This weekend my friends and I had a Top Chef/Iron Chef inspired dinner party for a birthday celebration. We had a wide variety of unknown ingredients and each team (of 3-4 people) had to create new dishes on the fly without recipes. (If you want more details, I’ll post about hosting your own party next week.)
This appetizer was my favorite creation from my group. I certainly couldn’t have created this act of genius without the help of my fellow teammates Pam and Andrew. The idea for these little appetizer bites was to create semi-savory, bite sized Banana Splits. In my opinion, they were heavenly.
Yield: Small Appetizer for 4 People
1 Large Plantain, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Butter
6 Tbsp Turbinado or Raw Sugar
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 Cup Honey + Extra to drizzle over Plantains
4 Tbsp Cocoa Nibs*
1-2 Tbsp Fleur de Sel or Sea Salt
4-6 Tbsp Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
*Note: If you do not have Cocoa Nibs, you can use finely chopped Dark Chocolate or Bittersweet Chocolate.
1. In a large skillet heat Olive Oil and Butter over Medium Heat until Butter is melted. Lay Plantains in a single layer in the hot oil. Sprinkle with the Sugar. Allow Plantains to cook until browned on one side, then flip over and brown on the second side, about 3-5 minutes per side. (Note: Plantains are very starchy and stick, so if the pan gets dry add more Butter and Oil.)
2. Layer a plate with 2-3 paper towels. Remove Plantains, lay onto paper towels and allow oil to soak off for a couple minutes.
3. Place Plantains onto a clean platter. Drizzle each Plantain piece with a little Honey. In a small bowl combine Ricotta Cheese, 1/4 Cup Honey and Cocoa Nibs and mix. Add Fleur de Sel or Sea Salt to taste. I like mine a little salty, but it is up to your individual tastes. (Note: You can make the Ricotta mixture in advance to save time, but Plantains should be cooked fresh.)
4. Scoop Ricotta mixture into little mounds onto each Plantain. Drizzle with Chocolate Balsamic. Serve Fresh. Enjoy!