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Welcome back to our second Cooking with Kids and this times key ingredient is Bananas. Living in Costa Rica for 3 years, I learnt a lot about Bananas, especially as I had to drive through some very big plantations between the nearest town and where I was based. One of my favourite types of banana was the more savoury Plantains, and I loved the dishes that we were served as sides. Patacones or Tostones were one of my favourites. They are so easy to make, and they taste like traditional fries.
If you have received our cooking with kids updates via email, you will see that one of the reasons that I am working through this series is to get the kids to try new dishes and experiment with food as well as learn skills in cooking. Of the four people in our house, only 2 of us eat bananas – me and J. My husband and T won’t touch them. As soon as we bought the Plantains T threw her “I don’t like that”, face and said she would cook them but wouldn’t try them as she does not like Bananas. Amazingly once they were cooking, and we did the “you must try 1 mouthful of the food”, she discovered that, much like Potato fries, these are savoury and starchy.
Recipe for Patacones
Plantains – Green (Verdes)
Water to boil
Oil to cover the bottom of the pan
Salt to flavour
Method for making Patacones
In Costa Rica, I was taught two different methods to cook Patacones. The first is a double-fry method and the second is a “boil and fry” method. I don’t particularly like greasy food, and have always preferred the “boil and fry” method. so we went ahead and did that method. It is slightly more healthy.
The first step was peeling the plantains. Plantains have a stiffer skin than bananas, so to peel them it’s best to score along the side of the plantain and then peel out from there.
With the plantain peeled, cut it into 3 or 4 chunks.
Then place in a pan of boiling water, and allow to boil for 25 minutes. Now is a great time to teach your kids the terms of cooking, what’s the difference between “boil” and “simmer” for example. One of the reasons I love cooking on gas is that this is something that you can easily adjust to show so I switched down the heat to demonstrate simmering and then turned it up again and showed boiling.
Once the 25 minutes are up, put the plantain on a chopping board and then cut it into thin slices.
With a wood pestle or a glass you want to flatten the slices. Put a little oil on either so that the starchy plantains won’t stick and then squish them but don’t break them up. T loved this part.
Once all of the slices are flattened. Heat up the oil in the bottom of a frying pan, and then add a few slices at a time. T is under 4 so I did this part as the oil can spit, and I didn’t want her to be burnt, however with older children you can help them.
Check that both sides are browned, then take them out, and place on some paper towel to remove the oil. Sprinkle the fried plantain slices with salt. You could also add paprika or chilli flakes depending on your taste preferences. I like mine plain, and so it turns out, do the kids.
- 2 Green Plantains - Verdes
- Water to boil
- Salt to Taste
- Peel the plantains - easiest if you score along the skin and peel out
- Chop into 3 or 4 chunks
- Place in boiling water
- Boil for 25 minutes
- Take out and slice into ½ inch slices
- Flattern with the base of a glass or wooden pestle
- Heat oil in a frying pan
- Add the flatterned plantain slices and fry
- Turn over and brown on both sides
- Place on Paper Towel to absorb some of the oil
- Sprinkle with salt and add any extra flavouring you wish.
Cooking with Kids A – Z – B is for Bananas
This week Cooking with Kids is B is for Bananas. Be sure to check out our A is for apples from last time:- apple and cinnamon Loaf cake and Apple and pork sausage and bean casserole. We’ve also been joined by some fabulous bloggers from all around the world sharing their recipes featuring the key ingredient. Below, is their list of Banana recipes for you to cook with your kids.
Banana Chicken Curry from Witty Hoots
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Mum in the Madhouse
Spelt Banana Bread from Thrifty Mom
Banana Cheesecake Bites from Sugar Aunts
Banana Coconut Smoothies from Peakle Pie
Banana Pudding Cookie Cups from Still Playing School
5 Minute Banana Ice Cream from Smiling like Sunshine
Rainbow Banana Pops from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails