Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tried Something New!

In my Bountiful Basket a couple weeks ago I received what I thought was rhubarb and bananas. I thought, "Oh goody, I'll make a strawberry rhubarb pie". It wasn't until a few days later I learned that I had Swiss Chard and Plantains.

I have seen plantains at the store and these really looked more like bananas. They were smaller and not so long at the ends. When they stayed green for two weeks, were very tough to peel, and tasted nothing like an unripe banana I knew they were plantains. I found a yummy way to prepare them and the kids gobbled them up. What I love about them is they taste similar to potatoes and are very starchy. If you slice them thin enough they get crispy just like a potato chip but cook so much faster. The slight hint of sweetness creates a delicious caramelization with the sugars just like onions. They are crispy, crunchy and a delight to the taste buds.

Sadly to say that I have never had the opportunity to taste Swiss Chard. It appeared to be hot pink, bright yellow and orange stalks of celery. I was very curious at this colorful new vegetable. We enjoyed it as a side with our dinner and here is how we fixed it.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 1 small clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Salt
Chop Swiss chard leaves and stalks. Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom, is now on the top. Cover again. Check after another 5 minutes (remove a piece and taste it). Add salt, butter and lemon juice. Stir and serve.

Plantain Bites

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • dash of ground pepper
Slice plantains into circle sized bites. Heat pan to medium high and add oil. When oil is hot add plantain slices. Add salt, garlic, and pepper. Fry until golden brown. Sprinkle on cheese and toss until cheese is melted. Serve with fry sauce or ketchup.

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