And now, for my top three favorite ways to eat platanos.
Mangu (mashed plantains)
4 unripe (green) plantains) 4 tablespoons of butter
1 large onion 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Before beginning: Peel the plantains and cut into 8 pieces.
Boil the plantains adding 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. When the
plantains are very tender turn off the heat. Take the plantains out of the
water and mash them with a fork. Add the butter and 1/2 cup of water at room
temperature and keep mashing until you obtain a smooth puree.
Cut the onion into strips and saute until it turns transparent.
Serve with eggs or fried cheese.
Tostones (flattened fried plantains)
2 unripe (green) plantains 4 teaspoons of cold water
1/2 teaspoons of crushed garlic 1/2 cup of oil
Peel the plantains and cut into 1 inch-thick slices. Heat the oil in a deep
frying pan and fry the plantains till golden brown on both sides. Flatten
the plantains to half their original thickness using a tostonera (or the
bottom of a flat bottomed glass bottle). Fry the plantains again for about a
minute, rotating half-way through. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve hot.
This last step is optional: Mix the water and the crushed garlic. Stir and
pour over the plantains.
Baked/Fried Maduros (yellow plantains)
4 very ripe plantains (when the skin is yellow with spots of black)
cooking spray or olive oil
Optional: cinnamon and brown sugar and/or vanilla to be sprinkled on plantains before baking.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut the ends off of the plantains and peel. Cut each plantain on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange in single layer and coat tops with cooking spray. Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until plantains are golden brown and very tender.
(Also, yellow plantains can be fried. Cut into slices or 1-inch discs and fry in oil until golden brown or a little black.)
Very important read: “How to peel a plantain”