Plantains are probably my favorite food that I tend to forget about. I think lots of people can relate? Or if it's not one of your favorite foods, you probably just haven't done any cooking with them!
Before I had done any cooking with plantains they seemed really intimidating, but they don't have to be! Cooking with plantains can be as simple as chopping them up and throwing them in a stew, like I did a while back with this vegan moqueca. But my favorite way to prepare plantains is to slice them thick when they're super ripe and pan-fry them in a bit of of oil. You end up with a piece of fruit that's soft and sweet in the middle, and beautifully caramelized on the outside. They're great in sweet desserts, but I think they shine best when paired up with savory flavors.
For these burritos I decided to cook up some spicy baked tofu to go with my pan-fried plantains. The combination of smoky and spicy flavors in the chipotle sauce is kind of amazing next to sweet plantains. The tofu bakes up while you cook your plantains, and then you stuff everything into a warm tortilla and drizzle it with even more chipotle sauce, to really pack in the flavor.
For the chipotle baked tofu:
For the Burritos
- 2 ripe plantains peeled and cut into about 1-inch pieces
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 large flour tortillas
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- Start by making the baked tofu. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the adobo sauce, lime juice, tomato paste, maple syrup, and garlic together in a small bowl. Season with salt to taste, and if needed thin the mixture with some water—you'll want something with about the consistency of barbecue sauce.
- Arrange the tofu cubes on the parchment and brush with about a third of the adobo sauce mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the tofu cubes and brush with another third of the sauce mixture, reserving about a third. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until lightly browned.
- While the tofu bakes, generously coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the plantain slices to the skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. You can do this in batches if needed, adding oil to the skillet between batches as needed. Transfer the plantain slices to a paper-towel lined plate.
- Place about a fourth of the baked tofu cubes in a strip near the center of a tortilla, then arrange about a fourth of the plantain slices in a strip next to the tofu, and drizzle with some of the reserved adobo sauce mixture. Top with a fourth each of the avocado slices, lettuce, and cilantro. Roll into a burrito and repeat until all tortillas and fillings are used. Serve.