Food + Wine

Roasted, not Fried.

OK, so I’m about to share with you one of my and my husband’s favorite meals to eat on our weekly Friday night/date nights.  This is a big one, people.  Please stay seated and enjoy the show…
 
We’ve been making this meal since we moved back from LA almost 10 years ago.  The idea came from a meal we used to order on many a late and post-party night back in our younger and…more party-like days. There’s a restaurant called Bossa Nova on Sunset and it stayed open till 3:30-4 am every night of the week.  So… imagine how busy this place would get from about 2:30 til closing.  I don’t suppose I have to tell you that there is nothing that tastes better after drinking too much than a big plate full of salty fat and starchy goodness.  But…the plates at Bossa Nova were soooo greasy.  I mean…they tasted awesome at the time, of course, but they don’t hold back on the fat and salt at Bossa Nova.  So once we moved away from LA we started making the meal at home, and 10 years later it is still one of our favorite meals to cook.  

My husband has always been the chef behind it, and it’s always amazing, (Love you, baby!!).  But the other night he wasn’t feeling well, so I took the reigns.  And considering I like to mess with stuff and do things my own way, I decided to play around with one particular part of the meal…the most favorite part…which sounds like an incredibly stupid thing to do…but turns out it was an amazing idea because I came up with something pretty damn cool.  
The entire meal consists of a pan-seared steak of some sort, topped with a pico de gallo, served with spicy black beans and fried plantains.  It.  Is.  Incredible.  The salty meat topped with the acidic and cool fresh salsa…the savory and spicy beans…the sweet and slightly salty plantains….AMAZING.  And…the plantains part is what I messed with…(scary, right?)  I decided to try roasting them instead of shallow frying them like my husband does to cut back on the fat.  We just don’t do fried foods, especially at home, and those plantains were the only thing that we ate that was fried.  That’s why I did it.  THAT’S why I messed.  It was a shallow-fry, but still…a fry nonetheless.  
 
Since these have been my husband’s specialty for years.  YEARS, I tell you!  I was pretty scared to serve them to him, and didn’t tell him what I did at first… but we both decided, at first bite, that they tasted EXACTLY like the fried ones.  It was unbelievable actually.  Just as tender, just as salty-sweet…so good!!!  The best trick I know, and the most important thing to remember when making plantains prepared like this is, whether you roast or fry them, just make sure you are using extremely ripe plantains.  I’m talking more black than yellow here.  I’m talking squishy.  I’m talking THAT ripe.  Once you have that part down, you’re pretty much good to go.
And here, my friends, is what I did…
R O A S T E D   S W E E T   P L A N T A I N S 
(Go ahead and plan on 1 plantain per person…or more 😉

 

*Remember…start with plantains that look like these below or darker.  Really…mostly black is kinda what you’re looking for here.  TRUST ME.

 

Preheat your oven to 450 and lightly coat a large baking sheet with a natural cooking spray or canola/light olive oil.  You don’t need a layer of oil, but you want the entire surface of the pan to be covered so your plantains don’t stick.
Peel your (extremely ripe) plantains and slice, on the diagonal, into roughly 3/4 inch slices.

 

-Arrange your slices evenly on the greased pan and coat the top side of the plantains with either more of the cooking spray, or with more oil.  (The cooking spray makes a more even, thin coating, but use whatever you have!)  Season well with kosher salt and sugar (I use raw sugar…but, again, use what you have 😉

 

Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, checking to make sure the bottoms don’t burn.  Then flip them and season the other side the same way.  Put them back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until both sides are evenly golden brown and tender.  (I don’t know your oven, so the times are approximate…)

 

Serve right out of the oven, (taste and adjust seasoning if necessary) and I highly, highly recommend serving these delicious babies with this meal:
*PAN-SEARED STEAK.  PICO DE GALLO.  SPICY BLACK BEANS.  SWEET PLANTAINS. 

Note-We use different cuts of steak each time, depending on what looks the best at our butcher, and pictured above is the most amazing and delicious 2 inch-thick Ribeye’s I’ve ever laid my eyes on, but the meal is always this.

Make this ASAP, guys.  TRuuuuuuuust me.

(To check out when my sweet husband posted his shallow-fried plantain recipe years ago, click HERE)

Enjoy your day!!!  XOXOXO

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