My friend Elysia wrote about a Venezuelan restaurant where she had a shredded pork sandwich made with fried plantains for the “bread.” It’s been years since Tyler and I made a medianoche sandwich (while watching Dexter — yeah, sometimes we theme our food), and so we decided to give it another try, using the plantains.
- 2 plantains, still fairly green
- coconut oil
- Meats for the sandwich: shredded pork, ham, turkey, chicken, whatever
- Sliced cheese
- Sliced pickles
- Sliced avocado (why not?)
Peel the plantains, then slice them in half lengthwise, then cut them to half that length. Put the eight pieces of plantain on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with some melted coconut oil. Roast them on a foil-lined pan at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until they soften.
Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a deep pan on medium-high. You’ll need enough to fry the flattened plantains, about 1/4 to 1/2 inches.
Once the plantains are softened, place a sheet of parchment paper over top of them and smash them with a spatula, flat pan, or other solid, flat item. This is the tricky part — you want them to be flat enough to make a good sandwich holder, but you don’t want to go so far as to have them fall apart.
Gently put the flattened plantains into the hot oil. They won’t brown much, so take them out when they start to feel crisp, about four minutes total. Drain on paper towel.
Assemble the meat and cheese on the plantains and put them back in the warm oven for a few minutes to warm up the meat and cheese. Add the pickles, avocado, and mustard.