Maduros are made from very ripe plantains that are a blend of yellow and black (not yet mostly black) and are a staple side dish throughout Latin America. They are one of my favorite starchy sides to go with just about anything. I love the way the natural sugars caramelize during cooking to provide a lovely sweet contrast to any savory main dish.
- Yield: 3 Servings
- 2 ripe or very ripe plantains (yellow and black; should give when pressed but not be mushy)
- 4 tbsp (28 to 56 g) fat of choice (coconut oil recommended, but lard, ghee and avocado oil also work)
- Coarse sea salt, for garnish
- To peel ripe plantains, first slice off both tips with a knife, then cut a slit in the skin down the length of the plantain. Lift off the peel with your fingers.
- You can cut the plantains one of two ways: into disks about ¾-inch (2-cm) thick or on the bias (diagonally) into oblong strips about ½-inch (1.3-cm) thick. The latter option results in a more visually interesting dish and is likely how you have been served maduros at a restaurant.
- In a large skillet, heat your fat of choice over medium heat until shimmering, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully add the slices to the heated fat (they should sizzle when dropped in), cooking on each side for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they have turned a nice golden brown and have partially caramelized. Be careful not to burn.
- Serve immediately with any main dish.