Monday, June 29, 2015

Platanos Maduros

The first time I had platanos maduros was when I was on holiday in Puerto Rico. They came alongside my lunch and at first, I was a little apprehensive because I hate bananas. Luckily, plantains taste much more starchy and have zero banana flavor. They remind me more of a sweet potato than a banana. They've got a lovely caramel flavor and delicious starchiness and they're really easy to make.
Ingredients:
ripe plantains (blackened skin)
brown sugar
salt
oil/butter/lard

Start by peeling the plantains. Trim off the ends, score along the length of the plantain, and then rip off the skins.
Cut them lengthwise and then into thirds.
Heat a heavy skillet over a medium heat and chuck in some butter, bacon fat, and/or oil. I went with all three because I figured each type of fat would add flavor.
Sprinkle the plantains lightly with salt and then dip the flat sides into brown sugar and gently tuck into the oil.
Let the plantains lightly fry for about 5 minutes or until they're golden brown and then flip. Let them cook on the second side for about 8 minutes or until they're golden. I like to give them a little extra time on the second side because it's the rounded side.
Pile the plantains onto a plate. You may be tempted to use a paper towel to drain the excess oil but resist that temptation. The plantains will be super sticky with sugar so a paper towel will just lead to disaster.
To complete the meal, I made some red beans and rice, grilled bone-in pork chops, grilled peppers, and cilantro chimichurri.
I piled my plate with lots of food, as you can see. The plantains are super tender and sweet and an awesome side dish. I love the balance of flavor it brings.
Here's the recipe page:

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