Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for http://Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for http://Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.
"Platano" is a Spanish word for the fruit we Americans know as the plantain. The plantain is a heartier older cousin of the sweet, commercial banana, and a fruit I think is underused here in America. Firmer plantains are commonly used for savory dishes, but as they ripen, they become sweeter. When that happens, they become perfect for desserts and other sweet dishes.
Look in the dessert section of the menu restaurants across central and South American restaurants, and you will find fried plantains, or platanos fritos.
This version of plantains is quite versatile. I’ve served it as a simple dessert, but it pairs well many breakfast and lunch staples. If you’re able, make extra honey butter to reserve; it's a great spread that complements the plantains beautifully.
3-5 small ripe plantains
2 tablespoons room-temperature butter, plus 2 tablespoons for frying
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
Cinnamon for sprinkling
Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter with honey. Refrigerate until firm enough to spread.
Cut ends from plantains. Slice skin lengthwise and peel. Cut in ¼ inch slices and set aside.
Heat the remaining butter and vegetable oil in a large skillet. Arrange plantain slices in single layer and heat for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm with chilled honey butter.