During my time living in a homestay in San Pedro La Laguna , I decided to make Rellenitos de Plátanos – a sweet Guatemalan dessert made of refried black beans, plantains, and sugar. This delicious snack is often eaten during holidays and celebrations in Guatemala. I decided to make the rellenitos as a thank you to our host family after my Spanish teacher suggested a simple recipe for them.
Firstly, I headed to the bustling local market in San Pedro to collect the ingredients. The recipe I used said to use six plantains and 16 ounces of refried beans, but as I didn’t know how they would turn out and thought this would make a lot of rellenitos, I decided to halve this amount. However, I later regretted this because it only made around 5 rellenitos (and there was still way too much bean paste for the amount of plantains; 2 ounces would probably do). These ingredients are very common and easy to find in Guatemala and cost me less than 20 Quetzales (£2) all together.
Firstly, I broke the plantains into large pieces and placed them in a pot with simmering water for 15 minutes to soften them, after which I mashed them and added one tablespoon of sugar.
Meanwhile, I heated the refried beans over low heat and added one tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt.
After leaving the mashed plantains to cool for 5 minutes, I shaped them into palm-sized balls and made a small dent in the middle to which I added about a teaspoon of the refried bean mixture and covered it over with the plantain to encase it.
The rellenitos were then ready to fry in hot oil until they were browned on the outside. This took a long time because I hadn’t heated the oil to a high enough temperature.
After frying the rellenitos, I placed them on a plate with paper towels to drain the excess oil and left them to cool slightly before eating.
My rellenitos were flatter than the rellenitos I had seen before. I think it was because I didn’t remove enough moisture from the plantains after boiling them. But they tasted pretty good. I left a couple for the host family I was staying with, and they weren’t disgusted, so I consider them to be a success!