Sunday, April 6, 2014

History and Preparing the Platain Banana

Hello my peeps...its so nice to see you again.
I have posted many recipes with plantain bananas, but today I am teaching you a little bit concerning this tropical food.
Plantain bananas are usually grown in tropical countries. They can sustain intensive heat from the sun and this crucial heat helps them grow. Plantains are a member of the banana family. They are a starchy, low in sugar variety that is cooked before serving as it is unsuitable raw. It is used in many savory dishes somewhat like a potato would be used and is very popular in Western Africa and the Caribbean countries.
 Plantains are usually fried, boiled or baked.
Green Plantains fried. They are usually eaten with rice & beans, with sea food, and with any root family. 
Ripe Plantains are yellow in color and they can be fried, stir fried or boiled. When ripe they are very sweet. They are usually eaten with any meal but they are eaten for breakfast in many countries as a side dish with eggs.

Plantains are native to India and are grown most widely in tropical climates. Plantains are sometimes referred to as the pasta and potatoes of the Caribbean. Sold in the fresh produce section of the supermarket, they usually resemble green bananas but ripe plantains may be black in color. This vegetable-banana can be eaten and tastes different at every stage of development. The interior color of the fruit will remain creamy, yellowish or lightly pink. When the peel is green to yellow, the flavor of the flesh is bland and its texture is starchy. As the peel changes to brown or black, it has a sweeter flavor and more of a banana aroma, but still keeps a firm shape when cooked.

Plantains grow best in areas with constant warm temperatures and protection from strong winds. They have been grown in scattered locations throughout Florida since the 16th century. Because of the occasional freezes, Florida is considered a marginal area for plantain production. They are available year round in the supermarket.
Green plantain can be fried and served as a side dish sprinkled with salt to increase the flavor. They can be boiled and served with olive oil and salt, cut in thin slices and then baked to eat as chips and it can be boiled, then mashed well mixed with lots of mashed garlic, salt & pepper for taste and olive looks like mash potatoes. This is called MOFONGO. It is delicious.
Highly Nutritious
  • Good Source of Potassium and
    Vitamins A & C
  • High in Dietary Fiber
  • Energy Booster -
    High in carbohydrates


    Here is the way to peel a plantain. It can be peeled or sliced.

    Slicing it allows you to manage the slimy texture but I prefer to peel it whole.
     This is me peeling a plantain. First make sure your knife is very sharp, then as you peel the plantain constantly rinse it in cool water because the plantain oozes a slimy liquid that tend to stain a bit the hand. By rinsing it in water as you peel prevents your hands from staining.

    Slice the plantain down the middle then with your knife slowly push back the peeling, like the photo below.

    By moving back the peeling with the knife you will remove the hard peeling from the plantain.

    This is the peeling to be discarded. 

    Then slice the plantain on a slanted angle and immerse them in salt water for about 10 minutes.

    Then put to heat up the skillet with oil to fry the plantains. Make sure that before you throw in the hot oil the salted plantain they should be damp dried with a paper towel to prevent splattering of the hot oil and personal skin burns. Place them in the hot oil and once they become a light tan color remove them from the pan and press them well with a plantain presser or you can use the bottom of a glass bottle. Press downward until the plantain oozes outward. Then re-fry them until they are golden brown. Place them on a dish covered with about 3 paper towel to drip dry, sprinkle salt over them and eat them hot...ENJOY they are DELICIOUS!

    From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours...SALUD!

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