Well, you know what they say. That statement is definitely accurate when it refers to plantains. Yes, you heard me right. Plantains. More specifically, ripe plantains. The darker the skin on the plantain, the sweeter it will be.
If you were to purchase plantains and allow them to ripen at home, it would take about 7-9 days to get them to that dark dar stage. Now, mind you, you don’t want them to be mushy. They should feel the same way a ripe avocado does. Soft and springy, not mushy. When you fry up plantains into tajadas using very ripe ones, you end up with this kind of caramelization. Heavenly!
Plantains are very versatile. And this recipe may be just the thing you’ve been looking for to spice up your Thanksgiving table. Side dishes around the world can be similar, even when prepared with very different ingredients. Plátanos en Tentación (loosely translates to tempting plantains) are a popular side dish in Panama, present on every party and holiday table.
If you’re bored with traditional sweet potatoes or just want to introduce your loved ones to something exotic, you should bring home the tropics with this traditional dish.
Plátanos en tentación (Glazed plantains)
2 ripe plantains (best if peel is dark brown-to black)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
Peel the plantains and slice them in half, lengthwise. Then cut the halves into pieces about 2-inches long.
Place the plantain pieces into a medium-sized skillet (about 12-inches), then sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, salt over the plantains.
Divide the butter into 4 pieces and drop it in the skillet. Cover the plantains with water, this will take about 2 cups of water, add the vanilla.
Bring it to a soft boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves. Allow it to cook until the water evaporates, about 20 minutes.
Once the water has dried, the plantains will begin to caramelize in the residual syrup. Reduce the temperature to low, and turn the plantain pieces a few times to make sure they brown evenly. Serve warm. These can be made ahead and reheated before serving.
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