Friday, October 8, 2010

Plantains for Breakfast? - Sure!

I wanted to say Bananas for Breakfast.  While it rolls off the tongue, it's not what happened.

Another early morning.  I wasn't sleeping all that well and after rolling around for a half hour, I got up at 530.  Preparing for the walk and feeding Mrs Dog is always fun.  She's my 10 year old.  Middle aged and sometimes cranky, a walk makes her eager.  She knows when she's going to get her breakfast - seasoned with Glucosamine.  1000mg twice a day for a 50 pound dog.  She must like the stuff, she's put on 3 pounds in the last two months.

I strapped on the music for the walk, which in this case was a Fannie Flagg audio book I had been given a while back and headed out the door.   If you get a chance, any of her books are truly wonderful.  Fried Green Tomatoes is one example... and I think I'll have to get the DVD out of that one for the weekend if I have the time.

She was feeling good this morning, it has been cool so we did the Long Walk past the City Hall.  Heading back home I was listening to Aunt Elnor talk about climbing up into her fig tree to pick some to make some preserves for the nice folks down the block and then falling out of her tree.   That was the crisis moment of the book and how everyone pulls together is a wonderful story of small town Americana.  Highly recommended.

I completely forgot about the walk and was smiling as I got into the front door listening to how Tot Wooten looks just like a snow monkey is a proof of evolution - I'm telling you get the book, I can't make this stuff up.

In the kitchen sat three Yellow plantains.  They were in the perfect state of ripeness for a sweet meal.  The skin had passed yellow and was beginning to turn black and brown - the sugars had come out.  

I know that some of you folks come to this blog to read about how I prepare food, and this will be a recipe, but a simple one.   I got the skillet out, a non stick skillet around 9 inches in diameter, and warmed it up to medium - 4 on a scale of 9.   Onto the warm skillet I scooped about a teaspoon of my own unsalted home churned butter and melted it.  Just under the point where it began to bubble was where I wanted it.

Take the ripe plantain and slice it open.   I cut the thing down the middle the long way then sliced each piece into small chunks shaped like half moons about as thick as my pinky finger.  Thicker and you get larger chunks that cook slower.  Thinner and you end up with chips and pretty much have to fry them.  It is totally up to you - this is a recipe that is hard to wreck.

I poured the chunks into the medium hot skillet.  4 out of 9 on an electric range.

Shaking them around to absorb the butter, I then sprinkled a teaspoon of sugar on top of the chunks to give them a light dusting.  You don't need much and at 16 calories per teaspoon, you don't have to worry about that mean Mr Weight Watcher, now do you?

Hovering over the skillet way more than I had any need to, I also put on a teapot full of water to make up the iced tea for the day and a pot of coffee.  

When I checked some of the chunks and found that they had browned to a beautiful toasted finish, I flipped them over and shook the skillet enough to soak the rest of the butter into the sugar and plantains.  

What this resulted in was a toffee coating, hot sweet and crunchy, on the caramelized plantains.   I cooked them until the insides were soft, the outsides were golden brown.

You can add a dusting of Cinnamon to the pan while they're cooking, I have and it is wonderful that way too, I just chose not to this time.

Sampling the plantains while I listened to Aunt Elnor (Yes, that's how she said it) head to the hospital in Kansas City, the teapot whistled for attention and got poured into the tea jar for brewing and the french press for the coffee...

They never had a chance of surviving the 4:30 it took to brew the coffee... I enjoyed each and every one of them.  Oh and one other thing... or rather two.  I have two more Plantains at the peak of ripeness.  I guess I'll just have to make those too.   Want a sample?

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