So my friend is big into the paleo diet, and because of that I started working on giving up pasta, bread and anything with unhealthy carbs including the rice that I grew up eating along with pretty much every meal. I’m not a diet person, so at first it was odd, but now i think I have the hang of it. It just gets weird when I want something like pizza or nachos.
I was looking at food on instagram and drooling over mac & cheese videos, pizza posts and various baked treats. Then I saw a photo of a nacho plate, oozing with beans and cheese and spiky with corn chips. I had to have that nacho plate. But when I asked my friend about corn chips, I learned that because corn is a cereal that corn chips are kind of not on my yes list anymore. But I still wanted the nachos! I thought that plantain chips would make a good substitute since they can be fried to a crisp and the taste woud mesh well with beans and cheese. And so it became a mini-project to create a gooey comfort food based on the paleo diet. Behold…
Plantain Nacho Plate Recipe:
Step 1: Get two yellow (sweet) plantains and peel them. On a cutting board, slice them into thin rounds. Heat a teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil in a skillet and arrange the plantain rounds in a single layer in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fry the rounds on medium heat until browned on both sides. This is the most intense part, as you need to work in batches and make sure that you don’t forget about your chips and burn them. Line a 9×12 baking pan with foil an create two layers of chips on the bottom. This is the base for your nacho plate. Save a few chips to garnish the dish when done.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer ingredients of your choice over the plantain chips. I did a layer of sauteed chopped leeks, canned tomatoes, black beans, and then a mixture of cooked ground pork and hot sausage. I sprinkled cheese on these layers, then started over again in the same order and then sprinkled more cheese on top. Sprinkle herbs and spices on top of the cheese, like paprika thyme, cumin, oregano and basil.
I used pepper jack, but you could use mozzarella, cheddar, or all three. It’s your choice. You can also use chicken or tofu instead of the meat that I used. I used leeks instead of regular onions because I’m just into leeks right now, so feel free to use onions if you prefer. Once you’ve got your layers done, slide the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Once the timer goes off, turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil on hi for 2 minutes to get a crust on the top layer of cheese. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the dish rest for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to put a portion or two on a plate with the crust side up. If any plantain chips escape just spoon them onto the plate, too. Place a dollop of sour cream on top and decorate with chopped plum tomatoes, slivers of avocado, and the remaining plantain chips. Sprinkle with chopped scallion pieces and serve.
The hardest part is frying the plantains, and after that it gets much easier. As soon as I finished photographing this plate, I ate the whole thing and was satisfied, but not overly full. I still was able to put two more bowls of the plantain chip nachos away in the freezer, so you end up with a decent amount of food and it wasn’t expensive to make.
Try it, I’m pretty sure you won’t be sorry. Bon apetit!