I’m so glad to have Alejandra Vidal of Imaginale back as a guest blogger. She asked me what I’d like for her to share and I immediately knew what I wanted: platanos! I have seen Ale post and tweet about the amazing dinners that her and her husband, Jose, prepare, and usually they include something called “platanos”. I had absolutely no idea what they were, or how to even go about cooking some. Thankfully, Ale is sharing with you and I today how to prepare this delicious treat!
Let’s just say it’s no surprise that if I am guest blogging – I’ll either be talking about photography or food. Seriously. Lucky for you my lovely In Sweet Violets readers, this one is a special treat!
I eat platanos like they’re going out of style. And no my friends, I did not just misspell pineapple. I am referring to plantains – brothers to bananas but much larger in size.
(Unfortunately I only had one, very ugly, banana to compare my plantain to.)
Platanos can be cooked green (will be starchy) or very ripe (will be deliciously sweet).
Step 1 // Picking Your Platano
In order to make the sweet plantains, you must pick them when they are tender to the touch, and the darker the peel is the sweeter the platano will be (i.e. more ripe). Don’t let the black spots scare you!
Hold it up to your nose and smell the platano. You should be able to smell the ripeness – which will pretty much smell like a ripe banana *Quick tip: this works for picking the best pineapples – smell for ripeness!
There’s no need to smell it if the platano has black spots because clearly that means it’s ripe. However, there are some grocery stores where most of their platanos will be on the greener side so I just pick one and let it sit on my counter until it’s ready.
Step 2 // Preparing Your Platano
Cut the ends first.
Cut your platano into 3 sections.
Slice the peel for easy removal.
Slice each section into 3 to 4 slices (depending on how thick your plantain is).
*** Shout out to my husband’s manly hands ***
Step 3 // Cooking Your Platano
Coat the bottom of a medium sized skillet with cooking oil – enough for the platanos to fry in but not necessarily swimming in (i.e. not submerged in oil).
Heat oil over medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready if the platano lightly sizzles when you dip it in the oil (but don’t let it get too hot!). Once you’ve added your platano slices, let them fry in the oil, checking the bottom constantly for a light brown color like you would for pancakes. Once the bottoms have gotten a nice caramel color, flip each slice with a fork.
Keep in mind that some slices are thinner than others so they will have to be flipped earlier and removed from the heat earlier. Have a small plate with a paper towel handy to place your platanos on.
YUMMM!! These babies will be VERY soft so you might have a little difficulty at first handling them when they’re cooked. The taste is basically like a delicately caramelized banana. The sweetness pairs perfectly with a savory meat like pork chops or steak.
And that right there, my friends, is what I’m constantly obsessed over. A staple in my house growing up and something we have regularly at the Vidal’s. So when are you guys inviting me over for dinner? Kristen?? Thank you guys for having me and I hope you give this dish a try!
Thanks Ale for sharing your love and knowledge of our “banana brothers”. The only thing more delicious looking are your incredible photographs of food. I can’t stand it any longer, I’m going to my local market right now to pick up a few plantains for dinner tonight and making PLATANOS!! Yum!