About one and a half weeks ago, my husband came home from the store with two greenish-yellow, firm plantains. Neither of us had tasted them much less cooked them! I think I understand from reading about plantains, that if you want to fry. you’d want to use them when they are firm, but also more difficult to peel. To peel them at this stage, you’d need to score them lengthwise, then slice into several pieces, then peel along the score line. I’ve also learned that soaking them for a half hour or so aids in peeling. You would also want to use a mandolin to make uniform slicing easier.
We decided to let ours ripen, and peeling was very easy, not exactly like a banana, as it came off in one or two big peels. These had a somewhat soft texture, and my son described the flavor/texture as a jello-like banana, an interesting take! I sliced mine with a sharp knife, which worked just fine. Having learned that frying at this ripened stage would result in a lot of sticking (due to the sugars), I decided to bake them using parchment paper.
Seasoning was another consideration, and I decided to check out Guy Fieri’s Seasoned Plantains for a general idea. I noticed he had both sweet and savory spices, incorporating cumin, cloves, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, among many other spices as well as sugar and salt. The bulk of these seasoning seemed reminiscent of garam masala, so I decided to use that instead, plus a little salt. Since my plantains were already sweet, I opted for no sugar. So this is sort of the way I think when I cook…this feels like something that should go together and something we would like.
2 ripened plantains
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peel and slice the plantains into 1/4″ slices, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Mix the oil, garam masala, and salt. Using a pastry brush, coat each slice on one side with a little of the seasoned oil mixture.
Bake at 400 F for about 18 minutes or until it feels a little dry but still spongy. I let mine continue to cool on the parchment paper until they were cool enough to handle. Arrange on a plate or small platter, and serve.
These can be served warmed or at room temperature. Lightly sweet, this would be a deliciously healthy dessert, a side dish, or a snack…so versatile!