No great party is complete with good friends, a good location, great drinks, and tasty food. Whether it is an informal gathering, or a formal soiree, the food you serve will be one of the centerpieces of the affair. People gather around food, and the better the food is, the happier your guests will be. However, having food at your party doesn’t mean you have to make a five course dinner. A cocktail party allows your guests to walk around and socialize with others, without the constriction, and extra planning, of seating arrangements. Cocktail parties also allow you as a host or hostess to show off your creativity, pairing great drinks with spectacular food. In addition, it cuts down on your time in the kitchen, so you can spend more time preparing for your guests. With the holiday season soon approaching, you will have a number of opportunities to entertain friends. If you plan on throwing a cocktail party, but you are not exactly sure what to make for your guests, here is a great recipe to help you get started. One of my favorites, this hors d’oeuvre has always been a hit at my cocktail parties.
Poppin’ Peanut Plantains
Another one of my favorite Caribbean foods is fried Plantains. Much like very large bananas, ripe plantains are very sweet and go, with virtually any island meal. They are also a very tasty treat on their own. Not only extremely easy to make, fried plantains are a crowd pleaser at any event. To make the Poppin’ Peanut Plantains, you’ll need: 5 tablespoons of chopped sweet onions, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of grated peeled fresh ginger, 3/4 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, 3 medium ripe plantains, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
First, start by peeling the plantains and cutting them into 1/2-inch-thick slices, cut on the diagonal. Then, mix 3 tablespoons of the sweet onions, honey, sesame oil, limejuice, and ginger together in a small bowl. Then, finely chop the peanuts in a food processor. When the peanuts are fully chopped, add the sweet onion mixture to the food processor and mix the ingredients just until they are fully blended. Be careful not to over-process; you want the mixture to be a bit coarse. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a small bowl and let it sit. You don’t need refrigerate the mixture; it should be room temperature when served. Next, heat the peanut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Then, season the plantain slices on both sides with salt and add them to the sauté pan. Cook the plantain slices until they are golden brown on both sides. This should take about 2 minutes. When the plantains are fully cooked, place them on a dry paper towel to sock up any extra oil. Last, place a teaspoon of peanut salsa on each plantain slice and garnish each slice with the remainder of the sweet onions. Arrange the plantains on a serving tray and serve them to your guests.