Plantains - Part II



In the my last entry we discussed green, unripe plantains. The famed twice-fried tostones. Now it's time for the ripe plantains, what we call amarillos, yellows, because as they ripen they acquire a magical yellow color; as they ripen further they get darker, until they become almost black which, at this point, they are inedible. But when they reach that ripe richness, their taste is sweet, since they have natural sugars.

Ripe plantains may be cooked as is, and they are delicious. Some recipes call for caramelizing them with honey or molasses. I find their natural flavor is good enough. Back when I was groping up, we would serve them with eggs, scrambled or sunny side up. Today we serve them with almost any meal when it calls for something sweet. They are not a dessert, although some people serve them as such. They are part of a whole meal, and are good anytime.
Inclusive of all of this, we give two recipes for cooking the amarillos. One way is to boil them; and the second method is to fry them. Take your pick.

PLATANOS AMARILLOS (SWEET RIPE PLANTAINS)

Method I:
3 ripe plantains

1. Take 3 ripe plantains and cut in half crosswise at a slant.
2. Boil in water (combined with 1 tablespoon salt) until tender (about 4-5 minutes).
3. Drain and let cool. Cut a slit along the length of the halves and peel. Cut into diagonal slices 1 to 2 inches thick and serve.
Yield: 12 t0 15 slices.

Method II:
3 ripe plantains
Vegetable oil for frying.

1. Peel 3 ripe plantains. Cut into diagonal slices about 1/2-inch thick and 3 inches long.
2. Deep-fry in hot oil until slightly browned and tender (about 3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels.
Yield: 12-18 pieces.


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