If you’ve never had fried plantains you have really been missing out. It’s also totally normal if you haven’t had them. It’s not something most Americans go around cooking up for Saturday brunch.
I first had fried plantains in Cuba. I was there with a humanitarian group (that’s what our visas said anyway. Not that we were there on a missions trip;) and we didn’t eat much besides rice and beans the whole month I was there. But we did have fried plantains once, and I immediately fell in love.
You’ve probably seen them in the grocery store. ^^They look like big, funky bananas. This one is actually green, and while fried green plantains are popular, my favorite are the overripe plantains. If you wait until the peel turns almost all black to fry them, the plantains are sweet and the sugars caramelize when fried. Sprinkle with salt and you have that addictive sweet-salty flavor. They don’t really taste like a banana, just are shaped like one.
While I have been caught eating them straight from the frying pan with a fork, they do make a great side dish to any Caribbean or Latin-American meal. My favorite way to eat them is for breakfast alongside fried eggs and fresh mango.
Also, please forgive the abrupt blogging absence! Last week I had the stinky experience of credit card fraud, then my computer was pitching some serious fits. But we're just about back to normal so look for some more recipes this week:)
Butter or coconut oil
1. Slice through the plantain peel and run the tip of your knife along the length of the plantain. Pull peel off, then slice into 1/4-1/2 inch thick round pieces.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of butter (or oil) in a large skillet over medium heat (I like to use my big cast iron skillet). When skillet is hot, add the plantain slices in a single layer. Allow to cook for several minutes without flipping. You want them to caramelize so don’t mess with them.
3. Once the plantains start to brown, flip and let cook for a few more minutes. Once browned on the second side, remove to a plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve hot.
Notes: I am as white as they come with about 2.5 million freckles, so I make no guarantees as to how authentic my method or serving suggestions are! But I do promise they’re delicious;)
These are best hot, but my little guy loves them cold as a snack. They aren’t very messy at all, so they make a great on the go healthy finger food for little ones.
Yield: I usually cook one plantain for every two people when it’s served as a side dish.
Have you ever eaten plantains?