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Latin-Style PB&J

Latin PB&J

Photo by Andrew Meade.

Ever since I was young, I've had a crush on Elvis Presley. I've been especially intrigued by his obsession with peanut butter and banana sandwiches. If the King were still alive, you can bet I'd make sure he tried my Latin version: peanut butter and plantain sandwiches.

I think a banana and peanut butter sandwich is better for you than a PB&J sandwich; bananas don't have any added sugars and they offer fiber, which jelly does not. But do you know what's even better than a banana? A plantain! Plantains have less sugar than bananas and even more fiber. I like to use raisin bread in my version, but you can substitute wheat bread for a healthier option.

I have to confess: I've been known make myself one of these rich, comforting sandwiches late at night and then take it to bed-just me, Elvis and a tall glass of milk.

Buen Provecho!

Latin-Style PB&J

Serves 4

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large, very ripe black skinned plantain, peeled and diagonally cut into ¼-inch thick slices
8 slices raisin bread
¼ to ½ cup smooth or chunky peanut butter

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the plantain slices and sauté until they're cooked through and golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.

2. Spread each slice of bread with peanut butter, spreading as thin or thick as you like. Arrange a layer of plantain slices on 4 of the bread slices and cover with the remaining slices. Grill on a panini press until toasted and browned on both sides. You can also cook the sandwich as you would a grilled cheese sandwich, with a little butter in a nonstick pan; press the sandwich down using a spatula as it cooks. Slice in half and serve with a glass of milk.

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