Migan de Figues Vertes

Green Plantain Puree, French Antilles

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    8

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

A Canon of Vegetables

A Canon of Vegetables

By Raymond Sokolov

Published 2007

  • About

This is the spicy, hot staple of the French islands. It serves as an emblem of ethnic identity for the Cuadeloupean woman protagonist in the novel Un Plat de Pore aux Bananes Vertes (1967) by André and Simone Schwarz-Bart. Migan is Guadeloupean patois for a puree. Figues vertes, green figs, mirror the Asian mythical identification of bananas and figs, perhaps because of East Asian laborers brought to the French islands.

Ingredients

  • 4 green plantains
  • Salt
  • 10 tablespoons peanut oil, approximately
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Black pepper
  • 2 to 3 Scotch bonnet peppers, trimmed and seeded
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lard, pounded to a paste with 2 teaspoons annatto (achiote)

Method

  1. Peel and dice the plantains. Cover with lightly salted boiling water, lower the heat, and simmer until tender. Process with the steel blade until fairly smooth.
  2. Heat ½ cup of the oil in a skillet. Add the scallions, chives, black pepper, 1 or 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, and salt. Sauté until the scallions just begin to brown. Then stir in the plantain puree. Add additional oil, if necessary, to produce a smooth texture, cover, and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in another skillet. Lower the heat, add the onion slices, and sauté until translucent. Then add 1 sliced Scotch bonnet pepper and the annatto-lard mixture. Stir until the mixture melts and combines with the other ingredients.
  4. Mound the plantain puree on a serving platter. Pour the sauce from step 3 over it and serve hot.

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