Have you ever tried a plantain? You’ve seen them in the stores, they’re by the bananas. In fact, you might have mistaken them for an oversized banana, they look similar.
Plantains come from the Musa genus, same as bananas do- but these guys have several different traits from a banana. First, most people cook plantains rather than eat them raw. They’re starchier, have a way lower sugar content, and are hard. Like bananas, they are unripe when green and fully ripened when the skins turns yellow. Plus plantains are a nutritional powerhouse. Just one fruit contains: potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, and B vitamins. Whew!
Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, my favorite regions- and treated similar to potatoes when unripe. This makes them ideal for steaming, boiling, or frying. I can personally attest that fried plantains, particularly tostones- twice fried plantains, are delicious. You may also remember me telling you about Johnny Mango’s Plantains, they’re awesome too. I’ve even created a plantain pancake recipe that’s unique as it is delightful. In other words, plantains are awesome (because I’m apparently on a roll using the word “awesome”) and you should eat some.
I made those awesome looking ones, platanos maduros (fried ripe plantains), up there not that long ago. I took ripe plantains, ones that were yellow with black spots, and peeled the skins off. Then I cut it in half lengthwise, then again into 8 large chunks. I heated my iron skillet on medium with a bit of olive oil in it. Once the pan was warm, I added my plantains. As the plantains cook, they will (depending on the ripeness of the plantain you used) get softer. I mash mine as they cook with my spatula so that they get flat. I also sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt as they cook. Cook each side until they look like the above. The outside turns crunchy and awesome and the inside turns soft and sweet. Delicious!
I served mine with homemade salsa (I love tomato season!) and a salad. Really, you must try it. It was awesome.