Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Platanos Fritos (Fried Plantains) and Chips

Platanos Fritos:

Ingredients:  One of the ugliest plantains in the grocery store :).  I've been in a store before when they were pulling out plantains to toss them just when they were getting ready to cook.  Ack!  The thing is, they don't look pretty when they are ready.  They have black on them, spots, or even gnats.  THEN you know they're ready!

Peel.  Lay it longways on your cutting board and slice into 3 long pieces.  Stand each piece on end like a tower and slice it downward into 3 pieces.  This gives you 9 slender pieces per plantain.

Heat oil of your choice.  I use Spectrum palm shortening because it has NO trans fats and cooks well for frying.  I use Spectrum but Tropical Traditions organic palm shortening may be more sustainable if I remember right.  If I had tallow or lard I would use that most likely (I'm hoping to get some fat to render soon for another new adventure in cooking!).

Cook the pieces flat side down, turning frequently until they just barely start to turn brown.  Try cooking one a little crispier to taste the difference and see how you prefer.  I'm weird and like the outside pieces of the plantain cooked lighter and the inside slices nice and crispy.  Don't ask me why - it must be a texture thing.

When I think of fried plantains I think of breakfast in El Salvador with fresh French bread from the little store across the street baked fresh that morning, mashed black beans, and real thick Salvadoran cream with coarse salt on it ("kitchen salt").  Mmmm.  A taste of Heaven on Earth.

So, whether you're studying Central or South America in your continent studies or just want to try something new, go for it!

Plantain Chips:

Slice your ripe but firm (not quite so ripe nor as soft as for the above recipe) in thin slices to make circles.  Fry in the hot oil.  Remove to a paper towel or something to soak up the excess oil and salt with sea salt liberally.  Basically, make them as you would potato chips.

I grew up buying plantain chips (platanitos) just like you would potato chips from the store, etc.  If you would rather buy than make, I found some on Amazon.  I sometimes buy a bag at my local grocery store:
Search for plantain chips

This recipe is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday at:

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