Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maduros Plantanos (sautéed sweet plantains)

I was introduced to maduros plantanos and tostones (twice-fried unripened plantains) when visiting a Cuban restaurant in Florida. I instantly fell in love with these little golden wedges and knew it was my mission to search high and low to find these back home in Vancouver, BC.

So what exactly is a plantain?
Plantains are used in many Caribbean dishes and treated as a vegetable and not a fruit like it's cousin, the banana. Plantains are rich in starch but low in sugar content, making it a good source of carbohydrates. They're considered the "potatoes" of the Caribbean, yummy!!
Did you know: Plantains, unlike bananas, are always cooked and rarely eaten raw, even when they're ripe. The reasons are because of their low moisture, high starch content and firm texture making them unpalpable to eat raw.
Just this week, my colleague, Veronica, who's originally from Guatemala brought some plantains to the office. Sensing my excitement, she gave me a mini cooking lesson and pan fried them for the office to immediately enjoy.

I was so delighted to learn how easy to was to cook maduros and that plantains can be found in mo
st grocery stores in my neighborhood. So after work that day, I bought some plantains and tested Veronica's recipe at home that night. Success!! Now I'm sharing with you that they're quick and simple to cook and most importantly, eat. Delicioso!!

Ingredients:

- 2 very ripe plantains (the plantain skin will look brownish black)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil

- 1-2 tbsp white sugar (sprinkling)
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Preparation:
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle olive oil when the skillet is hot.
2. Peel the plantains then cut at an angle, about 1/2" thick.
3. Add plantain to skillet and brown each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.
4. Once plantains are caramelized, remove from skillet. Then shower with sugar and toasted sesame seeds.

Try this: You can jazz-up maduros as a dessert by drizzling over them with scrumptious dark chocolate sauce. Or switch it up with some savory goodness by serving them along side a plate of rice with some spicy chorizo sausages and fried eggs. Yummers!!


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