Panama is the country that separates Central America from South America – and its cuisine most definitely stands out from its neighbouring countries.
Focusing on fresh, Caribbean flavour instead of spice, Panamanian dishes are jam packed with seafood, fruits and vegetables, coconut, and culandro – an herb similar to cilantro.
Though there are endless amounts of delicious dishes in Panama, there are many that include ingredients that are not always available outside of tropical climates, so today we’re making a simple dessert that is the epitome of Panamanian cuisine, and only requires a handful of ingredients.
This week’s recipe is Plátanos en Tentación, literally translated as Plantains in Temptation. They’re so sinfully sweet and gooey that the name is really very fitting.
When you’re looking for plantains at the grocery store, find the huge green fruit that look much like bananas. They should be quite hard, but you’ll want to let them ripen quite a bit before using them in this recipe.
Platanos en Tentación
3 very ripe plantains, peeled and sliced into 2 inch pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup water
¼ cup rum
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan at high heat. When sizzling, add the plantains and reduce heat to medium high. Cook plantains until they are a dark golden colour, turning often. In a small bowl, mix sugar, vanilla, water, and rum. Add to the pan, stir the mixture and the plantains, and let the liquid thicken up into a syrupy consistency (about 5 minutes), stir to coat the plantains. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve hot.