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Blackout Special Series: Spicy Curried Plantain Mash and BBQ Ribs

So hurricane Sandy knocked us around a little, actually a lot, I had no power in my neighborhood for about eight days but that didn’t stop me from cooking. Not sure if it was out of shear boredom or the fact that the meat in my refrigerator was very slowly defrosting but I was a cooking machine! I packed the freezer with frozen water bottles and that kept everything frozen for a good 4 days. The temperatures started to drop into the 30s & 40s so things lasted a little longer. I wasn’t making anything fancy, that’s not my style of cooking. I just wanted to make flavorful, delicious dishes that would fill my belly and keep my kitchen nice and warm!

BBQ ribs and curried plantain mash

I boiled a couple of green and ripe plantains and made a spicy curried mash that was unbelievably delicious. A little sweet, a little spicy and savory. In Dominican Republic we use plantains about a dozen different ways but curry isn’t a spice Dominicans use. I figured the curry would add a different dimension to the plantains with a more intense, bold flavor.  The plantains tend to be a little bland so adding a little salt when boiling brings out the flavor too.

pot of plantains

I also boiled them with the skin which I don’t normally do but have seen others do this. It actually makes it easier to remove the skin but also darkens the fruit when cooking. I prefer peeling them first before boiling since it’ll give the fruit a more bright color but it’s really a matter of personal taste. This was quick and easy to make and when you’re in the dark and can’t find ingredients, you want exactly that, a no fuss, hearty meal.

pot of bbq ribs

You can have the plantains as a side dish to compliment the ribs or if you’re a vegetarian, skip the ribs and double your serving. Plantains are very filling and a great product to stock, they’re gluten free too. The green plantains can last up to two weeks without having to be refrigerated and will only begin to ripen the longer you store them. So buy them green, they’ll last longer! It’s such a versatile fruit and normally eaten fried, boiled, mashed with a little oil, vinegar and red onions or if you want to be a little different, have them curried!

BBQ Ribs
serves 3-4

2 lbs spare ribs
1-2 tbsp Adobo seasoning
1-2 tbsp oil
1 cup Spicy BBQ Sauce, I used Dinosaur’s Wango Tango Habanero Hot BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp hot sauce, optional

1. Boil ribs in 2 quarts of water seasoned with Adobo until fully cooked. Drain off water after cooking.

2. In same pot add oil and brown the ribs. Add the barbeque sauce, hot sauce and let sauce reduce until ribs are sticky

Curried Plantain Mash
serves 2

1 green plantain
1 ripe plantain
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 dashes of cayenne pepper

1. Peel plantains and cut in half crosswise or just cut in half and boil with skin in a pot of salted water for about 10 minutes.

2. Remove the ripe plantains since  they cook faster. Continue cooking green plantains until fork tender. Lower the heat and drain the water from the pot.

3. In same pot mash the plantains with a potato masher or fork. Plantains should look like a chunky version of mashed potatoes.

4. Add butter, curry, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper and continue stirring until butter melts.

5. Serve immediately

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