This Hasselback Plantains with Mushrooms Steak Recipe is from the Hibiscus Cookbook.
Plantains were such a regular fixture in our kitchen when I was younger that they almost became part of the decor. We had them every other day – I couldn’t get enough.
My mum would top and tail them, score their skins and peel off their jackets before frying them as slivers in oil. This is how I liked them – the perfect marriage of fluffy potato and sweet banana.
When I first started cooking plantain myself, I’d stand, spatula in one hand and lid in the other, like a Roman soldier fighting a hissing battle in the frying pan. I’d always add too much oil and use overripe plantains but I soon learnt my lesson. Since then, I’ve experimented lots with this versatile ingredient and this recipe plays with a new way of eating plantains – cut hasselback-style and baked.
– 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
– 4 yellow plantains, peeled and halved widthways
– 1 tbsp garri
– 4 tsp onion
– granules 2 tsp dried thyme
– salt and black pepper
– blanched kale, to serve
– 4 Portobello Mushrooms
– 1 tbsp palm wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
– 4 tbsp groundnut oil
– ½ tsp garlic powder
– ½ tsp ground ginger
– ½ tsp paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Add the coconut oil to a roasting tray and place in the oven to heat up.
2. Slice a thin strip lengthways off each of the plantain halves; this flat base helps to ensure that they don’t roll around while baking.
3. Make a series of evenly spaced cuts, a couple of millimetres apart, along the length of the plantain, stopping roughly halfway down so that the slices remain attached at the bottom.
4. Transfer the plantains to the heated roasting tray, flat side down. Brush all over with the coconut oil and sprinkle with the garri, onion granules, thyme, salt and pepper.
5. Place in the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes, checking every so often to make sure they aren’t burning. If the plantains are browning too quickly, cover them loosely with foil.
6. Once they are golden and cooked through, remove them from the oven. Place a frying pan over a medium heat.
7. Working quickly, whisk together the vinegar, groundnut oil, garlic powder, ginger, paprika, peanut flour and the seeds of the uda pods, if using, in a small bowl.
8. Brush the top and bottom of the mushrooms with the marinade and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side until softened, before placing on the plates with the plantain.
9. Drizzle over any leftover marinade and serve hot with blanched kale.
Lopè Ariyo is the rising star of African cooking and Hibiscus, her first book, is packed with delicious dishes. An energetic and supremely talented cook, Lopè creates fresh, fuss-free meals that are full of flavour. With chapters including Fruits, Vegetables & Tubers; Grains & Pulses; Meat & Poultry and Baking & Desserts, there’s something for every occasion and for everyone.
Nigerian-inspired flavours and cooking methods can transform everyday dishes into something spectacular.