It’s like a banana, but better!

Today was a lazy, snacky day at home.  For dinner I decided I didn’t need much… just something a bit sweet, yet savory at the same time.

I knew exactly what to make.

Oh hi beautiful fruit!

Before my first trip to Puerto Rico, I always thought that plantains and bananas were essentially the same things.  I had certainly never tried one before.  Now, I know better and they are one of my favorite foods.  A staple in Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean, you can get your plantains several different ways, depending on the ripeness of the plantain:  mofongo, tostones, and amarillos.

I’ll go into the other types of plantains and how to cook them as I learn, but tonight I knew I wanted amarillos.  Amarillos are yellow, very ripe, sweet plantains lightly fried in a frying pan.  These are so fast and easy to make and make a great snack or side dish!

Ingredients:

  • Plantains
  • Oil
  1. Pick a very ripe yellow plantain.  You may notice that the one I have above looks black and kind of bad on the outside.  While this is a bad thing for regular bananas, it is GREAT for amarillos!
  2. While you heat up your skillet with a thin layer of oil, peel and slice up your plantain.  It is typically difficult to peel a plantain, so use your knife to cut a slit the length of the plantain and peel from there.
  3. Place your plantains on your skillet and lightly fry them on both sides until they start to brown slightly and are a bit translucent.
  4. Take them off the skillet and soak up some of the oil with a paper towel

These are typically served as a side dish in Puerto Rico, but I love to have them for dessert as well.  Cooking time total?  Around 8 minutes, including prep.  For those of you interested in calories the only thing I could find (here) says that fried plantains have about 116 calories per one cup, with 3g of fat.

Doesn’t get much better than that!  I know that plantains aren’t local, but I’m not quite ready to give them up for that reason. I’m so happy that I can get these without going all the way to the islands.  I see more homemade Puerto Rican meals in my future…

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