I had poutine for the first time when I went on a trip with my husband to Oregon. The whole idea of it sounded like a winner. Fries smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. What's not to love?
Well...it makes me feel crappy. I need a nap afterwards, I'm grumpy, and my stomach feels like a ball of lead. I obviously needed to make my mark on the dish, and I knew no other way than to do it healthy Mexican-style.
Plantains are like a starchy banana, think of a mix between a potato and a banana. The greener the plantain, the starchier it is. If you allow the plantain to ripen, it will turn a deep yellow and then start to turn black. The blacker it gets, the sweeter the plantain. I prefer my plantains on the sweeter side, even in savory dishes. The combination of sweet, spicy, and salty will always be a winner with me. You'll have to experiment with them to find out what you like best.
6 ripe* plantains, sliced into long strips
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp paprika
A batch of my Ranchero Sauce
Fresh chopped cilantro
Chopped raw onions
Shredded lettuce, jicama
Fresh or pickled sliced jalapenos
Shredded vegan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
To prepare the fries, I peel the plantain, cut in half widthwise, then cut each half in half again, lengthwise. At this point, you should have 4 quarters per plantain. Take each quarter and slice lengthwise again 3-4 times to make the final fry shape. Add plantain fries, coconut oil salt, and paprika to the baking sheet. Using your hands, mix the ingredients around until the fries are uniformly coated in the oil and spices. Spread into a single layer, dividing onto two sheets if necessary.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Once golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
While the fries bake, re-heat the ranchero sauce on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally. Chop any veg you and prepare any toppings so everything is ready when the fries are done.
Add a handful of fries to the plate, and pour a generous helping of the ranchero sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cilantro, onions, jicama, vegan, cheese and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy with a fork!
*A ripe plantain will be yellow and starting to turn black. I have to buy mine green and wait 5-6 days for them to ripen. I plan this meal for later in the week when I do my menu planning.