I don’t know what has gotten into me, but lately, I’ve been spiralizing plantains like crazy.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have noticed that I’ve been experimenting a lot with this fruit. Like, here, there and everywhere.
So, sorry if it’s plantain overload on Inspiralized.
Eating plantains helps ease the woes of this long-lasting winter. I feel suddenly tropical!
Plantains have this magical ability to change flavor depending on ripeness. If you see a yellow plantain, it’s ripened and sweet. If you see a green plantain, it’s starchy and used for more savory dishes.
Lu and I have this favorite chain taco place called The Taco Truck in Hoboken. Every single time (I swear!) we go there for a quick dinner, Lu orders the exact same thing: two orders of chicken tacos with guacamole and a side of platanos fritos. They’re fried plantains with creamy sugar.
I can’t bring myself to try those plantains, just because they’re doused in sugar, but I love plantains otherwise.
While I’m into plantains lately, my next stop is yucca. Actually, I can’t believe I haven’t given yucca a shot. They don’t sell it at my local grocery store, so I never think to make a recipe for it.
I wish that there was a Whole Foods closer to me. There’s nothing better than meandering through the aisles of a Whole Foods. You always pick something up that you’ve never seen or tried before.
Alas, I’ve managed to be creative despite my mundane local grocery store chain.
These plantain rice balls are messy to make, but worth all the hassle. By toasting the plantain first, the consistency of the plantain hardens and locks in flavor. When the “rice” is combined with the egg, coconut and breadcrumbs and baked with the goat cheese, the texture is incomparable to anything else.
The goat cheese warms in the oven and pairs nicely with the sweetness of the coconut flakes and cooked plantain.
These rice balls make the perfect party appetizer. They would work well just with cocktails, too! Mojitos and plantain rice balls, anyone? Just serve up plantain rice balls and cerveza and you’ll have your party guests begging to come back.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Toasted Plantain Rice Balls
- 2 medium-ripe plantains peeled, Blade C
- 1 piece of whole wheat toast
- 1 egg beaten
- salt to taste
- 3 tsp coconut flakes
- 5-6 tsp goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place your spiralized plantain noodles into a food processor and pulse until made into rice-like "bits." Set aside.
- Place your piece of bread into a food processor and pulse until made into breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Place your plantain rice in the skillet and toast until the plantain bits are a darker color and begin to slightly brown. When done, pour out into a mixing bowl.
- In the bowl, add in 3 tbsp of the breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and coconut flakes. Mix to combine thoroughly.
- Over a baking tray lined with parchment paper, mold plantain mixture into balls. Lay each down on the baking tray. Then, take a tsp of goat cheese, roll into a ball and stuff into the rice ball. At this point, you will have to re-mold the rice balls.
- Repeat until all of the mixture is used.
- Place the rice balls into the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes. Enjoy!