Monday, September 9, 2013

Cuban Fried Sweet Plantains - Plátanos Maduro Cubano

To go to a Cuban dinner and not find fried sweet plantains (a.k.a. plátanos maduros or maduros) at the table is almost like a slap in the face! It's expected, in some homes ... it's demanded, and some Cuban meals just "ain't right" if fried sweet plantains (maduros) are M.I.A.

Plantains are super versatile - they can be savory or sweet or a little of both. For more information about plantains see my post Simple Boiled Plantains. You are probably wondering how to pick out sweet plantains ... that's pretty easy. If the peel is yellow and has lots of black spots or sections, you got a winner.  There are some folks who prefer the plantain when it's almost all blackened. (This NOT rotted), and the plantain will be very, very sweet, almost syrupy. I prefer to have them at the yellow and black stage. It gives just the right amount of sweetness and texture, that complements the meal. Traditionally, plantains are fried in lard. You might be surprised to know that many Cuban foods were originally cooked or fried in lard. Since migrating to the U.S.A., Cuban have come to use less to no lard and have switched over to canola, olive or vegetable oils. It's a lot healthier, BUT I will say, plantains fried in lard are heavenly! Everyone has a favorite plantain that they have their eye once it's cooked, on the platter and sitting in front of them. And by that, I mean some folks like them a golden yellow, some a golden brown and some, like me , prefer the golden yellow with the crispy almost burnt edges (see photo). In my home, it has turned into a friendly fork fight at times, all in good fun of course. Cook up a batch and see what your family will do fork battle over!

Serves 4

3 - 4 Ripe plantains - yellow & black
1 cup canola or peanut oil

Peel your plantains by cutting each end and slicing down the length of the plantain. Slide you finger along the slit and gently peel off the skins.
Always slice your plantains on the bias.
In a stainless steel pan heat your oil until it reaches 375 degrees. Fry the plantains in batches so that the temperature stays at about 350 degrees. Turn over plantains as you see them start to darken. Depending on how ripe that plantain is how sweet and dark your cooked plantain will be.
As they cool, place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. You do not need to season them at all.

Serve with a traditional meal like Cuban Picadillo with white rice and Cuban Black Beans. ENJOY!

Recipe Notes:
Do not use olive oil to fry the plantains, it will ruin the taste.

No comments:

Post a Comment