Practice English Speaking&Listening with: PLANTAIN Banana? PEELS | Venezuela HARD TIMES - recipes from hardship

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Greetings my beautiful lovelies! Hello, it's Emmy.

Welcome back to another episode of Hard Times where I explore food and recipes from times of food scarcity.

Today's recipe hails from Venezuela, and it was sent to me by lovely Sol. Sol, thank you so much!

So Sol took the time to put together

several recipes and I chose these two because I found them so interesting because we're going to use

plantains. And not only use the inside of the plantains, but we're going to use these skin.

So while plantains may look like bananas,

they are not bananas. They are a cousin of bananas, and they tend to be a little

starchier than bananas. And they're used all over the world in places like the Caribbean as a starch,

and served similarly to something like potatoes as an accompaniment to a main course.

So Venezuelans are going through an economic crisis due to government mismanagement. They're seeing soaring inflation;

there are shortages all over. So very hard times for our Venezuelan friends.

And today is an example of food that people make on the day-to-day. So Sol,

thank you so much for sharing these recipes. And let's go ahead and get started making this!

So we're going to use two plantains and we're going to make two different recipes.

I've already washed and dried the plantains because we're going to be using the peel.

So plantains are a little bit larger than bananas in diameter.

I've only had plantains prepared as tostones when you have a relatively green plantain and it's sliced and then pressed and deep-fried.

It's often served in Cuban cuisine.

Delicious. So we're going to reserve the skins.

We're gonna put our two plantains.... And now we're going to take some margarine or butter and spread it on the plantains.

So, Sol also said that cooking oil is very expensive so it's used very sparingly

So right now sardines are in season fresh sardines and people are using fresh sardines

because they have a natural source of oil in them

Because cooking oil is so expensive.

Alright, so now we're going to pop this into a four hundred degree oven and bake this for about thirty to forty minutes,

or until they're nice and golden.

So, there go my plantains.... So while our plantains are baking, we're going to prepare these skins in a saucepan.

We're going to add our peels;

and then we're going to add some water and boil these until they're tender.

So while the skins are boiling, I'm going to prepare the other vegetables. All right, I'm just gonna add a little bit of oil.

In my hot pan, with some oil, I'm gonna add one sliced onion;

and one bell pepper; so I've got green yellow and red -- very pretty.

So now we're going to add the tomato;

two cloves of garlic, but this garlic is huge, so I'm just using one giant clove of garlic.

So since oil is so hard to come by, I'm gonna use a little bit of water to kind of deglaze the pan,

and prevent things from sticking.

All righty, so my plantain skins have been boiling for about fifteen/twenty minutes.

While these were boiling, I used some kitchen shears

and I cut these a bit so they would be a little bit more manageable.

Now we're just gonna shred this. It's really hot, so I'm just using a fork.

Let's give it a taste.

Hmm. Yeah, it doesn't really have much of a strong flavor,

so I could see how this would be a perfect kind of blank canvas for any kind of seasoning.

In terms of texture reminds me A little bit of nopales which is cactus --

it's used a lot in Mexican cookery, in tacos....

Okay, so to our onions and peppers, we're going to add our shredded plantain skins.

Everyone's getting friendly.

To this we're gonna add a little bit of soy sauce?

Do you know if you put your finger on this end, it really slows down the flow of the soy sauce?

Yeah, a little trick. So if you do that, you can actually shake it, and it doesn't come out too quickly.

Remove your finger, it comes in a stream. All right, a little bit of soy sauce...

and a little bit of Worcestershire sauce.

It has such an interesting...

...fragrance, Worcestershire sauce: tangy,

raisiny; almost spiced. Now we're gonna add some pepper;

and a bit of salt;

Oh! And let's not forget the cilantro.

That's gonna be beautiful!

So we're going to let that sit a little bit, so the flavors can kind of meld. Meanwhile, let's check on our

plantains that have been in the oven.

And for these -- cut them open like little canoes.

And now stuff them with cheese -- the saltier, the better.

So I'm gonna use a combination of sharp cheddar...

and then I'm gonna add a little bit of parmesan to make it extra salty.

Now I'm going to return this back into the oven for just a few seconds, really -- just until the cheese melts.

Okay, so I got myself a plate of hot rice, and now I'm gonna serve some of the

plantain skins on the side. It looks beautiful!

Alrighty, here's my meal, and I can't wait to taste it!

Now Sol said that this recipe would be used anytime meat would be used -- so inside arepas, or served with rice.

So today I'm having it with a bit of rice. Alright, I'm gonna get a bite of everything.

Alright my Venezuelan friends, this one's for you!

Bueno provecho!


It's delicious! And while it doesn't have the texture, or the mouthfeel, or the flavor of meat,

I certainly don't miss it. The texture of the cooked plantain is actually quite similar to the texture of the cooked bell pepper --

there's a little bit of a crunch to it, just very ever-so-slight;

but it's substantial and delicious and the flavors are wonderful as well!

The plantain itself doesn't have much flavor,

but in combination with the onions and the bell peppers and a little bit of Worcestershire and soy sauce,

it's actually scrumptious.


In terms of a flavor analogy, it's actually kind of similar to fajitas.

Of course, you don't have any of the meat in there, but that flavor combination of peppers and onions and a kind of...

...caramelized nature of that. It's kind of similar to that. Delicious! Alrighty. So let's have our dessert plantains next.

So these are our sweet plantains that we've baked with the ooey gooey cheese. Look at that!

All right, let's give that a go!


And that's delicious as well! Although plantains are different than bananas there is a little slight banana flavor to it.

These are slightly tangy and definitely more starchy in texture and flavor --

a little bit more like a yucca, or potato -- and that cheese in there

is stellar! I love the combination of the cheese and the fruit together.

Mm-hmm. The sweetness is pretty light.

This actually reminds me a little bit more like a combination of potatoes and cheese rather than

bananas and cheese. It's great!

It's almost more savory to me than sweet.

Delicious! So there you have it. A couple of hard time recipes from Venezuela.

And Sol, thank you so much for taking the time for putting these recipes together and sending them to me;

and sharing a little bit of Venezuela with me and with the world.

Thank you guys so much for watching!

I hope you guys enjoyed that one.

I hope you guys learned something. If you have a Hard Times recipe that you want to see me test out,

let me know in the comments down below. Share this video with your friends -- it really helps me out --

follow me on social media; and I shall see you in the next one!

Toodle-oo! Take care! Byeee!!!

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