Sunday, July 19, 2009

Salmon w/Pineapple & Pantacones

It was really hot in Boulder today so I wanted to cook all or most of my dinner on the bbq but grilled vegetables are kind of boring. Somehow, pantacones (NOT pantalones - those are pants ;-) came to mind. I had pantacones for the first time in Costa Rica. They are made from plantains. Green plantains are firm and starchy. Yellow ones are somewhat sweet and starchy. I bought yellow ones and i tried eating some raw. Not bad, but a little chalky (or maybe starchy). I'm certain the green ones are not good raw, BUT, I want to note that unlike potatoes, they are not toxic - valid paleo food. I should also say the carb content is pretty high (even higher than bananas if i believe the literature), but i don't concern myself with that. Why? I weighed them out man! I've never had a balanced meal, using whole foods, that gave me a blood sugar spike. Remember, it's the blood sugar spike that triggers the insulin response, fat storage, cholesterol production, blah blah blah. So, no spike, no worry. Traditionally, plantains are sliced, deep fried, mashed, then fried again. I knew this would be too much fat for a balanced meal so i figured a way to make them by putting them first on the bbq and then frying them in coconut oil. YUM! Coconut oil in a hot pan is darn near as good as bacon fat when it comes to filling the kitchen with heavenly smells. If you're the cook, put on your favorite tune and just stand in front of the pan when it starts to sizzle and breathe deep - it's awesome!

Salmon w/Pineapple & Pantacones ... for 1 - 5 block meal

6 oz (raw weight) Wild Salmon (36P 15F)
4 oz sliced plantains (1 large plaintain will be plenty) (35C)
1 slice pineapple (3/4 " x 3-3.5 " dia) (11 C)
1 Table Spoon Coconut Oil (7F) *guessing the other 7 stays in the pan* It's 14F/TblS
Dash Red Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt
"Old Bay" Spice
Pepper to taste
Cilantro or other greens as garnish.

A paleo friend of mine turned my on to "Old Bay" it's celery salt and various kinda hot spices. It's sold everywhere.

Coconut Oil (from Whole Foods):
The coconut oil does bump the fat content of this meal up above my target - solely because salmon really does have a lot of fat. So the meal is high in fat by about 6 gms. If you want it better balanced, use halibut instead. I lean towards salmon because of the Omega 3's. Plus, i'm not in "lean-up" mode right now so i have to add fats.

Start with the plantains. Slice them like this and wrap 1 layer of them in foil **rub coconut oil on the foil so that NO bare foil contacts the plantains** - or they will stick. I double wrapped mine and put them on the bbq - low heat - 10 minutes/side.

Leave the bbq on and remove the plantains. Take them out of the foil wrap and place them on parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper over so it's underneath and above the slices. Using any flat object, mash them down flat.

Put 1 table spoon of coconut oil in the pan and turn the heat on. Get the salmon and pineapple going on the bbq - pepper the salmon (black and cayenne) and use some of that "Old Bay", then put the plantains in the pan. They cook about as fast as the salmon so it should all be ready about the same time.

They are really good with a little salt and cayenne pepper. Now sit down and feel sorry for your non-paleo friends that are eating salmon and rice for the umpteenth zillionth time. :-)
Steve "Paleo"


  1. "Now sit down and feel sorry for your non-paleo friends that are eating salmon and rice for the umpteenth zillionth time. :-)"

    This made me LMAO cause been there, done that :)

    Good post! The plantains sound/look amazing!

  2. Stacey - you will think you're "cheating" when you munch those pantacones. Try 'em - there really easy to make! I plan to bake a bunch in advance and get them on my breakfast menu.

  3. Awesome! I'm half Panamanian, and always love incorporating traditional foods into my life. I've never tried the patacones in coconut oil, but am looking forward to it!

    I also like the breakfast idea..yum! Maybe with some turkey sausage. I just got into making "loose" sausage by buying the ground meat I'm interested in, and adding the flavorings I'd get in a sausage; it cooks more quickly, and usually there are better quality ingredients when I control what I'm doing.

    I love your blog, and am going crazy because my Crossfit gym is closed for the week!!!

  4. Are plantains the same as bananas?

  5. Not an expert on this - they're not as sweet, in fact some seem barely edible unless you cook them.