The first time I had a fried plantain, it was in Los Angeles. Jam had been talking about this local Cuban restaurant for years, but since he only mentioned the pork dish, and since, despite certain rebellions on Yom Kippur, I am at heart a Jewish girl, I couldn’t bring myself to get excited about it. Because pork grosses me out. I think it always will. Conditioning and such.
But then one day I was trying to find ways to make liver palatable, and he remembered seeing livers on the menu. And my reluctance turned to excitement, and I dragged him down the road to get some liver. Well the liver was disgusting– no more palatable than any other liver dish (except my own, of course). But the plantains… why had nobody told me about fried plantains before? It must have been a conspiracy, to withhold pleasure from me. For future reference, I don’t appreciate this kind of behaviour.
Served with Steak and Chimichurri sauce. Seriously yummy stuff.
4 large plantains, sliced
2 tb blackstrap molasses
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup chicken stock
lard, for pan frying
salt to taste
In a large cast iron pan, on medium heat, heat up some lard, and when very hot, throw in as many plantains as will fit (I had to do it in 2 batches– if that’s the case, then use half of everything, and repeat for the other half). Add the molasses, garlic, salt and chicken stock, and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a thick paste. Taste one– is it firm but soft? If so, then it’s ready. If it’s still too hard, then add a little more liquid and simmer down again. Repeat for the next batch, if necessary. Serve hot.