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Gluten Free Plantain Nachos

Have you ever found that ONE restaurant? That “Hole in the Wall,” “Hidden Gem,” “Mom and Pop,” “Secret Spot,” that you just fell in love with instantly? That’s Patacon Con Todo. Where my husband and I lived in Orlando, there was this small business center a block away from our apartment complex. It had everything I could ever want. There was a 7-11, Nail Salon (amazing, by the way! It is called Debonair Nails Spa-everything from Massage, Waxing, Nails, Pedicures, etc,) Hair Salon, Sub Shop, Thai Restaurant, Sports Bar, Hookah Bar, and my 3rd love…Patacon. I feel an explanation is in order: #1. My husband, #2. Starbucks, and #3. Patacon.

Side note, this is how much I loved Patacon. It is August in Georgia, 10am, and our AC is busted. We live on the top floor, but I loved them so much, I am sitting here with my laptop burning on my lap, STILL writing about them! (I forgot to mention with Kidney Disease, I am unable to sweat, and therefore, at this time have an internal body temperature of 101 degrees, just to put the intensity of this love into perspective #refractoryceliaclife.) Now, back to the best Colombian, Fast-ish, Food Truck, in a Store-Front experience you’d ever get! My husband and I would seriously look at each other and say, “What’s for dinner?” It would always come back to Patacon, and off we’d walk (or drive,) to the pick up the most interesting dish I’ve ever had. It was simple when you think about it. Fried Plantain pieces. Like the step before you smash them into Tostones (for those of you who know Spanish/Puerto Rican/Dominican Cuisine.) Then they would add Onions, Peppers, and Meat. Your protein choices were Pork (that was the only part I didn’t like-it was always chewy, and fatty, not my thing,) Churrasco (Steak,) and Chicken. We of course picked all three! Since the meat and plantains were their only fried foods, they were 100% Gluten Free. Have I mentioned I LOVED this place!? Then one fine day, my husband and I decided to take a walk…and we became hungry…so we decided to stop at our favorite place…where our bellies feel at home…but that home was no more! Our bellies were so upset (in more ways than one, by now we were STARVING!) So I decided to get even, and kicked it up not just a notch, but about 20!

My recipe below, inspired by Patacon is seriously KILLER. Meet my Plantain Nachos. My belly will never be sad again, and neither will yours! If you modify the Cheese and Garlic and Herb Crema, this recipe can be Dairy Free, as well as abide by the Paleo Diet. It truly is and will be, the best and only way you will ever want to eat Nachos (and I’m not just saying that because it’s my recipe!) I would love for you give it a try, and comment below for an unbiased view!

So, in honor, and loving memory of Patacon Con Todo, I give you my Gluten Free/Sulfite Free/MSG Free: Plantain Nachos:

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Ingredients:
3 LG Green Plantains (per 2 large servings)
Garlic and Herb Crema:
8 oz Sour Cream
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/4 cup Parsley (pre-chopped)
Black Beans:
1 can Black Beans (I use low sodium)
1/2 can Water
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/4 cup Parsley (pre-chopped)
1 packet msg/gluten-free Sazon
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Thyme
1 tsp Adobo
1/4 c diced Yellow Onion
1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
3 tbsp Sofrito
1/2 cup Caramelized Onions
1 Roma Tomato
1-2 Green Onion/Scallion
1 pkg Cotija Cheese

Guacamole:
2 Hass Avocados
2 Large Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/16 tsp White Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Paprika
3 tbsp diced Red Onion
1 tsp Lime Juice

Directions:
1. Marinate meat in Sofrito, Seasoning, and Garlic for 2 hours in Refrigerator, covered. Then remove and brown on stove-top on medium heat. Drain grease.
2. While meat is browning, slice Plantain rind/peel vertically and run under running water, then remove peel.
1. Pour Black beans and its juice into medium sauce pan. Fill can half-full with water, and pour into pan as well.
2. Next add all ingredients, except onions, those will be completed in next step. You may also add peppers/jalapenos/chili sauce/Tabasco/etc to add spice. Cook on medium heat until sauce begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Then bring down to simmer, continuing to stir.
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1. Slice Peeled Plantain in 1/4 inch thick medallions, while heating oil in skillet, begin caramelizing the 1/2 cup of onions (for meat,) as well as the 1/4 cup of onions for the beans (3/4 cup total) until opaque and slightly browned. Once finished, add to cooked meat, and stir into beans.
2. Begin to fry plantains in oil 6-8 mins, stirring occasionally until brown freckles appear.
3. Remove from oil, then drain on paper towels.
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1. Spoon sour cream into bowl, chop cilantro, parsley, and mince remaining garlic cloves. Stir into sour cream. (I also add roughly 1/2 tsp Paprika for added flavor and a touch of color. The featured photo has 1 tsp Thai Chili Sauce (GF) mixed in, as well as 1/2 tsp Chipotle Sauce (GF) for a little kick.
1. Cut Avocados and remove pit. Put into bowl and mash with fork. Finely dice Red Onion, mince garlic, wash and chop cilantro, and mash and stir into the avocado mixture. Stir in the dry seasonings.
2. Taste Guacamole, add additional seasonings if necessary (may add chopped jalapeno or chili powder if you prefer some heat.)
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1. Slice, Dice, and Chop your remaining toppings (Tomatoes, Scallions, and Cheese.) I remove the seeds from the tomatoes, so the sogginess is limited.
**Build your Nachos to your liking…Just put your plantains on the bottom, and stack away. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have!
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