Maduros are cooked, sweet plantains often served with rice, grilled meat and beans in Latin American countries. When I travelled to Costa Rica a few years ago, this meal was called “typical.” To be honest, there wasn’t anything “typical” about it. Although the meal was predictable, it was fresh, from-scratch, and because of the contrasting flavors and textures, was highly satisfying. The plantains offered a sweet note to the meal, rounding out the charred flavors of the meat and the savory black beans. Driving around Costa Rica, you will notice many restaurants proudly advertising “typical” in their windows, and many times, I ended up stopping for a bite. Quite honestly, I would order “typical” with an extra side of maduros since I became obsessed with them.
I decided to make maduros in my Rival rice cooker because it seemed much less high maintenance than cooking in a pan. Additionally, what’s amazing about the sweet plantains is the caramelized crust that forms on the outer surface area. I figured that since the rice cooker has a lot of metal exposure on the bottom and up the sides of the pot, this would yield more yummy, caramelized crustiness.
One thing to note: pick plantains and leave them to ripen until just black… believe me, the blacker the better since the sweeter they will be. This is the first and probably last time I will tell you to eat something that has turned black!! Additionally, please be sure to cut your plantains equally in width so they cook evenly. Also, cutting them on a slight bias will increase their amount of caramelization.
Although this is not necessarily a set-it-and-forget-it recipe, the results are amazing and the clean up is a breeze given the non-stick surface of the pot. Cheers to “Typical!”
- 3 tbs of butter, + ½ tbs of butter
- 3 tbs of sugar, + 1 tsp of sugar
- ¼ orange squeezed, ¼ orange squeezed (separate)
- ½ lemon squeezed, ½ lemon squeezed (separate)
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 blackened plantains, cut on the bias
- On the warm setting of the rice cooker, add 3 tbs of butter, 3 tbs of sugar, ¼ orange squeezed, ½ lemon squeezed, cinnamon, and vanilla into the rice pot.
- Stir until butter is melted and sugar is combined.
- Add the plantains to the rice pot layering evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pot.
- Press to cook and cook for 1 cycle.
- After the first cycle, gently stir with a wooden spoon careful to not break up the plantain.
- Press the cook button for a second cycle.
- Once complete, remove the plantains with tongs and place on a separate plate.
- In the rice pot, add remaining butter, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice and melt to combine. Add plantains back into the pot and cook for a third cycle until beautifully caramelized.
- Serve immediately.
- Note I used a Rival Rice Cooker for this recipe so other rice cookers may take more cycles than I listed in this recipe.