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Cuban Grilled Plantains

By Cheryl Forberg
Image of Grilled Plantains
Have you ever been to Cuba? I haven’t – but I’m hoping to make the trip next spring. As is usual when I plan to visit a new destination, I do my research. No, I am not scoping out the museums, the beaches, or even the shopping. It’s all about the food. When I read the descriptions of typical Cuban Recipes, Arroz Con Pollo, Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, flan – I couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen.

While waiting for the arrival of the Cuban cookbooks I’d purchased online, I became impatient and decided to try a couple recipes from a website I found. I made a fabulous Crockpot rump roast – Cuban style. That meant lots of onions, garlic, chorizo sausage, orange and lime juice (and zest) and wine (I used rose since I have a lot of that in the kitchen during the summer).

I also made black beans (in my other Crockpot) using again, lots of onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and oregano and of course, dried black beans. Instead of green Bell pepper, which would make it more authentically Cuban, I added some chopped roasted shishito peppers from our garden.

I knew I had to make the requisite white rice for most of my guests, but I decided on plantains as a rice alternative. I made up this recipe so I probably shouldn’t call it “Cuban”, but it went perfectly with this meal. Next time, I will make a sweet plantain recipe for dessert – stay tuned!

Cuban Grilled Plantains
Serves: 4


2 medium Plantains, well ripened but not mushy
2 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon Grape Seed or Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Smoked Salt
1 teaspoon Chili Powder

Garnish: Lime Wedges


Heat the grill to medium hot.

Trim ends of plantains to make a straight cut down the middle, lengthwise. Remove the peeling. Cut each plantain in half lengthwise and then cut each half into thirds, widthwise. You should have 12 pieces.

Lightly brush the cut side of the segments before placing on the preheated grill.

Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until there are nice grill marks on the bottom side (but not burned). Turn over and continue cooking for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Image of grilled plantains
Remove from grill. Layer half of the grilled plantains in a serving dish. Drizzle with half of the lime juice, sprinkle with half of the smoked salt, chili powder and cilantro. Repeat with second batch of plantains. Garnish with fresh lime wedges.

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories 150
Fat Calories 35
Total Fat 3g
Sat Fat <1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 590mg
Total Carbohydrates 30g
Fiber 2g
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A IUs 25%
Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%
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