Ever walk past those enlarged green banana-looking things in the grocery store and think, “What are those and why would I ever want to buy them?” Here’s the answer: They’re plantains and you’d want to buy them to make these Pulled Pork Plantain Nachos.
Plantains are the banana’s longer, plumper, and starchier sister. The green and unripe plantain acts and tastes much like a potato, especially when baked or fried. The yellow ripe plantain is sweet, soft, and similar to a regular banana.
Given my love for the green unripe plantain’s potato-y texture and taste (see this plantain lasagna) and the fact that the season of game day grub is upon us, nachos were on my mind. I’ve seen sweet potato and French fry nachos all over Pinterest so I thought I’d give plantains a try as the “chip” part of the nachos.
My inspiration for this recipe is grounded in my love for Caribbean food. One thing I’ve found constant in my samplings of Puerto Rican, Trinidadian, Jamaican, and Bahamian food is the typical offering of plantains as part of the main meal or as a side dish. Two of my favorite dishes using plantains, mofongo and tostones, originate in Puerto Rico. Tostones are thick plantain slices that are fried into crispy chips. And mofongo is a dish consisting of fried plantains that are seasoned and mashed. One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had at a restaurant consisted of tender, braised pork on a bed of mofongo.
These nachos are my healthier, game day-friendly mish-mash of my favorite plantain dishes and that memorable plantain and pork meal. Instead of frying, I baked the plantain slices until crisp on the outside and softened on the inside to get a texture I’d liken to potato wedges. If you’d like to use tostones in this recipe instead, I highly recommend this recipe from Skinnytaste.
I mixed up a quick and easy dry rub for the pork, threw it in the slow cooker with some chicken broth and lime juice for extra flavor. When the pork was finished cooking, I simply shredded the meat with 2 forks right in the slow cooker. This allowed the pork to soak up all of that flavorful cooking liquid.
Once the pork is shredded and the plantains are baked, top these nachos to your heart’s content. I included black beans and shredded cheese as required ingredients, but feel free to sub in your favorite toppings. I highly recommend adding a few large spoonfuls of this Mango Tomatillo Guacamole to these nachos. For some reason, the combo of mango, black beans, pulled pork, and lime make me do a happy dance. And with all of that and more topped on a bed of plantains, you’ll want to face plant into these nachos. Happy plantain nacho grazing!
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 pounds of lean pork (I used boneless country style pork ribs)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 plantains, peeled and thinly sliced on the bias (about ⅛ inch thick)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup black beans
- ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup Mango Tomatillo Guacamole
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Pico de gallo
- Chopped green onion
- Extra lime juice
- Sour cream
- For the pork: Combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small dish. Rub the mixture over the pork, coating entirely. Place the pork in a slow cooker and add in the chicken broth and the lime juice. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for up to 10 hours until the pork is fork tender. When cooking is complete, shred the pork and return it to the cooking juices in the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- For the plantain nachos: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the plantain slices on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Keep the oven on while you assemble the nachos.
- Arrange a layer of plantains on the baking sheet and add the black beans cheese, and about 1½ cups of pulled pork. Place the nachos back in the oven for about 4 minutes until the cheese melts. Top the nachos with more of your desired toppings.
Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.
Serving size: 1 serving
Nutrition Information (per serving) from Caloriecount.about.com
Calories: 276 Fat: 7.5g Carb: 22.8g Fiber: 2.7g Protein: 30.4g Sugar 8.2g Sodium: 798mg