Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You Say "Potato", I Say "Plantano"!

Food is incredibly expensive these days and although I am not one of those mothers that is obsessive about buying organic, I do love for my children to be relatively healthy eaters. Ironically, although R. frequently refuses most foods, he absolutely adores most fruits and vegetables. He regularly asks for peas, "mamay" (edamame), stawbewwies and bwoobewies. So, the rising prices of produce (even at the fabulous Russos and Market Basket) makes me turn more frequently to frozen items and the less expensive veggies, such as potatoes and plantains. Molly of the fabulous Orangette offered a delicious and incredibly easy potato dish this week, but although the adults loved it, R. was less than persuaded.

I have had a bit more luck with him eating plantains. You have probably seen them and perhaps wondered why on earth the store is selling incredibly rotten bananas. But, no, they are actually ripe plantains. Incredibly cheap and absolutely delicious. They taste a bit like bananas that are a bit less sweet, but with a firm texture that is almost addictive. At 3 for $1.00, buy them. Now!

Then, take them home and let them get even darker. And darker until they are almost completely black.

Then heat up a skillet on medium heat. I love doing this in my cast iron, but you could use any, preferably non-stick, pan. Pour some vegetable oil on the skillet.

Slice the plantains up and simply saute them on both sides until they are a golden brown and caramelized. Eat them up, hoping that your toddler will also want to share. I highly recommend a sprinkle of salt as it both brings out the sweetness and the flavor.

You can also throw them whole on the grill.

Finally, an odd but recent discovery mentioned in a Cuban food memoir: if you happen to have leftovers just put them in the refrigerator. The next day, after eating a few cold, reheat them in a pan and then pour in some lightly scrambled eggs in and cook it until the eggs are as well done as you like. When it is done, you have a simple plantain omelet. Think of it as a lighter version of a crepe. One more easy meal.

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