked, or boiled in the skin, as this will not alter their flavor too much.
Makes ½ cup (120 ml)
If you aren’t familiar with the French West Indies, this refers to Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Saint Barts. These islands are still governed by France, and the inhabitants speak French exclusively except on Saint Martin, where they are bilingual and even trilingual. Most of the food on these islands is inspired by French cuisine. Sauce chien translated from French Creole means “dogfish sauce” in English. This sauce is most often used as a condiment on a fish consumed in the French West Indies called dogfish. If you have a mortar and pestle, you can use it for this recipe; try to avoid using a food processor as it will overprocess all of the ingredients and the finished product will be too smooth and not like the traditional sauce.
- 4 green onions (white part only), minced
- ½ onion, minced 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- ½ to 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
- ¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil or another neutral-flavored oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) hot water
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pink or sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the green onions, onion, garlic, parsley, and Scotch bonnet in a small bowl.2. Separately, mix the oil, lime juice, and vinegar together, then whisk in the hot water until emulsified. Stir in the sugar, salt, and black pepper. Pour the mixture over the chopped vegetables and mix well.
- Let the sauce sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving to enhance the flavor. Store any leftovers in a clean jar in the refrigerator. This sauce will keep for as long as 3 days in the fridge.
Recipe from Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion, Expanded Second Edition © Taymer Mason, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com
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