P & Ps

A few weeks ago, G had some plantains at a Mexican restaurant when she went with a friend. She loved them, and wanted me to figure out how to fix them at home. I’ve never cooked them before, in fact, only eaten them a few times, but that, of course, is a challenge to me. Last year for Christmas, G. had given me about 5 Rick Bayless cookbooks. I had expressed an interest in his cooking, and next thing I knew–BAM! (to paraphrase Emeril), I had an entire library of his cookbooks. God bless her.

Sad to say, I haven’t used any of them, but I pulled out his “authentic” cookbook and found a recipe for fried plantains. I know that most restaurants deep fry them, but I didn’t want that. So, armed with a bit more knowledge about plantains, a recipe that I could semi-follow (I rarely follow a recipe to the “T” unless it’s a baking recipe and then only the first time I make it), and my previous experience making bananas Foster for large crowds when I worked in the hotel biz, I set about making pancakes and plantains for breakfast.

Not wanting to brag, but they turned out DAMN good! Following is the recipe for the plantains that I kind of made up as I went along. The pancakes were made from a boxed mix.

GG’s P&Ps (pancakes and plantains)

Pancake batter (enough for 5 or 6 medium-sized pancakes)
2 plantains (must be VERY ripe–black, and soft/squishy to the touch)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c orange juice
water for thinning
2 – 3 Tbl. of creme brulee liqueur (I used this, but you can also use rum)
1 – 2 Tbl. cinnamon (or to taste)

Make the pancakes. While they are bubbling and waiting to be turned over, peel the plantains. They are a little harder to peel than regular bananas, so try to keep them whole as you get the peel off. I cut off both ends and slit the peel lenthwise, and did it that way.

Slice the plantains on the diagonal into 1/4″ rounds. Set aside till pancakes are done. Plantains do not oxidize (turn dark) like bananas, so you don’t have to put anything on them.

Once the pancakes are done, put them on a plate in a warm (250) oven while you make the syrup.

Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat, enough to coat the bottom, but not so much to “drown” the plantains. Sautee the plantain rounds in the butter till golden brown on both sides, maybe 3 to 5 minutes per side. If you need to do them in 2 batches (I did), just put the done ones in a bowl on the stove.

After the plantains are done, add about 2 to 3 Tbl of butter to the skillet and let melt. Add the brown sugar and mix with the butter until melted and it becomes less “gritty”. You want all the sugar to melt and be smooth. Add the cinnamon.

Once these have become well mixed and fairly dark, add the orange juice. The liquid will hiss and bubble and the syrup will start to form. Add the liqueur or rum and mix well with a whisk or fork. If the syrup is too thick for your taste, add a little water or a bit more juice. Taste along the way and add more cinnamon if you like.

When the syrup has reached the desired consistency, add the plantains back into the pan and stir or flip to coat. Allow the syrup to come to a simmering bubble. Turn off the heat. Put the pancakes on the plates, and spoon the plantain mixture over.

Enjoy with a fresh cup of coffee or a mimosa or whatever you like.

Yum, yum, yum, on a cold, snowy morning!!



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