Thursday, October 20, 2011

How To Cook Plantain the Latin Way

For those of you that don’t know us in real life, the kids have an (obviously) Spanish last name. Their paternal grandparents are from Panama (Hola Abuelos!).

One very latin food (and I’m sure it’s popular in other cultures and countries) is Plantain. The kids absolutely love it. It’s so popular that it could be used as a barter to eat other less popular foods (not that I would ever do that…).

I’ve turned a couple of friends onto all of it’s greatness and thought that I would continue on with my plans for “worldwide domination of plantain” (“go big or go home” is my motto). Note that it’s readily available (and has been for a while) in most grocery stores (even out in the boonies where we live).

There are many ways to cook plantain. Here is what we do.

Method one is the the Mexican Way (and my favourite).

Use ripe plantain. Slice not too thick. Put enough oil to cover the bottom of your large frying pan. Turn to high and put plantain in before it’s hot (or don’t, find out which works better for you). Just before it gets really hot, turn it down to medium-ish. When they get golden on the bottom and are still firm (not hard), but not gooey, turn them over (maybe 3-4 minutes!?). Cook on the other side (it should take less than on the first side). Pat dry with papertowel and let sit for a few minutes. I break them up before I give them to the kids because the inside stays really hot for a while. If eating yourself, dip each one in a pile of salt (yes, you should be able to see the grains) and enjoy. Note to grandparents, no, I don’t put any salt on the kids share. Speaking of which, I’ve started to cook two at a time because they love them so much.

The key is to not cook them for too long at too high a heat, otherwise, they’ll go hard. You can still eat them but my kids won’t because they’re not as sweet.

Method Two is the Panamanian Way.

The differences here are to use GREEN plantain, cut them into thicker slices and cook for just a minute or two (on both sides), just until they’ve gone a light yellow colour. Place them on a cutting board, sprinkle with garlic powder, mash flat with can, refry them (on both sides). They should turn out harder and not as sweet. Coat with salt.

When selecting ripe plantain, black and soft is not bad, only if the banana has started to rot. Less black (than pictured) is fine.

Have You Ever Cooked or Eaten Plantain?

You’d think that I was an only child either that or my parents spoiled me. Let’s just say that I’m not an only child…

One thing that I really don’t like sharing is my favourite foods unless there is so much of it that if I ate it all I’d be sick. Even then, I don’t LIKE to share.

So, today while Ed was out (limiting my requirement to share), I made myself one of my favourite lunches; hungarian salami, bagels with cream cheese, sliced onions, smoked salmon, capers and cottage cheese (note that we didn’t have any cambozola or caviar). I wasn’t too worried when “the mooches” started to show some interest because what kid(s) likes any of that.

It ended badly… for me. I shared. I eventually had to give them their own bowls (and they’d just had lunch).

And some cuteness from yesterday.

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