Plantain empanadas (empanadas de platano)

Plantains are  large, very sturdy-looking banana-like fruits one sees in the grocery store produce section.  They can be cooked when yellowish (called green) or when totally black (sweet).  Gf-Zing! finds plantains to be a wonderful, wonderful gluten free starch.

Empanadas are similar to a turnover, either baked or fried.  The dough can be made from flours or from plantains, using one plantain to make two empanadas.

The easiest way to make plantain empanadas is to buy some yellow-green plantains and a piece of mozzarella cheese, then follow the simple directions on this excellent video: from the great Mexican restaurant Tu y Yo.  If your plantains are too green, you will have to wait a few days for them to ripen somewhat.  Plantains sweeten and soften as they darken.

The video demonstration shows the plantains being boiled for one hour. If you are pressed for time, instead of boiling the plantains you can use the microwave.  Wash the plantains, then cut off the ends of the plantains. Make a slit in the skin all the way down one side, the long way.  Wrap each plantain in a paper towel and put them in the microwave on the rotating platter, in one layer.  Cook the plantains on the same setting your microwave suggests for “baked potato.”  When cooked, the plantains will be extremely hot. When they are done, use a potholder to place them on the counter and wait until they cool a bit, then unwrap, peel and proceed with mashing (using a potato masher if you don’t have a molcajete), stuffing and frying as demonstrated in the video by the chef from Tu y Yo.

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