Home-canned beans into homestyle plátanos rellenos

I’ve been meaning to follow in OhioFarmGirl’s footsteps and can my own beans for quite a while now… two years in fact! And finally my chance came. I had nothing planned for the day, and black beans were on sale at the grocery store. I took a deep breath and jumped in.

There are detailed instructions over at PickYourOwn.org, but the long and the short of it is that it just ain’t that hard. Though I wish I’d read this part more closely before I started: “About 5 pounds of beans makes 7 quart jars”. Somehow, I thought a pound of beans would make… more than that. So of my 5 pounds, I just made 1. And this is all I got.

Oops.

And then I went and used one of them up in my favorite Guatemalan recipe (or, well, one of them anyway): plátanos rellenos. These are a street-vendor type of treat in Guatemala, which I have been pining for for years – I haven’t been to Guate for almost 10 years. Fried, super-sweet plátanos encasing a creamy, salty filling… mmm. And here I finally had all the ingredients on hand. Worth a try, perhaps?

These also (to my delight) turns out to be just not that hard.

First you melt lard or a whole bunch of butter. Then you mash up (or maybe next time I’ll use my food mill) a whole quart or 2 cans of beans (with the liquid, which I forgot). Salt to taste, and fry those suckers. Make sure they’re good and salty and bacony, so their flavor shines through later.

You take 4 ripe plantains – they should be blacker than these, which weren’t sweet enough yet – and quarter them and boil them for 10 minutes like you would a potato.

Then drain them, and mash those suckers too. Make sure they’re sweet; add some sugar if you have to.

This is the part I forgot to take pictures of: with wet hands, you take a healthy four-finger pinch of plátano goo and make a patty on your hands. You do the same with the frijoles, and again with the plátanos. Sofía called it a Plátano Burger, and it does look just like one.

Except then you smear the plátanos shut over the edges of the bean filling, so you just have a little plátano disc with hidden bean filling. Kind of like Japanese mochi, but better. Because the next step*? Is to fry them in coconut oil, and sprinkle them with sugar.

Oh did I mention? This is not a health food.

Funny, Sofía likes them anyway.

These taste and smell just like I remember – the combination of salty/sweet, the crunchy crust and the soft, melty insides, will blow your mind.

And when’s the last time anything with beans in it qualified as “mind blowing”? A pretty good use for those special, home-canned beans, I’d say.

* The recipe I followed had you dust both sides with cornmeal before frying, but I don’t know if I’ll do that again because it mostly fell off and burned in the pan.

2 Responses to “Home-canned beans into homestyle plátanos rellenos”

  1. Laura Says:

    I always buy the bagged beans and cook them, and then scoop them into freezer bags in increments like “one can” and “one cup.” I throw them in the freezer and then just pull them out when I need them. Almost as easy as buying canned beans to begin with, and much cheaper.

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Hooray for frugality! I don’t imagine the texture suffers much if they’re going to be recooked or mashed later, either.

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