December 7, 2011

Platanos Maduros

Fried plantains, or platanos maduros, are a real treat worth the work.
But beware - they can be addictive!

First, find a store (such as El Mercadito Latino) that sells really, really ripe plaintains. The skins should be turning black.
This means that they are full of sweetness, being fully mature, or maduro.
Fried plantains with cuban black beans and crispy yucca

At home, peel them and keep the skins.
Slice them about 3/4 inch thick.

Round One:
  • Heat vegetable oil (something with a high smoke point, so it won't break down) in a large skillet, preferably iron.
  • When the oil passes the wooden spoon test, place the slices in and stand back.
  • Flip and brown the second side, so both sides are lightly browned.
  • Remove the cooked plantains, dry them briefly on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Round Two:
  • When the rest of the meal is close to done, bring the oil back up to temperature.
  • While it is heating, place the discs between the plantain skins and flatten them.
  • Then put them into the hot oil for the second frying, and place on toweling again.
  • As they cool, they should firm up but not become crunchy or hard. 
Salt to taste and serve warm.

If you've tried platanos maduros in a restaurant and wished you could replicate them, give it a try! And once you've made them at home, you'll appreciate fried plantains that someone else has cooked for you even more.

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