Savory Plantain Flan with Rich Tomato Sauce
Serves 8 to 10
In Costa Rica, mature plantains, or plÃ¡tanos, are often served as a side dish and are usually very sweet. The following recipe, however, is a savory alternative. This is attractive when topped with a warmed tomato sauce made with plum tomatoes, a very typical Costa Rican seasoning.
Savory Plantain Flan
Rich Tomato Sauce
- 8 ripe medium-sized plantains, unpeeled, each cut in three pieces
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 whole large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground white pepper
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated mild cheese
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, optional
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 Tbs. combined dried herbs, or 4 Tbs. fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano or parsley
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 to 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. tamari soy sauce, optional
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spray with nonstick cooking spray 3-qt. heatproof, glass baking dish, a 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan or 7 heatproof, 1-cup (10-oz.) custard cups or ceramic ramekins.
- To make Savory Plantain Flan: Place unpeeled plantains in large stockpot filled with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until soft, testing for doneness with tines of fork, for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and cool slightly.
- Combine yolks, eggs and milk in separate bowl, and beat well. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice plantains, and place pieces in mixing bowl. Using balloon whisk, beat plantains until mashed, and add egg-milk mixture, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Beat at high, slowly adding cream. When mixture is well creamed, mix in grated cheese and cilantro. Pour mixture into baking dish, or scoop into custard cups or ramekins. Line large baking pan with dish towel, place filled baking dish, baking pan or custard cups onto towel and place in oven. Fill bottom pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up sides of baking dish.
- Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size of baking dish, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Center may still be soft, but will firm when out of oven. Remove from oven, top with tomato sauce, if using, and serve hot.
- To make Rich Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are transparent, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Add remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings, and remove from heat.
There are many recipes from around the world that unite creamy/eggy/cheesey dishes with tangy tomato sauce, such as enchiladas, manicotti, grits, and, of course, the classic grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Choose a wine that stands up to the tomatoes but that won’t overpower the tender flan. A good choice would be an Italian wine such as Taurino Salice Salentino.