Just in case you want to try something new. I thought I would add a second quick post.
I have to buy my plantains well in advance. Usually it is an impulse item. When I just happened to pass by and see big fat, yellowing plantains. You know them when you see them.
They are bananas on steroids – not really, but you get the idea.
That is when I buy them and then store them for a week, sometimes more in my fruit basket. Usually my boys keep track of their progress. For days I hear, “I think they’re ready”. No need to ask who “they”are.
I used to fry them too early, giving in to my boys’ pleas, but I have learned patience. It is a virtue and definitely for the cook!
So just in case you are wondering, “How ripe? How black is black?”
Yup, pretty ripe and dark. But no mildew. Sometimes the ends will be a little dry not sticky and soft. Those sections of the plantain are best to cut off, leaving only the soft sticky flesh inside that will caramelize.
After I open my first plantain, I start heating my oil. Corn oil is best, but canola or vegetable are fine. I don’t measure, sorry, I just eyeball the amount into my favorite cast iron skillet. Somewhere between a 1/4 -1/2 inch deep, but closer to a quarter inch. Not enough to submerge the slices we put in.
Those are my slices, straight or on the diagonal, you chose. Cut in 1/4 inch thicknesses.
When the oil seems hot and is shimmering, I drop in a small end piece of plantain to see if it sizzles enough. When it does I add my slices. Careful not to splash, it is hot oil and they do like to stick to my tongs.
Once I have the first batch in, not too crowded, then I quickly open and slice any other ready plantains. They do like to brown like bananas if left on the counter long.
Then I turn them and repeat browning the second side. While they fry I prep paper towels on a plate to drain any extra oil from the fried plantains.
Notice, my oil is hot but not smoking.
These came out perfect. The centers are deep yellow and the edges are dark.
It is just fine to peak at their undersides. Some cook more quickly than I expect, and though a little burned is fine, it isn’t preferred.
As they get to my desired color which is like the above picture on both sides. I remove them and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels. Then add more to the pan, checking my flame isn’t now to high and smoking the oil.
Then I quickly add a Sprinkling of salt to the ones draining so that the salt sticks.
Now for the hard part. Keep my youngest’s fingers OFF of them until they are cool enough for ALL of us to enjoy!
But eat while still warm!
We are talking caramelly goodness here!
Today I used them as a side, but this is the first time. Usually they are an after dinner/dessert treat. Either way I have never had any leftover, usually there is an arguement like, “How many have you had?” Or one of my boys stays by my side standing guard and counts them to divy out a share to each family member or guest.
I hope that you enjoy.
Let me know what you think.