Cooked Plaintains- Fried, Chips and Picadillo

plaintain - bananaLets fact the fact, cooking bananas (plantains) is Spanish. There are various ways to cook plantains and in Costa Rica they are served with just about every meal. As for me, I love plantains, but to have them fried is not really my cup of tea.

But to almost all my Tico amigos, it is something they grew up with.  

Cooked plantains are very simple to make and great tasting – perfect with almost any meal. Unless specified, the plantains should be green and  very hard. The skin will need to be peeled off with a knife. Most ot the time you can slice up the banana into 1 inch pieces and or cut them down the middle like carrots.  There is a special wooden tool used to squish these bananas – but if you don't have one, you can use something heavy (like a brick wrapped in foil, or another similar object).

Green Plantain Fries
6 Green Plantains; 1/2 cup of oil; 1/2 cup of milk

Peel and cut the green plantains in pieces of about 4 cm. Fry them in oil until golden brown. Take them out and smash them once to get circle of about 2 cm. thick.Dip them in the milk an fry them again until golden brown. Add salt to taste.

Great for accompanying ceviche and fried beans.

fried bananaPlantains Chips
1 or 2 medium size fresh ripened or green plantains; 5 tablespoons olive oil;

The sweet plantains should be sliced thin long ways to create about 1/4 inch strips. In about 4 -5 tablespoons of olive oil cook with medium low heat. Turning several times. Allow them to get golden brown but slowly. The longer the ripened plantains cook the sweeter they are.

The green plantains should be sliced thinly to create thin little oval chips. These should be cooked with medium high heat until they are golden, to achieve this you can dip them in milk. These should be fried and placed on top of a paper towel to drain. Then add salt.

Green Plantains Picadillo
6 Green Plantains; 1 ltr. Cooking cream; 1 cup finely chopped culantro (Cilantro leaves); 1/2 cup parsley; 1/2 sweet red peppers finely chopped; 1 cup onion finely chopped; 2 chopped garlics; 2 tablespoons Worschetershire Sauce; salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the plantains with the skin and cut off the points. Cut each of them in 3 equal parts. Boil them until the skins crack open. Drain the water, peel them, and let them dry out and cool. Shred them in a Jullienne.

Fry the onion and the sweet peppers. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cream. Fry a litlle more and add the plantain, stirring thoroughtly, Add the cream and stir. May served hot or at room temperature as an accompanying dish or as an Hors d'ouvres on crackers.

Serves 18.

Ripe Plantains in Glory
6 very ripe plantains (they should be very black), peeled and cut in slices of about 3 cm thick; 1/2 cup of butter; 1 cup of sugar; 1 tablespoon natural vainilla; cinammon sticks

Fry all the ingredients and add then a cup of water. Let them dry out to custard and then add again un cup of water. Repeat the process once or twice until the plantains are very soft. Serve hot with vainilla ice cream or room temperature alone.


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  1. My wife, our chihuahua, Mercedes and I love plantains!  They have become a staple in our diet here in Costa Rica.  We simply take one plantain remove the peel and then cut it into twenty or thirty slices.  We coat our frying pan with olive oil and put the little discs of plantain into the pan.  We cook with propane and keep the flame fairly low.  Once the "discs" begin to turn a golden brown I flip them over.  Be watchful!  They cook quickly.   I remove them from the frying pan onto separate plates for us.  I sprinkle a little Himalayan salt onto them with a little black pepper.  Then I drip a little honey on them, too.  Scrumptious!

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