Gone Bananas With Fried Green Plantains & Garlicky Twist




I grew up eating plantains. Every week my mom would bring home bundles of these muscular green bananas, allow them to ripen under the kitchen counter until the skin was mottled with black streaks against a yellow canvas. She'd then pop one into the microwave for 4-5 minutes, carefully slit open the steamed black peel, which would reveal a concentrated, sweet and dense cooked banana. It was almost like a warm doughy banana pudding, very comforting.


So when I ran into plantains again at the grocery store, I decided to make another dish that is considered a comfort food for many South American countries, fried plantains.  When green, these bananas are quite starchy, and have a texture reminiscent of potatoes. Plantains can be served along side any dish that you would serve with french fries. While the fried plantains were good, the next time I try this recipe, I am going to wait until the plantains ripen a bit, perhaps when the peel achieves a mottled yellow. I think the contrast between sweet and salty would be interesting.

Fried Green Plantains
(adapted generously from Gourmet, Sept 2007)
  • 1 large unripe (green) plantain
  • About 1 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Method
  1. Cut ends from each plantain with a sharp small knife, then cut a lengthwise slit through peel. Cut plantains crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces and, beginning at slit, pry off peel.
  2. Heat 1/2 inch oil in a deep 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until just hot enough to sizzle when a piece of plantain is added. Do not crowd, fry plantains in batches if necessary, turning occasionally with tongs, until tender and just golden, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer plantains to paper towels to drain, reserving oil in skillet. Turn off heat.
  3. Flatten each plantain to 1/4 inch thick with a sturdy coffee mug.
  4. Stir together warm water, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Heat reserved oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Dip a flattened plantain in salted garlic water and gently place, without patting dry, in hot oil. (Plantains did not spatter when I did this step.) Repeat with several more pieces and fry plantain, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, turning occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer with tongs to clean paper towels to drain. Season with salt and serve immediately.
Serves 2-4.

38 comments:

Belinda @zomppa said...

I never tried plantains this way with garlic but will have to now - looks delicious!!

Joanne said...

I love all of the cooking you've been doing lately!

Fried green plantains are really good with a garlicky sauce. They are one of my favorite things to eat.

Then again, sweet plantains are also amazing. My favorite way to eat them is roasted on a PB sandwich!

Claudia said...

Starchy and garlicky sounds grand. Haven't seen plantains lately - will keep an eye out. One craves comfort during all the seasons!

Chef E said...

One of my favorite songs is- "I went to a garlic party, and saw a few of my old friends..." LOL I love it, and I also love Mufungo, while in Puerto Rico I could not get enough!

Love this girl!

Pam said...

I love the taste of plantains but have never cooked using them. Now that I have a recipe for them, it's a go! Thanks and have a great day!

Chow and Chatter said...

yum love plantains

Mary said...

I have never cooked with plantains. You've inspired me. These sound simple and delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Plantains were plentiful when we lived in the islands and do I love them fried. This brings back many good memories of the Bahamas Christine. Thanks and have a great Memorial day weekend.
Sam

Gloria said...

This look really yummy! I love it! gloria

Mari's Cakes said...

Delicious post!! I have plenty of plantain trees at home...the touch of garlic is excellent.

Happy Sunday!

Anncoo said...

Sounds interesting! Gonna bookmark it.

Sook said...

Sounds awesome! Looks great!

bellini valli said...

I mist admit never to having had plantains, but I am willing to try:D

Megan said...

I've never made plantains, and I think any time I've ever had them out somewhere, they've been kind of sweet. The garlicky twist sounds very interesting!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I've never cooked with plantains, but I've eaten them several times. Your recipe sounds delicious!

MaryMoh said...

This sounds very delicious. I have never tried a savoury plantains. Would love to try this.

A Canadian Foodie said...

I really appreciate this recipe, Christine, as I have no idea how to use plantains. This sounds really yummy and like something I would eat and enjoy. I am a garlic FAN!
:)
Valerie
PS - what foodie tour are you taking this year, and when?

sophia said...

Mmm!! Tostones!! Yummy! I love that slightly charred exterior!

Barbara said...

What an interesting recipe, Christine! I love plantains...got used to eating them while in the islands. But they were always fried the "normal" way...
Love the idea of smashing them and dipping in garlic water for the final frying.

Esme said...

Christine-did you buy these Friday night-I love plantains. Thank you for taking me out to dinner-I had a great time-it was great to meet you in person. Next time we meet-we need to meet in a kitchen and cook up a storm. I cannot wait to try this recipe.

Lori said...

Mmm...I love plantains. We've only had them in the Caribbean though. On the rare occasion they show up in the supermarkets here. I need to grab one and try this. It sounds great!

tasteofbeirut said...

I love plantains and would not mind having them the way your mom used to make them: so simple and comforting! Like that recipe too!

Trix said...

Oddly, I have only ever made African-style plantains, but I really need to do it your way. This looks great, and Poppa loves then SO much like this he could eat them every day. This is going in the rotation!

John Dryzga said...

Looks very tasty. I'll pick up some plantains this week and give this recipe a whirl.

Asha @ FSK said...

interesting.. plaintains is used so much across tropical countries.. we, south Indians saute the raw plantains with turmeric, green chillies and dry coconut.. it's yumm.. and Hub's family roasts the ripened ones (like your mom's) in ghee for a sweet treat...

and as it happens I have a plaintain at home.. gonna make fried plaintain tomorrow!YAY!

El said...

Your mom's idea is really clever. The plantains look great too!

Elina said...

I love plantains! Better than fries I think. I went through a stage when I made them A LOT with light coconut milk. They were so creamy and slightly sweat. Yum! :)

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

I've never had green plantains but these look wonderful! I'm going to have to look for them at the market.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

How exciting! I've found a place that sells plantains but I never really knew what to do with them. thankyou! :)

Trissa said...

Mothers know best don't they?! I love the idea of microwaving them - next time I'll try this technique.

kat said...

Oh I love fried plantains but can't remember the last time I had them!

www.dhaleb.com said...

Your photos are so beautiful! I love your twist on the mashed plantains. I had my fair share of these fried yummies when we were in Costa Rica but never with garlic! YUM!

Debinhawaii said...

Yum! I love the addition of the garlic to the fried plantains--a perfect combination!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I've only had plantains sweet - love these with the garlic! Great technique.

OysterCulture said...

Love fried plantains, and this version sounds delicious. I usually just peel, toss with a bit of olive oil and bake until done and serve often with a garlicky sauce. I was intrigued by how your mom made hers.

Mimi said...

Nice version of fried plantains.
Mimi

5 Star Foodie said...

The fried plantains sound so good with the garlicky sauce! Yum!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

We enjoyed "patacones" on a trip to Panama and were happy to be able to reproduce them at home for a dinner party. The double frying really makes them delectable!