Enjoying the Sweetness

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Every now and then is good to try something new. Have you ever tried plantains? Most people pass them by in the supermarket because, either they don't know what they are or they don't know what to do with them. The plantain is a characteristic food of the tropics. From the Philippines to the Caribbean islands, all have a variety of ways to prepare and enjoy them.

There are two ways to eat plantains, ripe or green. We will only deal with the ripe ones here, because we are seeking for a sweet accent as a side dish for any meal. You can have these with rice and lentils, with pasta (believe it or not, the sweetness is wonderful with spaghetti sauce!) and with just about anything you like. You can also have a whole plateful of them with a favorite raw salad and a saucy meat substitute (you will find nice ones if you browse this blog) or your favorite patties.

You will need ripe plantains (they must be firm and yellow in color. They can have black spots on the peel. But, please, don't get the black and moldy ones that are yucky and drip when you touch them!!!) The amount of plantains depends, 1or 2 per person could be used, if you are going to have them as a main dish with patties and a salad. A couple of them will do if you are only going to add them on the side of your main meal.

Olive oil

Salt to taste

Cut both ends of the plantain off. With a good knife, make long vertical lines on the peel of your plantain. Lift it with teh edge of the knife enough so that your fingers can get under it, grab and just peel it. The riper the plantain, the easier to peel. Continue until you have peeled it completely. Lay it on a dish.
When you are don peeling them, slice them diagonally, not too thick but not too thin either.
"Paint" a skillet with olive oil. Heat it enough to cook the plantains in it. Place the slices and
cook them until they are golden on both sides.
Sprinkle a little salt on top if you want to when you add them to each dish.

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