Latin Twist: Plantain Stuffed French Toast


Sometimes it’s all about brunch. Yes, mis amigos, if you’re a brunch lover, you know exactly what I mean!

Plantain-Stuffed French ToastAs a little girl, I was lucky enough to have lots of French toast on my Sundays. In fact, though my Brighton Beach-based  grandma didn’t cook, she could make a mean French toast. And in Westchester, my mom continued the tradition (and her repertoire was a lot more expansive!), and today, at least in my New Rochelle home, my husband is the French toast guy. Unless, of course, we’re making it with a Latin twist. In that case, it’s my turn. And so, my friends, I present to you one of my favorite brunch creations: Plantain Stuffed French Toast.

What’s the key to this one? Basically, as always, excellent ingredients. And though they’re not too numerous in this recipe, you want to find a baguette that has a bit of heft and not not too airy. Also, and as always, you can vary the cinnamon and honey depending on your/your family’s preferences! Of course I would love to hear your French toast favorites. In the meantime, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Spices and Seasons – Dandelion Green and Wild Garlic Hummus

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Spices and Seasons – Dandelion Green and Wild Garlic Hummus

A recipe for hummus using fresh dandelion greens.


  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced green garlic (bulbs and pale green parts)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped dandelion greens (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 11/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (try to cook your own)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup of tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • Extra olive oil, Sumac, Pine nuts and Smoked Paprika for finishing


  1. Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add in the green garlic and the dandelion greens and cook for about 1 or two minutes until the leaves wilt.
  2. Place in a food processor with the salt, chickpeas, garlic clove, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, ice cubes and 1/3 cup water and process until smooth. It is ok for the hummus to have a little texture, most traditional recipes do.
  3. Remove and place in a serving dish.
  4. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle and finish with sumac, pine nuts and smoked Paprika.


Plantain Stuffed French Toast

Serves 5

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 baguette
Butter for frying
2 ripe plantains, sliced on an angle and baked and/or fried (note: you can buy them frozen!) or fry them as indicated below*


Combine the milk, eggs, cinnamon, honey, vanilla, and salt, and mix well.
Cut the bread on a bias.
Add it to the liquid mixture and let it absorb for about 15 minutes.
Cook the French toast until it’s golden, about two to three minutes on each side.
Heat a bit of butter in a sauté pan.
Flatten the sweet plantains and assemble them onto five pieces of French toast and press down with a flat spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the remaining five pieces of French toast on top of the sweet plantains and place in the center of a preheated oven until ready to serve.
*To fry the sweet plantains: Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry the plantains until golden on both sides, about five minutes per side.Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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