Maduros en Gloria (Sweet Plantain Casserole)

Latin Cuisine

Regional cuisine from Central and South America.

Maduros en Gloria (Sweet Plantain Casserole)

[Photographs: Maria Del Mar Sacasa]

Notes:

  • Look for sweet plantains that are almost completely black on the exterior. If purchased while still yellow, store in a brown paper bag until they turn.
  • Latin American crema is available in many supermarkets and specialty supermarkets. If you can't find, combine 1 3/4 cups sour cream with 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
  • Yield:serves 6
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups Latin American crema (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 large ripe sweet plantains (see note above)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. 2.

    In medium bowl, combine cheese, sugar, and cinnamon; reserve. In second medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons crema and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Stir in remaining crema; reserve.

  3. 3.

    With chef’s knife or serrated knife, trim and discard extreme ends of sweet plantains. Score each one lengthwise.

  4. 4.

    Remove and discard peel. Slice sweet plantains on the bias into 1/2-inch thick slices.

  5. 5.

    Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange about 1/3 of sweet plantain slices in single layer and cook until softened and deep brown, turning carefully with spatula, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to large plate and season with salt. Repeat with remaining sweet plantains.

  6. 6.

    Spread 1/2 cup crema in bottom of 8- by 8-inch baking dish. Arrange 1/3 of sweet plantains in single layer on top, then sprinkle 1/4 of cheese on top. Repeat procedure with remaining crema, cheese, and sweet plantains, finishing with cheese.

  7. 7.

    Bake until bubbling and browned on top, about 20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.