was this wizened newspaper clipping. "Versatile, delicious plantains," it claimed. I believe this article was written sometime during the Carter administration.
The article gave me ideas.
For its first suggestion, I selected the greenest plantain,
then peeled, sliced, and boiled until tender (at least five minutes).
Drain, mash, and season like potatoes.
Suggestion number two: using the medium-ripe plantain, I again peeled and sliced. (Peeling, by the way, takes effort. You don't just peel these babies with your hands like you would a banana. You will need a knife, a sharp one, to pare the skin off.) Saute slices in butter until brown and a bit crispy. Sprinkle with salt.
These make a decent side dish or after-school snack for kids. They're potato-y, kind of like mini hash brown patties you'd get at a fast food restaurant.
The third suggestion was for "fully ripe" fruit. Aaaah, dessert time. I'd saved my blackest plantain for this one.
A surprise, however, was in store. When I cut off the skin, the fruit inside was mottled. My little newspaper clipping had not warned me about mottled fruit. I wasn't sure I wanted to eat mottled fruit. So using my trusty vegetable peeler, I cut off the mottled parts.
Leaving me with this. Posed next to regular bananas for the full effect.
It was a plantain stick. A plantain nugget. A little itty-bitty, mini-plantain.
Not only that, my mini-plantain was very firm. Not much different from the other two. My hopes for a glorious dessert were dashed.
Ditching the article, I decided to slice and saute what was left in butter, salt it and sprinkle with sugar. Hmmm, not bad. Probably the best of the three.
My conclusion? Go visit Michelle over at Big Black Dog blog
. When it comes to plantains, that girl knows what she's doing.
So what do you think? Have you ever eaten plantains? Ever cooked with them? Do tell.