How to make fried cheese plantains

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How to make fried cheese plantains
Ripe plantains have a dark black peel (Getty Thinkstock)

Let’s take a tropical culinary trip to Colombia and indulge on a local favourite, platanos con queso, or plantains with cheese. It’s a typical dish for breakfast or brunch, where ripe plantains are deep fried or roasted and stuffed with a crumbly melted cheese.

Ingredients 4 ripe plantains 4 thickly cut slices mozzarella cheese or quesillo cheese Oil, for frying

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Plantain prep

Peel the plantains and place each on a plate. Make sure to buy plantains that are very ripe with a black peel. Plantains that are ripe will give the dish a richer and sweeter flavour. If the plantain is not ripe, it will not have the same caramelisation as desired when cooked.

Pan frying

Heat a neutral tasting oil (canola or vegetable) in a deep saucepan. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once hot, begin to fry the plantains in batches (two at a time). The plantains will begin to caramelise quickly, so make sure it doesn’t burn. Flip after a few minutes so each side has the same golden brown colour.

Cheese

Remove the plantains from the pan and place on a kitchen roll to cool. Using a sharp knife, make a horizontal slit inside each plantain ¼ way through and stuff with the cheese slices. You can use mozzarella cheese, or, even better, quesillo cheese, which is available in many Mexican grocery shops. Quesillo is a popular fresh cheese commonly found all throughout Latin America and made from raw cow's milk. It has a crumbly texture but melts quite nicely.

Serve

Once you have filled the plantains with the cheese, cover the plate and let sit for 5 minutes. Since the plantains will still be quite hot from the frying, the cheese should melt in just a few minutes. Once the cheese melts, serve immediately.

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