There are so many things that I love about food, not only because it’s delicious, but it also an amazing way to remember. Every time I make meatballs, I feel totally connected to my Italian heritage; when I chop any vegetable I remember how precise my Grammy was when she chopped; when I make split pea soup I remember how Nana says smoked shoulder makes the best.
Food connects us to people, traditions, and even places. When we were in St. Thomas, I ate plantains at nearly every meal. They are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. So, when I found plantains at the grocery store ($1 for four!) I couldn’t help but want to replicate them myself. Think of it as a Caribbean vacation on a plate.
This dish is by no means healthy, even if you are technically eating a fruit. The best way, and the traditional way, to eat plantains are fried. Now, I slimmed the recipe down slightly by pan frying them instead of deep frying them. However, the key is butter. So, you win some you lose some.
The first step is buying the plantains. When I bought them, they were this green color, however for them to be ripe and sweet they need to turn mostly black. This took a few days, but sometimes you may be able to find them ripened in the store.
Peeling plantains is slightly harder than a banana, even when it is ripe. Just do a shallow slice down the side and open it up like an envelope. Slice them on a diagonal (more surface area for the frying!).
Melt a combination of butter and oil in a sauté pan. For each batch I probably used a ½ tbsp. of each, if you are not being health conscious feel free to add more. Once the butter is melted, add the plantains and brown on each side. This takes about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Drain them on a paper towel and season with salt. Keep them in a warm oven until you are ready to serve. (They don’t last that long in my house though!) Then enjoy the amazingness of plantains…
You could also sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet alternative.