I recently read Michael Ruhlman’s book “Schmaltz” and was inspired to make some Schmaltz and gribenes myself.
For those who don’t know what that is, schmaltz is chicken fat, made from rendering chicken skin. And gribenes are nothing more than cracklings. (You can find the recipe here: http://www.splendidtable.org/story/how-to-make-schmaltz)
So now I had all this lovely schmaltz sitting in my freezer. I wanted to do something unexpected with it when my glance fell on two green plantains I had purchased at a local ethnic market. An idea took shape.
I took the two plantains, scored them on two sides and popped them into the microwave for four minutes on high, until they were black on the outside and soft on the inside. Then I peeled them and cut them into ½ inch circles and with a meat pounder, smashed each one into a disc.
I then tossed them in a bowl with the schmaltz and gribenes, and laid it out in one layer on a greased cookie sheet. Just a sprinkle of garlic salt and in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F. And voila, the Jewish/Cuban version of baked tostones was born. Hubby thought it tasted a bit like home fries…I’m sure because of all the delicious bits of caramelized onion. Yummy.
Baked Plantains a la Schmaltz
2 green plantains
½ cup schmaltz and caramelized onions, with or without gribenes (note: this could be done with olive oil and caramelized onions if schmaltz is not available)
1 tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 425 F
Score each plantain on two sides so that you cut through the entire skin but not into the fruit.
Microwave for four minutes on high, until skin is black and fruit is soft.
Cut into ½ inch rounds and smash into discs.
Mix with schmaltz until well coated, and place on a greased cookie tray in one layer (You can line the tray with aluminum foil)
Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn and bake for another five.