Also known as Platanos or Sweet Plantains, this exceptional treat comes to us from the Latin traditions. While there are plenty of foods that I am eternally grateful for, Maduros is definitely high on the list! They’re delicious, easy to work with, not terribly expensive, and high in fiber so they’re actually quite good for you! Now, while being good for you, they’re also quite sweet, like their cousins the Banana, so don’t overdo eating them.
How to make them:
- Most restaurants serve these deep-fried.
- They can be baked/boiled, etc. like a sweet potato, and used in almost all the same ways.
- A great desert recipe for these is Plantains baked in honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- For an appetizer, you can bake them in just coconut oil, or you could add just a bit of sea salt and cinnamon.
- I like to put some coconut oil on both sides, and bake on low temp (with no spices).
How to do Maduros, UPC style!
Cook and Prep time: about 60 minutes
Serves: 1 person per Plantain
Select very ripe plantains, or wait for them to ripen. You will know that they are ready when they are all yellow, and should have some brown spots. Once they are ready, peel them, and then slice them in to long, slightly thick slices. To peel these, I cut the peel down the outside of the curve of the fruit, then peel it off from outside to inside. For the thickness of the slices: we’re looking for slices the thickness of bread, not potato chips – these are best when they have some substance to them!
Take out a baking sheet, put a layer of foil over it, and pre-heat the oven to 325. I also put a thin layer of coconut oil on my baking sheet, but this is not a necessary step. I have just learn from experience that a little extra oil is better than being a little short on it. Plantains can get sticky and soft when they’re baked, which is a very challenging combination!
Heat up about 2 tablespoons (per plantain) of coconut oil on the stove. Once the plantains are peeled and sliced, you can take each piece and dip it in to the coconut oil, then place it on the baking sheet.
As soon as the plantains are on the baking sheet, add them to the oven. If you’re going to spice these, now is the time. I usually don’t spice them; but I occasionally like a little bit of variety, and here is what I do most often when I’m looking for some extra flavor: Take a pinch of sea salt and sprinkle it lightly over the plantains. Then take a liberal serving on cinnamon and sprinkle it, equally liberally, over the plantains. The combination of sea salt and cinnamon will really bring out the sweetness of the plantain!
In about 20-25 minutes, flip the Maduros, and put them back in the oven. At this point, the side of the Maduros which are touching the baking sheet should be a light-golden color. This color will deepen slightly, like you see in my picture up above, while you cook the other side. If you’re using spices, you may want to spice both sides, depending on how much extra flavor you want the spices to add. Just spicing one side will be more than enough, so consider this an advanced technique. Only spice both sides if you’re familiar with the flavors and have done this before. If most of your Maduros are lightly browning, and most of them did not stick to the baking sheet, then you’re in good shape!
Pay attention during the last 10 minutes or so – you want the color of the bottom of the Maduros to match the color of the top. This means that you may have to go check on them every few minutes to see how close they’re getting. You may end up baking these for longer than 20 minutes on the second side. Be careful, though, Maduros are better underdone than overdone.
How you can use Maduros:
- You’ve seen me serve them as a side many times on my blog. I’ve served them along side beef, pork, chicken, etc.
- You can chop them up and put them in a salad.
- They make a great appetizer, or desert.
- You can store them, they’re almost as good cold as they are hot!
For a bit of information on what is a Plantain, and how it’s different from a Banana, take a look at this post from grabemsnacks.com:
And finally: Enjoy! For more Plantain recipes, keep your eyes peeled! I love Plantains, as you’ve see with the Mofongo Paella (yes, it’s made with green plantains) – and will definitely be using them more!