This recipe is not mine, nor was it my idea to cook. In fact, I almost threw them out earlier that day, thinking something rotten was about to infect our entire kitchen. I am referring, of course, to perfectly edible and delicious plantains allowed to ripen to a nice black color. Gansie often freezes over-ripe bananas and I assumed she had left them out on the countertop, but happened to notice a tiny sticker that said otherwise.
To be honest, I wasn’t too enthused about cooking this Sunday. I had just gotten back from another beating at the Pai Gow tables in AC (well, there is only so much you can lose when you bet on a student income), and had a paper due the next day. While I attempted to educate myself on the finer details on path dependency as it relates to climate change agenda setting, Gansie was watcing the Oscars at just the right volume so I could hear when something good was happening — of course meaning I got up every 5 minutes.
During all this non-paper writing activity, hunger hit. Not wanting to cook a real dinner, Gansie suggested we cook the blackened plantains. After a couple of minutes of attempting to read, the smell of heating oil brought me out of my daze. I am but a simple person at heart, and a chance to fry something can never be turned down.
Note to self, and other potential fryers out there: get yourself a deep fry thermometer. Trying to guess when the oil had reached 375 degrees is not the easiest thing in the world to do, as the first few charred plantain slices can attest to. So after repeating coolings and reheatings, I got the oil to the point in which each slice would take about 2:30 to 3:30 minutes to cook (depending upon how many slices you fry at once). Make sure to flip them a few times with a fork and when you are done, let them cool on a paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Gansie, being Gansie, made a special dip that shockingly included avocado and feta, among other things. Most fried plantain recipes call for some variant of sour cream to dip in, or smother. But take a couple of minutes to make the following, it went great with the plantains.
Yes, I got the paper done…college style, at about 4 am.
Gansie’s Instead of Sour Cream Dip:
mash: feta, 1/2 avocado, lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper