Pork Belly, Avocado, Plantain Sandwiches
When my husband was in New Orleans for his annual REALTOR conference, he tasted a lot of good food and came back with a few new recipe ideas up his sleeve! He wanted to recreate the recipes for pepper-jelly covered, roasted Brussels sprouts and a pork belly and avocado jibarito. Let me tell you, both recipes were a tasty success!! He used to blog, so I asked if he’d do a guest blog post for me! He said if I’d write it, that would work. :-/ He didn’t feel like typing a blog post, so I’ll do my best to explain what Chef Dale did in the kitchen!
A jibarito is a Puerto Rican sandwich made with plantains as the bread. I tell ya, if I hadn’t had to go gluten-free and if my husband hadn’t started CrossFit and learned about Paleo eating, I don’t think plantains would have on our radar. Now, we love them! By the way, jibarito sounds like “he-burrito.” I think it’s funny he went to NOLA and came back with two very non-Cajun recipes and we learned a new word!
Let me tell you how delicious these sandwiches were! They were a wonderful, delicious way to eat a sandwich without any bread products. I didn’t miss the bread AT ALL and really loved using the plantains as bread. As we were eating these, I knew BLTA jibaritos would be in my delicious future!
Pork Belly, Avocado, Plantain Sandwich
1 green plantain
1 package pork belly, thickly sliced
salt, to taste
In a pan, cook the sliced pork belly on medium to medium-high until cooked to your liking. Drain pieces on a paper towel. While the pork is cooking, prepare the plantain.
Drag a sharp knife down the length of one side of the green plantain, deep enough to barely scrape the flesh inside. Pry open the tough, outer pieces and discard. Chop the plantain into equal thirds, then cut each third into two, lengthwise, so you have six pieces. This will be your “sandwich bread.”
Drain off half of the pork fat and place each plantain piece in the hot pan until the bottoms are a nice golden brown. Flip them over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
Remove the plantain pieces to a cutting board covered with a paper towel. Lay a sheet of wax paper on top of the plantains and firmly press down on each one with the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, a brick covered in foil, a frying pan (not a hot one!) or a cast iron panini press. You want them to be about 1/4″ thick or a little less. Don’t smash them so hard that they don’t stay in tact. This is your bread, so take care not to damage them.
With a cooking spatula, carefully scrape the plantain pieces and place in the hot pan and cook on both sides until they’re golden brown. I think my husband was able to get 3 in the pan at a time. Sprinkle them with a little salt as they cook, then drain the cooked plantains on a paper towel.
Cut an avocado in half, then slice the flesh for the sandwiches.
Assemble the sandwiches and enjoy!
Here’s my sandwich: