Monday, February 23, 2009


I love Plantains. Whenever I see them on a menu, I usually get them. I love the texture and the taste and how versatile they are in every form. I love getting Brazilian and Cuban food because I can almost always get them. While we were at The Dekalb Market, Brian suggested we try making them, so we grabbed a few and brought them home.

First we tried making Green Plantain Chips using Alton Browns recipe on Food Network's Website.

Green Plantains

Start with unripe GREEN plantains, peel them and then slice them on an angle crosswise, on the thicker side (you'll see why in a sec).

Slicing the plantains crosswise

Next carefully place them into a skillet with hot oil (heated to about 325* or about med-high)and cook them for about 1-2 minutes, or until yellow in color. Remove from oil and place on a hard surface (like a cookie sheet) lined with parchment paper. Using some sort of a hard utensil, press down and flatten the peices to half the size (the reason for the thickness).

Draining, smashing and soaking the plantains.

Once all the plantains are smashed, quickly put them into a bowl of warm water with smashed garlic and salt in it, to soak for about a minute. Remove, pat dry and return to the oil to fry one last time.

Frying the smashed plantains.

Fry again for an additional 2-4 minutes or until golden brown and sprinkle with salt. They taste sort of like a cross between french fries and potato chips. I ate them plain, Brian enjoyed them with ketchup.

The finished product.

The next night we tried another way to cook plantains with the yellow ripe ones we had as well. This is the more common way of cooking and serving plantains in restaurants. The recipe is also from Food Network, but I slightly modified it by adding some butter to the oil to help with browning.

Start off with some yellow plantains. They should look like very ripe bananas, complete with dark spots and a slight give with squeezing them lightly. Slice them crosswise, like the green ones, about 1/2 an inch to an inch thick.

Peeling, and slicing Ripe Plantains.

Heat a pan with oil covering the bottom and add 1 tbsp of butter, allow it to melt. Slowly and carefully add the plantain slices into the hot oil, browning them, about 2-4 minutes on each side.

Cooking sweet plantains in hot oil.

When they become yellow in color, you can flip them over. They should be very golden brown, almost a caramel color, with darker edges.

Browning delicious plantains.

When finished, transfer them onto paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt.

Draining and letting them cool.

Then eat the hell out of them. These guys lasted maybe 10 minutes.

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