We love ripe plantains, or as the Cubans call them, “maduros”. Which means, “ripe”. Go figure! Maduros are sweet, rich and just terrific with something savory. This was a true regional fusion and were astoundingly delicious. The fusion came together in the most wonderful way. Plantains and coffee from the South and maple from the North. And of course, bacon from everywhere!! These were gorgeous plantains to begin with and while they were ripe, they weren’t overripe. I was serving these with Oklahoma Burgers, and that will be another post, but I thought of wrapping them in bacon when I pulled the bacon out of the fridge. There the bacon was, just sitting next to the plantains and I thought, “that might make a great combination!” Sweet and salty is always a winner. And, it’s bacon, after all. And it worked very well. Trust me, I will making these again and again. The glaze was really an after thought. I had made the Espresso-Maple Glaze earlier in the day, when I had this momentary epiphany that resulted in this yummy glaze. The Gods were smiling and The Spicy Honey loved them. Life is good.
Baked Bacon-Wrapped Plantains with Espresso-Maple Glaze
- 3 ripe plantains, peeled and cut in half crosswise
- 10-12 slices good smoky bacon
- toothpicks or wooden skewers
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Wrap each plantain half in bacon; I used two slices per half. Secure the bacon ends with a toothpick(s). Repeat until all the plantains are wrapped.
Heat an oven-proof skillet or pan over medium heat. When hot, add the wrapped plantains. Try not to crowd them too much (mine were more snug than I wanted them to be). Don’t move them around. Fry until the bacon begins to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully turn the plantains; a tongs works pretty well. Place the pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. You want the plantains to soften slightly. They will puff up just slightly when they are tender. Remove the pan from the oven…remember, the pan handle is HOT! Turn the oven to broil.
Using a lid just slightly smaller than the pan, drain the accumulated bacon fat off and into a jar (you want to keep the bacon fat for future use, don’t you?). Wipe the edge of the pan clean, but use caution because the pan is still screaming hot. Carefully turn each plantain. I used a spatula, as they were very soft and tender and the tongs sort of squished them.
Drizzle the glaze over each half plantain. Return the pan to oven; place on a shelf so the plantains are at least 8 inches from the broiler. Broil until the glaze begins to sizzle with the bacon and they become one with the universe! Remove the pan from the oven; let stand for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. You may spoon any accumulated glaze back over the plantains.
NOTE: If you wish, you could dust the plantains with just a tad of Vietnamese cinnamon. You could also add 2-3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate to the glaze after you’ve reduced the mixture.
Baked Bacon-Wrapped Plantains with Espresso-Maple Glaze Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
These keep the heat like Hades, so even after 20 minutes they were still very, very hot. Warn your fellow dinners that they retain the heat, lest the roof of your mouth is permanently removed!
These were terrific as a side with the burger, but they are equally good with roasted chicken, pork, grilled fish or your Thanksgiving turkey. These might work on the grill, too. But, I fear you would have flare-ups that could be seen from the lunar surface. Blanching the bacon might be helpful. Let me know if you decide to grill them. I would be very interested in how that works.