Four years and three months ago – I was blogging using Posterous, a platform that doesn’t exist anymore. Foodbuzz was the place for sharing pictures of food and loading up blog posts. And every Friday, French Fridays with Dorie posts took over their feed. My curiosity got the best of me and in a matter of a few clicks I secured a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. My Dorista journey began with pancetta green beans on February of 2011. While it doesn’t wrap up today for me (too many recipes to make up for), today we bid farewell to this weekly ritual.
Cooking through Around My French Table has taken me many places. I’ve been to all corners of France through Dorie’s recipe collection: from Paris to Alsace, Lyon, Nice, and the Basque country. Other recipes were transportable to the flavors of Puerto Rico. A tostón will always be at home next to a pot of mussels or that crab and grapefruit salad. Guava sauce will be ready to top off crepes and rice pudding. And without modification, some of those dishes surprised me for how much they just tasted like home. That speaks volumes of the influence of French cookery in the Western world – and of the blessing of growing up around my Mother’s table.
Against most blogging conventions, I am reposting a recipe that captures the spirit of my Franco Rican table, four plus years in the making.
Sweet Plantain & Parmesan Muffins
Inspired by the Savory Cheese and Chive Bread
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1 ripe yellow plantain (mostly black, with a few yellow spots)
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a few grinds of pepper
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon finely minced cilantro leaves
- Wrap the unpeeled plantain in foil wrap and roast in the oven at 400˚F for thirty minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Once the plantain is cool, rough chop into small pieces and transfer to a glass/non-reactive bowl. Add the grated garlic and combine with a spatula until well distributed.
- Lower the temperature of the oven to 350˚F. Butter a muffin tin and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
- Beat the egg on a separate bowl until frothy. Add the olive oil and milk and whisk again.
- Add to the dry ingredients the plantain mixture and the wet ingredients, and stir together until just combined. Fold in the cheese and cilantro. It’s a thick batter!
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin.
- Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Check for doneness by inserting a paring knife. When it comes out clean, the muffins will be ready.