Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fried Plantains

The sous chef and I first discovered this tasty treat at Cuba Libre in Dallas, TX when we had dinner with friends from college. We couldn't believe that this chip, resembling a banana, was actually used to dip in salsa?!?! No way. Could this really be? From then on, my sous chef and I have loved to find restaurants that would serve these lovely delights at a restaurant near us.

Well, last weak, I was preparing a seriously light meal from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes (more to come on that), and, because it was so light, I decided to surprise my sous chef with his favorite salsa accompaniment. Since one of his best buds, Kevin, was joining us for dinner, I knew that might make him stand a little taller that his wife made him something special and he would be able to share something new with someone. So, I picked up 2 plantains at the grocery store. I found this recipe on the Food Network website and thought it was fairly simply to try, and it was. However, I didn't like the thickness that the recipe called to slice the plantains into.
Here's the recipe from the site:

2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 green plantains

Combine water, garlic and salt in medium size glass bowl and set aside.
In a large (12-inch) saute pan, heat oil to 325 degrees F. Peel plantains and slice crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Carefully add plantains to oil and fry until golden yellow in color, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. (The oil should come halfway up the side of the plantain).
With a spider or slotted spoon, remove the plantains from the pan and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, standing them on their ends. With the back of a wide, wooden spatula, press each piece of plantain down to half its original size.

Then place the plantains in the water and let soak for 1 minute. Remove and pat dry with a tea towel to remove excess water.

Bring oil back up to 325 degrees F and return plantains to pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a dish lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

I personally think the plantains should be sliced much thinner than this recipe suggested. For those that were sliced thick, they did not taste bad, but it's just nicer when they are crispier, therefore thinner. Watch yourself when you take the plantains out of the garlic and salt bath and place them back into the skillet; they fry a lot and splatter all over the place. I'd suggest a splatter screen for sure if you have one.

Make these soon! Wait for the salsa recipe that I'll post soon though; it compliments these well :)

By the way, this is filed under both fruit and vegetable because people differ on decifering which category it belongs to.

1 comment:

  1. There is nothing that I love more than fried plantains w/ black beans and rice. Yum yum! I can't wait to try your way of making it.

    Are y'all doing Weight Watchers? Nick and I have been doing South Beach - I've lost 6 lbs, Nick has lost 10 lbs!



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