December 21, 2015
Walk into any Cuban restaurant and order maduros and your waiter will know exactly what you want, even though the word technically means “ripe.” In the case of Latin food it describes a very sweet fried plantain that melts in your mouth.
At the grocery store you might look at a pile of overripe yellowish black plantains and think they’re rotting, but that’s the secret to this delicacy. The color of their peel is an indicator of their maturity, and the darker it is, the sweeter the maduro will be. You’ll love these juicy, succulent treats that taste like candy!
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 10 mins
- Yields: Serves 2 - 4
1Peel the plantains by slicing the skin lengthwise. Be careful not to touch the actual flesh of the plantain.
2Slice the plantains into ½ thick pieces, either straight cut or slightly diagonal. (My mom always made straight cuts and that’s what I do.)
3Heat oil in a skillet to medium high. I prefer to use a cast iron pan, but any skillet will do. Use enough oil to barely cover the slices. Fry them for about 5 minutes until they begin to turn golden and turn them over on the other side.
4When they reach a medium dark golden color on both sides remove the plantains and place them on paper towels to drain the oil. You can use brown grocery store bags instead of paper towels, as they also absorb the grease.
5Salt to taste and serve immediately.
Traditionally, maduros are sweet enough to eat without toppings, and they mix well on a plate of Cuban-style meat or chicken, rice and beans. I personally like to sprinkle a few drops of lime on my maduros, but my mother thinks I’m crazy.
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