One of the sweetest memories from my childhood is that of ripe plantains sliced and fried, served with cream. In Nicaraguan cuisine the plantain, green or ripe, is a constant, daily presence at the table from breakfast to dinner meals. Plantains are served with gallo pinto, refried beans, cheese and even in desserts like the one I bring to you today.
Ripe plantains, peel and all, are even added to different meals such as baho (meat and yucca dish) or in meaty soups. The plantain adds a sweet toque to these flavorful dishes.
Maduro en gloria (fried, sweet plantains) is one Nicaraguan recipe that has been around for many years. It’s prepared with grated frescal or semi-dry cheese, but I know that it’s not easy to find this kind of cheese everywhere. The important thing is to use a fresh cheese that has a firm texture and good flavor to contrast with the sweetness of the plantain.
When I was a girl my mom also made us Salvadoran empanadas that I used to love. They were filled with ripe plantain and leche poleada (a hot drink made of milk and flour), and coated in sugar. Sometimes the filling consisted in refried beans, but I have to confess that I always preferred the sweet empanadas. Using her recipe as a base, I have tried many different fillings, giving each different kind of empananda a super special sabor.