Jorge Castillo: The dish is made with plantains. It's not, strictly speaking, a banana, but it is related.
Glenn Lindgren: To make platanos maduros, your plantains need to be very ripe, almost black! They are very sweet at this point.
Raúl Musibay: We're talking fried, sweet plantain!
Jorge Castillo: Many people insist on frying their platanos maduros in lard. It is believed that the plantains don't absorb as much oil that way. We've also had good success with shortening and many people use a liquid vegetable oil -- even butter.
The sweet fried "banana" served as a side dish in just about every Cuban restaurant.
INGREDIENTS:3 large ripe plantains, peeled and bias cut into 1-inch thick slices. Plantains must be very black skinned!
Your plantains need to be very black, so black you think you should throw them out.
Peel and bias cut (diagonal) into one-inch thick slices. Heat the oil until medium hot -- a drop of water will sizzle.
Fry the pieces briefly, about a minute or two per side. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, turning occasionally until they are brown and caramelized.
VARIATION: Some people like to lightly roll the plantains in white or brown sugar before frying.
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