1. I LOVE to travel (see here and here)
2. I dislike cooking (but love making this and this)
3. I can tolerate cooking if it's in some way connected to my travel :)
So, knowing that, a week ago I set out to cook another favorite from my visits to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic: Plantains! They are delicious, can be a side to a meal (served with salt or ketchup on top), or as a dessert with cinnamon cooked on top.
Why plantains? According to self.com, plantains are "very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Potassium" (see here for other nutritional data). Plantains always need to be cooked-they cannot be consumed like a banana. I'll go step by step through the cooking process with pictures. Side note: There are many ways to cook plantains and many things to do with them-this is simply one way. They can also be mashed and made into little patties-this is also delicious.
Ok, so here we go:
1. Here is a plantain. They can be cooked when they are green, yellow, or brown. The more ripe, the sweeter they are. They need to be cooked differently, so look up directions!
2. Peel the plantain. This isn't as easy as a banana. It may be easier to cut both ends off the plantain to start the peeling process.
3. Cut the plantain into small pieces using diagonal cuts. DO NOT cut straight across. Don't make the slices too thick.
4. Warm up a pan (medium or medium-high temp, and cover base of pan with a thin coat of oil.
5. Put plantain slices into the frying pan and let it cook. Once it's browned, flip over and let the other side cook.
6. Voila! There you are! If you want cinnamon or salt, you can put on immediately following removal from the pan. If you want to put another dressing on top, go for it. It's delicious!!!
Did you watch the Academy Awards last night? What was your favorite look/movie?
If you'd like to watch a video on this process, here are a few links:
colombian patacones, fry 6-8 min
ecuador mashed plantains filled with cheese (empanadas)
Venezuelan patacones with cheese
ripe for plantain fritters