The West African in me has been thinking about new ways of how to cook plantains for a very long time. I usually make fried plantains but baked plantains are getting on my radar more and more.. And what to use to add flavour? Well we all know that good cheese complements sweet flavours (think cheese and chutney), so it should go well with these easy baked plantains. I mean, who would not love some baked ripe plantain stuffed to the brim with warm melty cheese and a drizzle of chilli sauce? You get it right?
So the arrival of some Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, just after I’d visited Brixton market and had half a dozen ripe plantains sitting in my kitchen, was just what I needed to get baking. And they were pretty easy to make too. I simply peeled the plantain and baked them for about 40 mins before stuffing them full of cheese and chilli. Since then, I have made variations stuffed with guacamole or West African stew too. It is all good folks.
At the last African themed dinner party that I hosted, I served two cheesy baked plantains per person along with a side of grilled bacon and some coleslaw and this went down a treat. These also work well for breakfast, brunch and general snacking too.
And a little bit more about Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar……..
This is how cheddar cheese should be. Creamy and smooth, with an intense and complex flavour, it has the very slight crunchy texture you get from properly matured cheddar (in this case it is matured for 24 months). And they use traditional liquid cultures, rather than the dried cultures that are used nowadays. And you can tell that this family has been making cheese for six generations – they have cut no corners and produce something that (in my OH’s words) “is seriously good stuff.” Do head over to Barber’s website to find out more about their whole range of cheeses and butter too.
This is the second recipe for my pantry staple spotlight on plantains. Please be sure to check the other recipes out.
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Cheesy Baked Plantains with Chilli - West African Flavours
- 3 ripe plantains peeled
- Oil to brush plantains
- 85 g / 3oz finely grated Barber's 1833 vintage reserve Cheddar
- 1 tsp crunchy chilli sauce
- Preheat oven to fan assisted 170C / 190C / 375F / gas 5.
- Make a lengthways slit along the plantains leaving at least 5cm at each end so they stay whole during baking.
- Brush the plantains with some oil, place them on a lightly oiled, lined baking tray and bake for 40 mins making sure to turn them half way through.
- Remove plantains from the oven, place them slit side up and stuff them with the cheddar cheese.
- Return stuffed plantain to the oven and bake for about 5 mins or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve plantains warm drizzled with chilli sauce.