Let me tell you something about my stepmother: She is one of the best cooks I know. And whenever you ask her how she makes something, she makes it sound like she just whipped it up and anyone could do it.
Not true. I am pretty sure she is just being modest because I have tried, and repeatedly failed, to replicate some of her delicious dishes. In fact, this carmelized plantain recipe is one that I completely botched the first time I made it. When you finish reading this recipe, and see how simple it is, you’re going to seriously doubt my culinary abilities, trust me.
Ok, so lets talk plantains, shall we? If you are a little fuzzy on the exact description, they look like this:Indiginous to southeast Asia, plantains have become a staple in many tropical cultures. Unripe, green plantains are starchy and used in cooking much like a potato. For this recipe, carmelized plantains, you want to use the blackest plantains you can find — they literally cannot be too ripe.
First, you’ll gather your plantains. You’ll need about one per person. Peel them, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut them in thirds, so you have approximately 2″ long nuggets of deep yellow goodness.
Arrange the cut plantains on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20-40 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, check every 5 minutes. The plantains should be soft and slightly browned and bubbly, but not hardened and dull brown (I told you I destroyed these the first time I made them!). They’ll come out looking like this:
See that slight sheen? That’s what natural-sugar carmelization glaze looks like. So.Freaking.Good.