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Celiac.com 10/10/2014 - If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating El Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, southern Mexican food, then you might be familiar with fried plantains. Plantains are like big bananas. When fried, they are soft, sweet and delicious. They can be eaten as a meal, or as a desert. They can even be served for breakfast with rice, beans and corn tortillas. They are often served with Mexican style sour cream, or ‘crema.’ Fresh plantains are common in the local restaurants, and ubiquitous in the local Mexican and Central American markets around San Francisco. Ingredients: ½-1 cup oil for frying 4-6 plantains (make sure they are very mature, not green—brown and soft is best) Directions: Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Peel the plantains and cut them in half. Slice the halves lengthwise into thin pieces. Fry the pieces until browned and tender. Drain excess oil on paper towels. Serve as a side dish to a main meal, with refried beans and Mexican style sour cream.
"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. Ingredients: 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 Directions: 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.