Plantain slices layer with cheesy sauce and beans for a dish that tastes so exotic, yet so familiar too.
I’ve seen a few recipes for a plantains au gratin recently but they only have a single layer of plantains. I really wanted to make it more of a deep layered dish that's creamy and cheesy.
I've tried this a couple times before – this time I tried to really hone in on what is good about the dish. Hearty potato-like plantains, cheesy creamy goodness, and bright sour pickled onions.
It came out great and would be a very memorable side dish to bring to a potluck or to serve with a chicken dinner!
The sauce for this is really easy. It's based on the sauce for a Peruvian potato and egg salad. Habanero, queso blanco, garlic, onion, and evaporated milk in the blender.
It comes out to this great consistency.
Plantains look a lot like mutant bananas, but you really can't interchange the two. Actually, plantains are much more similar to a potato!
You need to make sure to get very ripe ones for this dish. Stores sell them green or yellow or even black, and you want to choose ones that are a blackish yellow. If they aren't at that stage yet, you can just buy them a week early and they'll ripen more at home.
Slice and layer the plantains with the cheese sauce and black beans.
After it comes out of the oven, it's all browned and delicious. Top with pickled onion and cilantro.
The plantains are super tender and absorb that yummy cheese sauce. This is a hearty side dish!
Dan Whalen has been loving plantains this winter. He has been blogging for over 5 years at The Food in my Beard. Check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!