actually, that ended up being something-else-for-dinner, because they were really inedible. thanks for nothing, adelle davis! your cookbook should be called let's cook it wrong. normally i would blame myself for such a disaster, but this was one of the rare times that i actually followed the recipe, so i am pretty sure it's her fault.
anyway. breakfast for dinner is normally awesome. i got a plantain from the market a little while ago and decided to make cuban breakfast. basically it just involves fried sweet plantains (maduros), black beans, fried eggs, and sour cream (or in our case yogurt). i used to get it all the time at a lovely place on congress in austin called el sol y la luna. here is a picture of the irrepressible michael schaub about to dine there:
he is probably not awaiting a cuban breakfast, though, which is why he doesn't look that excited. maybe he hasn't had coffee yet. or maybe there's just too much thinkin' going on in his head. we did once see a possum there, too, so maybe he's worried about it coming back. i know i was.
possum and coffee concerns aside, here is a plantain. for maduros, you want to get the ones that have lots of brown spots. they are sweeter and less starchy than the ones you use for tostones, which are another style of fried plantain. both types of plantains are more starchy and less sweet than regular bananas.
peel it and cut it on the diagonal into pieces that are about an inch thick.
heat some oil on medium to medium-high heat (i used olive oil, but i think a more neutral one with a higher smoke point would be good, such as maybe grapeseed? i haven't used that, though. use whatever you like! if you use olive oil, though, be prepared for your kitchen to maybe get a teeny bit smokified) until it shimmers, then carefully put the plantain pieces in, ensuring they aren't too close together. if you're making lots of these, you should either do separate batches or use more than one pan.
the oil in the picture below is probably a little more than was necessary, but you want to make sure they don't stick. then just let them cook for a couple of minutes or until they're a nice dark golden brown. let the other side brown, put them on some paper towels or the like to drain off some oil.
then give them a good sprinkle of coarse salt and eat away! their sweetness plays really nicely off the earthy black beans and the richness of the eggs when you eat them in cuban breakfast form, but they'd be good on their own as a snack or maybe with some cuba libres for cocktail hour. i let the ones in the top picture get a little too brown, perhaps, but they were still quite good.