My Husband and I aren’t big Valentine’s day celebrators, which is funny since many of our closest family and friends would consider us a pretty openly affectionate couple. No, we’re not making out at social events- what I mean is we enjoy writing letters to one another, creating handmade items for birthdays and holidays, and giving small gifts on a Tuesday night just to say I love you. I guess we just don’t like holidays where the love and romance feels forced or manufactured in any way.
However, this year is a little different. This year we’ll be celebrating 10 years of Valentine’s day’s as a couple.
Its kind of a big deal.
Because of that, I’ve spent the past few weeks planning and testing a few memorable and, most importantly, easy recipes we can all enjoy together to celebrate this big occasion.
I bought crab to create these Baked Crab Empanadas for my collaboration with Megan from Pink to Green earlier this month and wondered what else I could use it for to get the biggest bang for my buck. I saw a recipe for stuffed plantains with beef but the end result seemed heavy and dry. I wondered if I could lighten it with crab and make it less dry by creating a simple sauce to pour over the top to keep the final dish light and juicy.
The short response, YES!
The baked plantain is so filling and a true “comfort” food while the crab elevates it to a luxury meal. The sauce pulls it all together to create a meal worthy of Valentine’s Day.
Crab Stuffed Baked Plantain
½ cup crab meat*
¼ cup diced red pepper
¼ cup diced yellow onion
Seasonings of choice (I used a little paprika)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with foil and coat with cooking spray or oil.
- Using a sharp knife cut both ends off the plantain. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain, peel only as deep as the peel. Remove plantain peel by pulling back.
- Place plantains on tray and lightly spray, bake for 15 minutes then flip and bake on the other side for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
- While the plantains are cooking, saute onions and pepper in a pan with a little olive oil until tender. Turn off the heat and fold in crab. Season lightly with seasonings of choice. I used paprika and a bit of salt and pepper.
- When the plantains are ready, remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two. Carefully slit the tops of each plantain and, using a fork and knife, gently pull apart the center of the plantain to create a little boat.
- Fill each plantain with the crab mixture, then cover with sauce of choice and devour.
I could see this crab stuffed baked plantain working with so many different sauces (a tomato based sauce, a cream sauce, a light avocado sauce, a pesto, etc.) but I made a tried and true sauce to go along with it. This Roasted Red Pepper Yogurt Sauce is awesome when used as a pizza sauce, perfect for homemade chicken nuggets, and amazing as a dip for crudite. Really, the possibilities are endless with this sauce. Here it served to add an additional bold flavor to the plantains while also adding a bit of moisture I often find missing in baked plantain recipes. Plantain, like a baked potato, can be very dry when cooked so it’s important to add a sauce to help counteract that problem.
Roasted Red Pepper Yogurt Sauce
¼ cup roasted red peppers (fresh or jarred)
1 oz goat cheese
½ cup Siggi’s non-fat yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
- Throw all ingredients in a mini food processor, pulse until well combined, pour over everything.
Two things of note:
* I used claw crab meat here I bought in a can from Trader Joe’s (wipe the horrified look from your face… it was amazing and I’m a bit of a food snob sometimes) but you can certainly use lump here. I just used what I had on hand. What I will very much tell you NOT to use is imitation crab. Just don’t do it!
The other thing I will say, in the interest of being truly honest, is that this recipe WAS NOT toddler approved. Now my son is a huge fan of crab, he just hasn’t come around to plantains just yet. I’m going to keep trying to see if I can get him to love plantains as much as like I do, but just something to keep in mind if you consider making this for your whole family.
What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments!