Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Patacones (Fried Plantains with Black Bean Dip), Guacamole, and Nachoes

I can’t take any credit for this recipe. All bow down to Elysse, the jefa de patacones! (Literally means female plantain chief/boss. Which is awesome.)

Patacones are a common appetizer in Costa Rica - they're fried plantains (not sweet), with a smooth and creamy black bean dip. Aka, heaven on a plate. After some true Tican chefs came to our fabulous vacation abode and prepared this side dish/appetizer, Elysse employed her expert Spanish skills to inquire about the exact recipe process.

A few days later, after an afternoon at the cave beach, we all returned to the house tired and hungry. Elysse, Sean, and Sigal took over the kitchen, chopping and slicing and frying away as the rest of us looked on in hungry anticipation.

What resulted was the best snack ever: patacones and black bean dip, a mixing bowl o’guacamole, and nachos.

The following recipes are not exact, but you get the idea.

Patacones with Black Bean Dip
For the plantains:
  • Slice 3 plantains about ¼ inch thick.
  • Heat vegetable oil about ½ inch deep in a frying pan. 
  • Add plantains, only one layer at a time. 

  • Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, using a slotted spoon to turn them. (3 minutes is approximate – turn them when browned.)
  • Remove from oil onto a paper towel. 
  • Sprinkle with salt.

For the black bean dip:
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Chili pepper or hot sauce if you want it.
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan, stirring until hot and smooth.

Costa Rican Guacamole
We ate an obscene quantity of guacamole this trip. Every day our group went through a mixing bowl, at least.
  • 4 avocados
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chips for dipping
Smash avocados and mix in other ingredients.

Ok, so who really needs a recipe for nachos? Take everything that is good in the realm of Mexican/South American food, put it on chips, heat and eat!

In this case Sean layered on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil (do yourself a favor and use the foil - it makes cleaning up so easy!).
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cheese
  • Diced red onions
  • Jalapeños
  • Refried black beans
  • Black olives
  • Hot sauce
Best afternoon snack EVER.