I adore plantains. I crave them. I admit that there are weak nights, when I am alone, that I will have fried plantains for dinner and nothing else. Salty, crispy, starchy heaven. My love for them may be greater than my love for potatoes. However, for lovely, savory twice fried plantains, you need to have green/yellow plantains. Around here (and by here I mean the majority of America) they don't sell terribly well, so the fruits may sit in the store for awhile. There is nothing wrong with that, but they do continue to ripen. When they turn black they aren't rotten. They are simply soft and sweet. It is almost like a completely different fruit than the green ones.
For our fight night menu, the only ones available were black. Which was perfect because we were using them for dessert. That's right: dessert. I can't actually claim credit for this recipe. It was Louis' idea. I am fixated on savory fried plantains so I didn't even think of a sweet application. It was a great idea. You can fry them the first time and smash them before people arrive then second fry them right before service. I made a huge platter of them and they were devoured! This recipe really depends on how many people you intend to feed. Plan on one large plantain for every two people. Then maybe make a few extra, just for good measure.
6 black plantains
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Pour oil into a cast iron skillet (1/2-3/4 inch). Heat over medium. To test oil, place the end of a toothpick into the oil; if bubbles rapidly rise from the toothpick, it is ready.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Peel and slice plantains on a bias about 3/4 inch thick. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel. Use a wooden spoon to gently smash the plantains. Fry again for 1-2 min per side; until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. While still hot, sprinkle liberally with sugar mixture.
Drizzle with chocolate and caramel.*
*For easy and pretty drizzling, put sauces into plastic condiment bottles. They will probably need to be spooned into the bottles then warmed through for easy application. Wrap the bottoms of the plastic bottles with foil and gently heat in simmering water to warm the sauces.
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