Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fried Plantians

I've always been a little curious to try plantains but until very recently I was also a little wary of them. A banana that you fry? Sounds a little scary. Thank goodness I got over my fear and tried plantains with this simple, no fail method. Try it once and I promise you that you won't be sorry. In fact you'll probably find yourself making it again and again.

I started with two large, green plantains. Plantains get sweeter as they ripen and for this recipe you'll want them unripe and starchy.

Start by putting some oil in pan. You need just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. I used canola oil but I've heard peanut oil is good too. While the oil is heating to medium high heat cut both ends of the plantains off and then slit the skin all the way from the top to the bottom. Peel off the skin. If you're really talented you can get the skin off in one piece. I am not talented and my peel was in 14 pieces when I was done.

Slice the plantains into slices 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Precision doesn't matter here. Trust me.

Put the plantain slices into the pan and let them sit there frying for a minute or two. Depending on your pan size you may have to do this in several batches. After a couple of minutes check to see how the plantains look. You want a nice golden brown crust. When you have that flip them over.

After you have a golden brown crust on the other side start taking the plantain slices out one by one and putting them on a plate or other flat surface. With the bottom of a glass smash the plantain down so that all the soft stuff inside squishes out. See, that's why it doesn't matter if they're all the same thickness. If you have a really thick one you just smash it a little more. Try not to get your big meaty paws in the picture like I did.

Return the smashed slices back to the oil and let them brown a little bit more.

See that nice brown edge on the bottom? That's what you're aiming for. You won't ever get there though because by this point you'll have tasted one and you'll be so eager to eat more that you won't care if they're only half done. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Once the slices are nice and on the edges take them out of the pan and lay them on paper towels to drain. Or, if you don't have any paper towels use a decorative napkin that your mother-in-law made. Sprinkle the slices with kosher salt.

Cram them all into your mouth as fast as you can so that your husband and children don't get very many. Let them make their own darned plantains.

These were a hit with my entire family. They're like potato chips but thicker and better and with the tiniest hint of sweetness. Um, the plantains, not my family. Although I guess that description applies to my family too. I'm sorry, I can't think straight. There's a green plantain calling my names. Excuse me.


Charming Driver said...

Oh wow, thank you for this quick and easy method - I have had plantains before and loved them but never tried to make them because I thought it was all complicated and/or too much trouble. Will try these next time I go for groceries.

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