Saturday, June 8, 2013

Guatemalan Dessert: Rellenitos

Yesterday during my Spanish lessons my teacher taught me how to make a typical Guatemalan dessert. I googled them and found this recipe, and many others, although my recipe is slightly different because it includes chocolate. 

They are called rellenitos and are mashed plantains stuffed with refried black beans and rolled in sugar. Most of the recipes I found online don't include chocolate but that's how my teacher made them and who doesn't like chocolate? 

I've never been a plantain lover, and I was skeptical of a dessert that used black beans, so the combination didn't sound appealing. I must admit, I was surprised at how tasty these were. The plantains we used were more like bananas than potatoes, thus being sweet. I hadn't realized there were different types of plantains. This would be a fun dish to make with young kids because they could help mash the plantains and make patties, but the adult would need to do the frying. 

3-4 large plantains (can be adjusted as needed)
About half a can of refried black beans 
(We bought pre-made refried black beans but you can use whole black beans and mash them up really good and add some salt and/or sugar.)
Hershey's chocolate bar
sugar or powdered sugar

First, cut the ends off the plantains and then cut into thirds (or halves, depending on the size). Boil in water for about 20 minutes, until the peel falls off with a slight tug of a fork. Remove from heat, drain water, and put in the freezer for a few minutes to cool them down. Set aside until cool.

When the plantains are cool, put the black beans in a pan with some tabs of Hershey's chocolate bars. (How much you use depends on how sweet you want them. We used most of the bar).  If you don't have chocolate you could just add some sugar. Heat until chocolate is melted and the bean mixtures is smooth and pliable but not a liquid. 
(The picture is right after I put it all in the pan and not yet to the correct consistency.)

Next, mash the plantains with a fork in a bowl until smooth. Wet your hands to prevent plantains from sticking to them. Put about 1/4 cup of mashed plantains in your palm and make a thick patty. This part really depends on the size you want. I didn't get a picture of the thick patty because my hands were messy, but the patty basically covered my palm. 

Spoon about a teaspoon of the bean mixture onto the patty and fold the edges and seal to make an egg-shaped ball. I was making perfectly round ones but they fry better as an egg shape. Be sure to close all the edges so no beans can escape. Add a bit more plantain if needed to ensure they are closed. 

Heat some oil in a skillet and carefully place the rellenito into the hot oil. Continue to make rellenitos to add to the oil and be sure to flip them and cook on both sides. 

My teacher, Edna.
When the rellenitos are cooked and brown on both sides, carefully remove them from the oil with a fork or slated spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the excess oil. 

Sprinkle with sugar or powdered sugar. We only had granulated sugar but I think powdered sugar would be delicious. 

Time to eat! Buen provecho! 

Surprisingly tasty.
If you make these, let me know how they turn out!

And, happy 11 months to our sweet Hazel Jane!

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