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Very dark, soft, caramelized plantains--how?

angusb | Apr 3, 200811:19 AM

I used to eat at a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Bossa Nova just for their delicious plantains. They were listed on the menu as fried plantains, and they were very soft, and extremely dark and sweet. I have tried to recreate them on my own with limited success. The closest I could find was a recipe online for "platanos en tentacion" which involves frying the ripe plantains in oil and butter, then boiling them in a sugar syrup until it is reduced to a glaze. They were much sweeter than the ones I am trying to create (which may have been cooked with sugar, but which were not "glazed"). Also, the plantains were firm inside, despite the fact that they were almost completely black (less than 10% yellow left), and that the first step in the recipe is to beat the plantains with a wooden spoon before peeling them to soften them up.

I have considered slicing them lenghwise into a couple of pieces rather than on a slant, to create thinner slices, in the hopes that they will cook more thoroughly and be softer (the outside of the fruit seems softer than the core, which always remains firm for me). Also, maybe beating them more vigorously to soften them even more before peeling. I was also thinking about boiling them until they were soft and then frying them.

So, any ideas or recipes you can share? I have many more plantains ripening right now, so I'll be trying another method soon, and I'd appreciate any advice or help.



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