Stuffed Plantain with Minced Turkey
Finally, I can share this recipe with you. Usually with filling it’s quite common to use minced beef or pork, but I wanted something lighter and choose minced turkey. It’s something I made quite often in Curaçao but apparently turkey is not a common protein in the Netherlands and I had to go to the butcher to order it. Apparently they only have it during Christmas time, which still baffled me as I wasn’t looking for a whole turkey, but it’s not something they carry automatically throughout the year. I do think it’s nice that they offer the service of ordering whatever meat you want. I know Andrea does this a lot with her cuts as she usually wants specific cuts or big pieces and she orders these in advance at the butcher.
So, if you’re in the Netherlands now you know, order your turkey in advance when you want to make this recipe. We like the stuffing so much that I usually make double the portion of the filling. That way we can have it with taco after. It doesn’t really matter how you have it, it’s delicious with everything. I like it so much with the plantain because the filling has a slight heat kick to it and the plantain works great to soften that, together with the curled endive which brings in a little bit of bitterness you get different flavor profiles working great together.
The spice mix I used I named after myself, because usually I freestyle it, ‘ a little bit of this, maybe a little more of that and don’t forget a little of…’, but for the purpose of the blog made sure to put everything down. This is the typical way people cook in the Caribbean and is how I learned to cook with a lot of spices and tasting a lot in between to see what else it might need to get it just right. Most of the time it turns out quite similar, but because you’re freestyling there are always slight variations, which is almost like the dish is alive and adjust to your surroundings each time.
Stuffed Plantain with Minced Turkey
- 6 plantains ripe but still firm to touch
- 600 gram minced turkey
- 1 paprika diced
- 1 big onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 300 gram curled endive sliced
- Handful coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp coconut oil melted
Kyara’s Caribbean Spice Mix
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp all spice
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- In a bowl add all spices for the spice mix together and blend.
- In a pan heat up olive oil on medium heat.
- Add diced onion and garlic and cook through till onion is slightly translucent.
- Add the paprika and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add mixed spice mix to the pan and cook for 1 minute before adding ground turkey.
- Make sure to mix turkey with all ingredients in the pan and allow to cook through 7-10 minutes.
- While the turkey is cooking you can prep the plantains by removing the skin. Laying it down flat on a cutting board you will make an incision with your knife along the top part of the plantain to cut out a section. Make sure not to cut all the way to the ends so the plantain can keep its shape while being filled.
- Place the plantains snug against each other in an oven dish and coat with melted coconut.
- Once the turkey is done cooking fill the plantains with the turkey and pour the remains to the top.
- Cover the oven dish with foil and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Baking time depends on how ripe your plantains are. Riper plantains will need less time in the oven. My plantains will just borderline ripe, with a slight sweetness, but still a lot of starchiness and therefore needed a longer time in the oven.
- Check if the plantains are cooked through by poking it with a knife or fork. If it goes through smoothly it’s good otherwise give it another 10 minutes.
- On a plate place a bed of endive and dress with a light vinaigrette. Place the stuffed plantain on top and finish with a few coriander leaves.