Fried plantains Costa Rican style are also known as pantacones. Each country and region has it’s own style of preparing plantains, and while each is awesome, this is the superior method. The pantacones are soft on the inside and a little crispy on the outside when you dip them into the black beans. Dios mio. Pay attention, por favor.
- Green Plantains: Find the greenest plantains for pantacones. When making buttery, sugary, plantains, yellow moldy is the word. As the plantain turns yellow, the starch turns to sugar and they get soft and sweet, like me. Unripe plantains can be smooshed but they still hold their shape while frying. Don’t believe me? Just try it.
- Black Beans: Mushed up black beans is the business. If you like it saucy, top it with some sour cream Nicaraguan cream sauce, or garlic ailoi. Some recipes call for a food processor but I use a hand blender, which can be used to make apple butter, so there you go.
- Arenal: Consider taking a jaunt to Arenal Volcan in the central highlands of Costa Rica. The lake and the surrounding mountains are home to some of the most scenic regions of the country. While staying in the Epcot of Central America, play on the lake, take a walk with the hummingbirds along a cloud forest trail, or find your way to a restaurant and enjoy some authentic pantacones. You’re in Costa Rica. You can’t lose. It’s almost fancy pants.
The black bean recipe calls for a ton of vegetables. You might even slather it with Nicaraguan cream sauce. Note the jalapeno peppers. Don’t make the mistake of cooking food without them. I did that once and I am still paying for it everyday. Every single day.
Thickness of your cuts will determine how large your cakes will be. Some recipes soak the plantains in water for some time before cooking. This can help your cakes form into pretty round things. I enjoy the crispy, edges of this recipe.
The Nail Travels kitchen used canola oil for this recipe but any type will do. Experiment!
- Green plantains
- Cooking oil
- Peel unripe plantains and cut into two inch segments. The larger you cut your pieces the bigger your chips will be.
- Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.
- On medium/ high heat cook plantains pieces on both side (about three minutes on each side) don't let them burn.
- Set on wire rack to cool
- Put oil on the bottom of a plate. Set a plantain on it. Slather anther plate with oil and push down on the top, crushing the plantain into a cake.
- Fry all of the plantains again on both sides to desired crispiness. It's that easy.
- Let cool on wire rack.
- Salt to taste.
Cook them for varying amounts of time to decide if you enjoy them soft of with a crunchier texture. Don’t worry about reheating them. They taste fine cold. So do the black beans.
Serve with some kind of pretty garnish. I like parsley or cilantro. This is a relatively simple dish to prepare and it gets rave reviews. Pull this off and you’ll be on your way to the cochina suprema.
Thanks to Segway of Fort Lauderdale for recently being hooked up with Nail Travels. If you’re looking for some Segway fun in Fort Lauderdale, these are your guys. You should consider it. At your age and health it might be easier than wake boarding. This top rated activity on Tripadvisor.com is fun and easy. No balance, coordination, or expertise necessary, which is great for you. John and the boys will turn you into a pro in minutes. It was easy for me to ride because I’m naturally graceful and athletic, but everyone else seemed to pick it up as well. Enjoy a scenic tour of the New River and the downtown Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk district. Ask them to show you the coach’s house from when he was with the Dolphins. They still hate him down there. Wayne Huizenga still has a sweet monster pad right down the street. Ask John to let you open up the Segway on the back roads but be ready when the governor kicks in.
Visit the Segway of Fort Lauderdale website for prices and availability and share their Facebook page for free pics and gibberish. Be careful, some of these people are from New York and you know how they can be.
All work and no play makes John a dull boy.