Yesterday I came home from work and made a huge batch of soup. It was a “clean-up the fridge” soup with tofu noodles, veggies, chicken, and leftover home-smoked ribs that would make Chinese fast food places weep with jealousy. After our dinner tonight, there was still enough for a generous serving today. There were still other areas of my kitchen that needed the ‘cleanup’ treatment…
Like my pal here, the perfectly ripe (but not for too long) plantain:
I had been thinking about baking more quick breads after seeing my blogging friend Paula’s cheddar scallion pecan quick bread last week. A quick bread is basically any loaf or muffin that gets its rise through baking powder instead of yeast. Sweet or savory, these treats are almost foolproof and extremely easy to customize. The dry and wet ingredients are mixed up separately and then combined until there are no dry spots. The texture for these particular muffins almost resembled that of a biscuit, hence the name. Since biscuit making is not my forte, I’m especially happy to pull these off.
Sweet plantain and salty Parmesan are often used in Puerto Rican casseroles like piñón and pastelón and they seemed natural companions for these “biscuits”. The starchy plantain should not be consumed raw, which is why I roast it in its own peel before adding it to the batter. If you haven’t had roasted sweet plantain before, you are in for a treat. Remove it from the peel as soon as it is cool enough to handle, add the smallest sprinkle of salt, and enjoy.
The batter for the sweet plantain & Parmesan “biscuits” is dense and not really pourable. Originally I used 3 tablespoons of milk but it needed thinning, so I doubled the amount. I scooped out batter balls using a cookie drop – 2 scoops per muffin.
Sweet Plantain & Parmesan “Biscuits”
Yield: 12 muffins (“biscuits”)
- 1 ripe yellow plantain
- 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
- 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. It’s a thick batter!
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin.
- Bake the ‘biscuits’ for 15-20 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Double check for doneness with a paring knife.