Welcome to my latest obsession: ripe plantains and finger food. Of all my obsessions this is probably the least insane one. I am sure you agree. Please say you do and I’ll share with you the recipe for these incredible Cheese-Crusted Ripe Plantain Balls filled with melted cheese.
And you’ll ask yourself how you have lived so far without them.
The greatest thing about cooking is that it satisfies my mad scientist tendencies without having to harness the power of lightning or going through the trouble of trying to conquer the world.
I am too lazy to try to conquer the world, or worse, keeping hold of it once I conquer it. Too much work, I say.
So, I had some ripe plantains left from when I made piononos, and decided to see what I could do with them. Something easy, something relatively healthy (read: “no deep-frying”) and something I could eat while walking around. Because being obsessed by many things (including ripe plantains and finger food) means no time to sit and eat.
These Cheese-Crusted Ripe Plantain Balls are simply amazing!
This was a pretty good result for my experiment. At least nobody was hurt. Trust me, I consider that a victory in itself.
- 3 ripe plantains (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup hard mozzarella , diced
- 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup ground Parmesan or Pecorino
Peel the plantains. Cut them into quarters. Boil until soft adding 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Remove from the water. Remove the center of the plantain (looks like a nerve) and mash until there are no lumps. Cool to room temperature.
Make small balls (about a tablespoon of plantain puree). Poke a hollow in the ball and put a piece of mozzarella in it. Form a ball around it. Repeat until you finish with all the mashed plantains. Resist eating them now.
Brush some butter on the balls. Cover with Parmesan or Pecorino, making as thick a layer as you can. Place the balls on a baking tray.
Pre-heat oven to 400 ºF [200 ºC].
Bake until they are golden brown outside and remove from the oven.
Use plantains that are ripe but firm (no black spots).
How many balls you get depend on the size of the plantains you use.
Make sure to use hard (dry) mozzarella, the fresh type will break the balls in the baking.
You can prepare them beforehand and keep refrigerated, bake them just before serving.