Platanos con Frijoles (Fried Plantains with Refried Beans)

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Salvadorians know a thing or two about frying plantains. Man I hate to admit it but frying plantains makes them so good. It really brings out the sweetness and starchiness plantains offer. Add to the dish the creaminess of the beans and you got heaven on a plate. Then for a good tangy kick serve with crema or yogurt. Indulgent. Very. It is definitely an every now and then kind of dish but well worth it.

WHAT YOU NEED:

– 1 cup of Salvadorian red beans or kidney beans, cooked;

-1 teaspoon of cumin;

-oil;

-salt;

-1 plantain;

-Crema Salvadoreña or Greek yogurt

WHAT YOU DO:

For beans: Place beans in a blender with salt and cumin.

beans starting out

Add water if needed. Blend till smooth. Meanwhile heat oil in a sauté pan. Add blended beans and heat on medium-high heat until desired consistency.

beans

Add more salt if needed.

 

For plantains: Slice the ends off both ends of plantains and remove peel.

plantains

Place plantain on cutting board and slice in half lengthwise, slice each half in half (now there are four pieces) and cut in halves or thirds lengthwise. The objective is to get nice, french fry looking things. Heat about an inch of oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet until hot (how hot? Use the tip of a wooden spoon or a small piece of bread to test the oil. If small bubbles begin to appear around the spoon or the bread then you are good to go. If huge bubbles appear or you suddenly find yourself with a crouton, let the oil cool down a bit and try again). Slowly, emphasis on slowly, place the plantains in the hot oil. Using tongs gingerly turn over the plantain every few minutes to brown all sides.

fried plantains

Plantains are done when they have nice caramelization to them, think rich coffee colored. Place on paper towel to soak up the excess oil. To serve: Place plantains and beans next to each other on a plate with (a generous amount of) crema or yogurt.

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