A starchy surprise awaits you in a fruit which resembles a banana: the plantain. While plantains look like overgrown bananas, do not confuse the two. Preparing plantains requires similar preparation steps as cooking potatoes, since both contain high amounts of starch and low sugar levels. Look for plantains with green skins for starchy dishes or those ripened to completely black skin for slightly sweet recipes. Whatever form of plantain you choose, avoid consuming them raw as they have too bitter a taste before they are cooked.
Make Deep-Fried Plantains
Cut the two ends off the plantain and cut through the skin down the length of the plantain.
Pull the skin off with your hands to leave the whole fruit.
Slice plantains with green skin into 1/8-inch thick slices.
Fill a deep pot with 3 inches of canola oil and heat over high heat.
Drop a handful of plantain slices into the hot oil and fry for five minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the plantains from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat frying any remaining slices. Serve with salt and pepper.
Make Twice Fried Plantains or Maduros
Heat 1 inch of oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat and slice fully ripened plantains into 1 1/2- to 2-inch-thick slices.
Fry the plantain slices in the oil weighed down by placing a saucer over the slices. Cook until dark brown to make maduros. Leave the slices in for only five minutes to begin making twice-fried plantains.
Transfer the slices from the oil to paper towels.
Increase the heat for the cooking pan with the oil to high. Return the plantain slices cooked for five minutes to the hot oil to fry until dark brown and crisp.
Let the slices drain on paper towels before serving hot with salt and pepper.
About this Author
Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.