Posted by Olga and Rick from 188.8.131.52 (chi-30-a-130.chi.dsl.cerfnet.com) on Wednesday, April 03, 2002 at 12:56:09 :
In Reply to: Platano maduro asado posted by Gretchen from 184.108.40.206 (?) on Wednesday, April 03, 2002 at 00:09:26 :
Sure, you can do this at home. We plan on doing it! It’s really easy.
When you go shopping, make sure that you get the platanos (plantains) that are deep yellow to dark brown to (almost) black. Those are the sweet ones (the green ones are called platano verde and are simpler tasting. You can fry those up and make tostones, patacones or tajaditas, but those are other recipes altogether!)
Make sure you peel them well. The outer skins are very tough. (You may need a knife.) Once you have peeled the platanos, make sure you take off any loose threads or interior skin. Place them in aluminum foil or in a shallow baking dish. Make sure that the platanos are covered so they don’t burn or dry out. Bake at 325o for 15-20 minutes but keep checking every 5 minutes or so. You will need a fork to determine its softness. Don't let it get too gooey because it will fall apart. Just make sure it is firm enough to cut through yet soft enough that it will dissolve nicely as you eat it. (As you get used to making them, you will find the consistency that you’ll like best.)
Once done, place them on individual plates or a platter. Split them lengthwise (careful, they’ll be hot!). Then proceed with the dribbling of sweetened condensed milk, the strawberry preserves and cinnamon. Then, INDULGE!
Other variations: Puerto Ricans usually eat them plain or alongside a meal of roasted pork, rice dishes or other “heavy” foods. The natural sweetness of the platano offsets salty foods. In Honduras, we drizzle it with "mantequilla rala", a sour cream-like liquid. In Colombia, they split the platano lengthwise before placing it in the shallow dish. In the last 7-10 minutes of baking, they slip pats of butter and sliced conserva de guayaba, guava, etc. and allow it to melt/soften. ("Conserva de …" is a firm, gel-like sweet that comes in blocks. The guayaba, guava, etc. is the fruit that was used to flavor the sweet treat. You can usually find these in specialty or ethnic food stores. It’s very tasty to eat right out if the package if you have a strong sweet tooth!) In the upscale “Nuevo Latino” fusion restaurants in Chicago, I’ve seen them prepared with ice cream and/or chocolate.
Good luck with your culinary adventures! ENJOY!