I recently invited my mom over for a quaint pizza party—two whole wheat pies were involved, one topped with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, the other with sausage, spinach and mushroom. She arrived with mysterious grocery bag in tow and announced that she would be making fried sweet plantains for dessert, to be served with vanilla ice cream for a banana fosters effect. She’d had some the weekend before at the Lotus Festival in Echo Park, she said, and now she was hooked.
It’s silly, but it never occurred to me to fry plantains at home. Usually I just enjoy them at Cuban restaurants or the homes of Cuban friends. Turns out it’s really easy to do, and I highly recommend it.
Here’s the easy recipe adapted from Yummly—it makes 4 servings:
3 tbsp of unsalted butter (Yummly says use 5, but that’s a little intense for me)
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of natural vanilla extract (artificial is cheaper but not as good)
2 tbsp of brown sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Peel the plantains and cut off the ends. Cut each in half lengthwise.
Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Don’t let it get too hot because they’ll burn easily.
Step 3: Fry plantains in a single layer. Once their bottoms brown up, turn them over.
Step 4: Add cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Let them cook a little longer so that the sugar gets nice and caramelized—you’ll know when it’s right. Melt the rest of the butter to add to the sauciness.
Step 5: Cut into pieces and serve with a big scoop of vanilla.
Delicious and devoid of strenuous effort.