Canoas de Platanos Maduros (Sweet Plantain Canoes)

Guess what?  I had a canoe for dinner last night!

This is when you say in your head, “What? She had a canoe for dinner last night?” and I say, “Why yes!  Yes I did!”

It’s not the kind of canoe your thinking of.  You cannot sit in this canoe and float in the water.  In fact if you eat enough of these canoes you will probably sink in water, but we won’t discuss that.

Canoas de Maduros

Do you remember the Pastelon post or what I called Puerto Rican Lasagna?  This is basically an individual serving variation of that recipe.   This is a great option, especially for 2 person homes.  This way you can get the great taste without having a baking dish of leftovers in your fridge, it’s also a way to make it just a little fancy.  Although I think that leftover pastelon is a good thing to have in the fridge.

These are called Canoas de Platanos Maduros meaning Sweet Plantain Canoes.  Say “canoa” with me…. KA-NO-Aaa…..very good!   Now you know how to say canoe in Spanish.  This will come in handy when you rent that canoe while on vacation in PR.

We start with the filling.  This is a basic recipe of “picadillo” which is used as a filling in many Puerto Rican dishes.

Combine, beef, onion, pepper, garlic, cilantro, adobo, oregano, vinegar and sazon. Mix well.  Heat a large skillet at medium-high heat with 2 Tbs of olive oil, add meat mixture.  Cook beef until brown and the juices bubble up, add bay leaves, olives, raisins and tomato sauce. Mix and let simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.

Canoas de Maduros

Peel four ripe plantains.  You want to be yellow with black spots.  The one is the back is REALLY ripe, which is ok because they firm up when you fry them.  You just have to be extra careful when you peel it.

Canoas de Maduros

Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven with about 2 inches of  vegetable oil, just enough to cover the plantains. Fry plantains for 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden and slitely crispy.

Canoas de Maduros

Drain on a plate lined with paper towel, set aside and let cool.

Canoas de Maduros

When the plantains are cool enough to handle, cut a slit down the inside curve of the plantain.  Using your knife and a fork, gently pry the plantain open until it opens and resembles a canoe.

Canoas de Maduros

Fill the plantain with some shredded cheese, stuff with meat mixture and top with more shredded cheese.

Cheeeeeese!

Canoas de Maduros

Meeeeeeeat!

Canoas de Maduros

More cheeeeeeese!

Canoas de Maduros

Transfer the stuffed plantains to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Canoas de Maduros

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Incredible awesome deliciousness in a canoe and they are so cute!  The plantains get even sweeter when you fry them and the crispy caramelized edges are to die for!  The savory meat filling is a great compliment to the sweet plantain.  I promise you will love this one.

Canoas de Maduros

Serve these babies with a side of “arroz blanco y habichuelas guisadas” (white rice and beans in tomato sauce) and you will be a happy camper.  You will probably have some “picadillo” left over.  No worries you can have it with…..well a side of rice and beans or if you are feeling daring you can make some “alcapurrias” or some “pastelillos de carne“.

You can also just stand over the sink and eat it straight out of the pan…..no judging here.

Buen Provecho!

-Send Help I am Sinking

Print Recipe

Canoas de Platanos Maduros (Sweet Plantain Canoes) (serves 4 with leftover filling)

Filling

  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion,minced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp adobo
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 envelope sazón
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 green stuffed olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce

Canoas

  • 4 ripe plantains, peeled
  • 1/2 cup white shredded cheese (like Monterey Jack or Swiss)
  • vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine, beef, onion, pepper, garlic, cilantro, adobo, oregano, vinegar and sazon. Mix well.

Heat a large skillet at medium-high heat with 2 Tbs of olive oil, add meat mixture.

Cook beef until brown and of the juices bubble up, add bay leaves, olives, raisins and tomato sauce. Mix and let simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.

Heat a large frying pan with about 2 inches of  vegetable oil, just enough to cover the plantains. Fry plantains for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden and slitely crispy. Drain on a plate with paper towel, set aside.

To assemble canoas: when the plantains are cool enough to handle, cut a slit down the inside curve of the plantain.  Using your knife and a fork, gently pry the plantain open until it opens and resembles a canoe.  Fill the plantain with some shredded cheese, stuff with meat mixture and top with more shredded cheese.  Transfer the stuffed plantains to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Comments

  1. Adriana says

    Should the plantain be firm after frying? I get it crispy but it’s super soft inside. Also I can only fry it a couple mins maybe 5 or I burn it, I keep lowering the temp but I never get anywhere near 8-10 mins. .. is that why it’s so soft inside?

    • says

      The plantain should be caramelized on the outside. It will not be super firm. A ripe plantain is soft and was you cook it will get softer, like a banana does. Just fry it until browned and caramelized. Different kitchens & cookware can sometimes yield different cook times. What you want is a slightly crisped and caramelized exterior and and soft inside. If your plantain is so soft it fall apart it could be that you plantain is too ripe. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  2. anna says

    Mama, do u have the receipt for mofongo? The dish was delicious & I love how you explain everything so detailed

  3. Leia says

    I grow up on these, And I finally got too make it for my boys, Their eyes popped out when they saw it but when they tasted it, Omg! they couldnt get enough. they are always asking for it. But had to hold back on the frying, so i just started to boil the bananas and got the same great taste and kids Enjoyed them the same.

  4. Evi says

    Love your blog post, I’m always on the lookout for authentic puertorican recipes. Right now I’m on the lookout for a GOOD “pan soba’o” recipe. I’ve tried the few recipes I’ve found online, but the end product isn’t the chewy, soft, slightly sweet bread from PR.

    Anywho… Baking the plantains for about 10-15 minutes on each side is also a good technique for golden canoas without the added negatives of deep frying in oil.

  5. Ivelisse Franqui says

    One of my hubby’s favorite dishes! I made it for him tonight. I’ve made it a couple of times before but it was never quite right…now I see it was because I was boiling the plantain. Thanks! I opt to make a “lighter” version with ground turkey. For those of you who want to cut down on the calories and, as we say, “americanize” the dish…try serving it with a side of asparagus or a tomato basil salad. Yum!

  6. be que says

    I will make this tomorrow provided I can find platanos in the state required ( I now live in KS ). I love this dish! I used to eat this every day for lunch for a while when I lived in NY.

  7. Trisha says

    Am I the only one that can NEVER find ripe plantains EVER?!? I mean not even close to ripe… I’d have to wait like a month for these things to soften up! AAAAHHH!!!!

  8. Doris says

    I must compliment you on your presentation from one Latina to another, “las canoas se ven sabrosas” My daughter send me your link she loves your recipes.

  9. Cyn says

    This is one of my fav Puerto Rican dishes….so fast and easy and SO GOOD!!!! I’ve done it with other cheeses and meat variations as well and they’ve all been good too!!!

  10. Mary says

    hahaha @ “Send Help I am Sinking” – this sounds perfect for me and Pookie – I’ll eat the canoes, he’ll have the meat. thanks, I cannot wait to try it!

  11. says

    Fried, sweet plantains are close to my favorite comfort foods of all time. It’s the one deep fried food that I never think twice about. I saved your recipe to try soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • Minerva says

      I was looking for this recipe for days now , I finally found it ! I will be cooking this tomorrow…. mmm, smiles

  12. Mai says

    Ahh yes! I will try this recipe this weekend. I bookmarked the lasagna recipe, but never tried it. I was leery about using eggs. I couldn’t think of a lower fat substitute. This is a great alternative!

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