Monday, May 19, 2008

Sweet Plantains (and a Surprise Guest)

My Bubby, who is 93 years old this year, used to cook maduros, or sweet plantains. They are a childhood favorite, and immediately conjure images of my grandparents' apartment in Miami Beach--a gold velvet couch, heavy gold drapery, an oversized TV console blasting "The Price is Right," a domino set on the glass coffee table, giant watercolors by a supposedly-famous Israeli cousin and of course, maduros, rice and beans and arroz con pollo at the dinner table.

Really good maduros require plantains that are ripe beyond all imagining: black, oozing syrup and starting to mold (see left). My advice: If you think they're ready, give them another 3 days.

Peel the plantain carefully and slice it on an angle, then fry in vegetable oil, or some other oil that can stand high heat.

Be generous with the oil. I've found that maduros are tastiest when they've fried ankle deep in very hot oil. Flip them once, when the undersides are brown and caramelized, and when the other side is cooked equally, take them out and let them drain on a paper towel. If the oil is very hot, they shouldn't take more than a couple minutes on each side.

This batch came out delicious. Even the squirrel thought so. When we weren't looking, he jumped through the kitchen window, grabbed one, and ran out onto the deck to eat it. Can you blame the little bugger?


talia said...

you can spare some for the squirrel but you don't give any to your favourite cousin? and to think i was going to offer to help you pack/move...

Jessie K said...

Great post. I can't believe you got the squirrel snarfing your plantains!