I have a weakness for plantain, which means I can’t walk by the display at the grocery store and not put some in the shopping cart. A lot of times they go bad on the counter and I know this… but I just can’t help myself. Yet again I had some on the counter in the kitchen calling out to me (or was that Caron saying “are you going to use these or let them go bad again?”) so rather than fry them as I would normally, I decided to be a bit creative.
With the addition of the spices and sugar this could easily be considered a dessert, or used as a topping for some good coconut ice cream, but I much prefer it as a side to my rice dishes and the leftover I made sandwiches with. Toasted bread with a thin layer of butter and a few slices of this wonderful cinnamon plantain slices.
3 medium ripe plantains
2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch grated nutmeg
2 tablespoon olive oil (for brushing)
Recipe Edit Notes. In the video I posted below I failed to mention a few things. The plantains I used would have been better if they were a bit riper and I think it would be much tastier if you gave them a good brushing of melted butter. The butter would allow the brown sugar to caramelize and form a lovely coating on the finished slices of plantain.
Start by trimming off the ends of the ripe plantains and discard. Then cut in half length-wise and peel off the skin (see the video below to see how I did it). You will now have two pieces of peeled plantain… slice off (lengthwise) a piece about 1/4 inch. Now use this sliced surface to sit on your cutting board to make slicing the rest of the plantain easier. Slice 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.
Mix together the cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, salt and brown sugar until it’s completely blended.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (makes clean-up easier) and brush it with oil to coat the surface. Now place the slices of ripe plantain on top, brush with the olive oil and sprinkle (generously) the spice mixture we just made, evenly on each piece of plantain. (See my note above about using butter)
Place in the middle rack of a preheated 400 F oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. After 30 minutes check to see how it’s doing.. if you find that it’s golden and a nice caramel coat has formed, you may want to remove it from the oven early. I say this because I know that no 2 oven are the same when it comes to controlled temperatures.
The lovely scent of cinnamon and nutmeg should be present in your kitchen and you’ll be tempted to eat a slice or two as soon as it comes out of the oven… be careful as it will be very hot.
Dad it’s getting black! Yup that’s what I heard the last 2 times I purchased plantains with the intention of sharing the simple recipe for fry plantains. I grew up eating fry plantains as a side to many dishes, but my absolute favourite was making sandwiches with these as the filler. I still recall my mom waiting just until the plantains would be so ripe they’d be very close to going black before she cook them. We were told that the more ripe (or quale) they went, the more sweet they would be. So this is exactly what I was trying to achieve, except with my rather busy schedule I tend to forget about them. Not until one of our girls point them out or when those pesky fruit flies appears, do I remember what I was trying to achieve.
For best results allow your ripe plantains to go a bit dark (it will look discoloured) before frying. In the pic below you’ll notice that the plantains I used were ripe, but were only just starting to go “quale” or discoloured.
1-2 ripe plantains
1-2 cups of vegetable oil for frying.
salt – optional
brown sugar – optional
Start by peeling the plantains. Do so by cutting off the ends and then cutting the plantain itself in the middle (as in the picture below).Discard the ends and get ready to peel off the skin and slice for frying.
Then using a small knife, cut through the skin along the length of the 2 pieces. Don’t go too deep as you only want to cut through the skin. Then peel back the skin and discard. Now cut thin strips (about 1/2 cm or little less than 1/4 inch) along the length of the piece of plantain.
The final step is to fry the pieces of sliced plantain. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently place the pieces away from you to avoid hot oil splashing onto you. Allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side (medium heat) or until it gets to the colour you like (use a fork to flip them over). The darker you allow it to go, it seems to also enhance the natural sugars in it. You’ll also notice that it floats when cooked through.
This is not a dish for the health conscious, since even though you pat dry on paper towels, the plantain tends to soak up a lot of the oil.
I usually sprinkle a little salt over mine and I know people who does the same with brown sugar… but you can enjoy these just the way they are when they cool a bit.
If you’ve ever purchased a rice dish at a Caribbean restaurant in North America you should have come across fried plantains served on the side. The Jamaican spot where I go for my jerk chicken with rice and peas, knows to give me a good potion of fry plantains with my takeout order.
Remember to leave me your comments below.