This stuffing has everything—sweetness from the plantains, spicy-saltiness from chorizo and plenty of vegetables to balance and enhance the flavors.
What are Plantains? How About Chorizo?
Plantains look like large bananas and can be green, yellow, yellow with black/brown spots or mostly black. Plantains are always cooked, never eaten raw. Green or yellow plantains are very starchy, like a potato, and difficult to peel. As the plantain ripens, its skin thins and becomes easier to peel, and its flavor sweetens. This recipe calls for ripe plantains with lots of black/brown on their skin. Plantains can be purchased green and allowed to ripen. They take longer to ripen than a typical banana.
Chorizo is a flavorful Latin/Spanish sausage seasoned with garlic, ginger and smoked paprika. Typically made from pork (although turkey and vegan versions are available), chorizo is available fresh or smoked. This recipe uses fresh chorizo. It’s available in supermarket meat departments and at some farmers’ markets.
You can prepare this recipe 2 days in advance. Make it through step 5 and refrigerate. Then complete the recipe on the day you’re serving it. Add 10 minutes to baking time to accommodate chilled ingredients.
Sueson Vess is a professional chef and food coach. She is author of Special Eats.Yields 10 servings
- 5 very ripe plantains
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil, divided
- 1 pound fresh chorizo sausage
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, cut into 3/8 to 1/2-inch ribbons, including chopped stems (about 8 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1To prepare plantains, cut off ends of the plantains and carefully cut a horizontal slit the length of the plantains. Peel off the skin. (You may want to wear gloves when handling plantains.) Cut into coin-size slices about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. If a plantain is long and/or curved, cut in half before slicing.
2In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Sauté plantain slices about 1 minute; flip and sauté the other side 30 seconds or until lightly browned. (Ripe plantains cook faster than unripe.) Remove cooked plantains and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining plantain slices, adding more oil as needed.
3Preheat oven to 350°F.
4In the same large skillet, sauté chorizo, stirring to break it into small pieces, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and onion and continue cooking 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo mixture to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Retain about 1 tablespoon fat in the skillet (for cooking Swiss chard); discard excess.
5Place Swiss chard in the same skillet and sauté about 3 minutes, moving chard around with tongs. Stir in salt and pepper. Stir cooked chard into meat and vegetable mixture.
6Layer half the sautéed plantains in a 3-quart baking dish, covering the bottom of the dish. Spoon entire chorizo/vegetable blend over plantains and top with remaining plantains.
7Place in preheated oven and bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.