The last time I wrote about plantains, I made tostones. The other main way we prepare them is to make fried plantains, or platanos maduros. While the tostones are salty, these are sweet. You wait until the plantains are very ripe for these. I didn't think to start taking pictures until I had already started slicing them, so here's a picture of the peel that I dug out of the garbage.
These could have been even blacker, but they actually tuned out heavenly. Once peeled, slice the plantain diagonally into five or six pieces (I usually go with five). Here are the two I sliced up.
Then throw them into 375 degree oil...
and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Notice the Sam finger on the left and fork which is attached at the other end to Andy's hand. This is what happens whenever a plate of fried plantains or tostones is put on the table; dibs are placed on which one will be eaten first and by whom.
The plantains were sooooo good, and we were sooooo happy. Mainly because we have not had a decent fried plantain in months. I thought we were just getting a string of bad ones. For a while they were impossible to peel, and when I had finally hacked off all the peel with a knife, what was left of the flesh wasn't all that tasty when fried up and they were tough. So I stopped buying them for a long time. Then I decided to try again, and they were fabulous. So sweet, and such creamy texture on the inside with just enough carmalized-sugar crispness on the outside. Initially I looked at the label and thought, "Ooooo, Equador. I'll have to keep my eye out for these!" Thinking that the other ones I had been buying must have come from Guatemala, or elsewhere. But I think Otto hit the nail on the head. It's because it's warmer now, and they're ripening properly.
Winter, and Spring(!), have been interesting in the realm of bananas. We were waiting DAYS for green bananas to turn the slightest tinge of yellow so we could finally eat them. I think in the South, you can wait a matter of hours in some circumstances to get the same shade change. They ripened so slowly, that in order to make a recipe that called for ripe bananas, I would have to resort to tactics such as this:
Incredible. In Texas my freezer was overflowing with black bananas, and here I have to wait, stash, label, and hide bananas to get them to ripen. But even the bananas are ripening at a decent pace now. I'll have to get my supply of super-ripe bananas in the freezer up this summer to be in good supply once winter rolls around again.