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During a recent trip to Nicaragua, plantains (plátano in Spanish) were served as a side dish at many meals.  I recall having them in Puerto Rico a few years ago but these were especially sweet.  When I returned home, I bought two plantains at the local grocery store and let them turn almost black, the key to having a sweeter plantain.  The plantain looks very much like a banana but is larger and harder to peel.

Fried Plantains

FRIED PLANTAINS

Ripe plantains

2 ripe plantains
Oil for frying (olive or canola oil)

  • Slice off the ends of the plantains, using a sharp knife.  Slit the skin from tip to tip.  Peel the skin off in one piece.

Peeling and preparing plantains

  • Cut the plantain in half crosswise, the in 4 slices across each segment

Peeled and sliced uncooked plantains

  • Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the plantains, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until lightly browned. Turn and sauté the second side.  To caramelize the plantains cooked for up to 20 minutes on medium to medium-low heat.
  • Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the rest of the plantains. Sprinkle with a little salt. Serve hot.

    Frying plantains

This website is a great link to more information about cooking Plantains:

http://latinfood.about.com/od/latincaribbeancuisine101/a/about_plantains.htm

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