Since my Arroz con Gandules recipe went over so well, this time I’m sharing one of my favorite Cuban side dishes—one I will fight you over, to the last platanito!
Sweet fried plantains, or plátanos maduros, are a staple of Cuban cooking, but also popular in other Latin American countries. I have learned that in Honduras they are often served with sour cream, and in Venezuela, sprinkled with cinnamon.
But in Cuban cooking plátanos maduros are served “as is.” They go well as a side dish to pork or with black beans and rice. But it can also be served on its own as an appetizer.
As you can see, there’s no great mystery to the process. The critical thing is to pick the right color plantains—with dark yellow and black skin!
Plátanos Maduros Recipe
Two ripe plantains with black skin
Canola or corn oil
Optional: fresh lime
Heat enough oil in a frying pan over medium heat so that the oil is about ¼ an inch deep. As the oil heats, cut the ends off of each plantain, and make a slice along the length of the skin. Unlike peeling a banana one section at a time, you should be able to easily remove the peel in one piece.
Slice the plantain into diagonal pieces anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. When a drop of water sizzles in the oil, add the plantain slices and fry until the bottom is golden brown. Be sure to cook each slice until both sides are golden and the edges of each slice slightly dark and caramelized.
Remove the fried plantains, and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. The slices should be slightly soft. Serve hot!
For a slight variation, squeeze some fresh limejuice before serving.