I’ve been listening to a lot of Jack Johnson recently which makes me daydream of the beach. Usually, Jack Johnson makes me think of Southern California beaches like San Diego or Malibu, sometimes even Hawaii when I’m really in the mood for a vacation. Every now and then Miami Beach is thrown into the mix. Kinda random since Miami is more Pitbull than Jack Johnson…and that’s what I love about it.
I’ve been to South Beach twice: once with the husband and once for my bachelorette party. Needless to say, they were two very different trips, both fun in their own special ways. Miami and South Beach are weird places. You almost feel like you’re in a different country but obviously you’re not. It’s a pretty neat, culture rich place that’s as wild as you want it to be.
South Beach is across a bridge south of actual Miami. I haven’t actually spent much time in Miami except to go out to dinner. I have to say, South Beach and Miami has amazing food. The seafood is ridiculously fresh and the fruits and veggies are equally as good. I think the cuban influence is what makes the food so good (and the people so sexy). My favorite meal consisted of whole grouper with a side of plantains!
Plantain..er..banana? This may have been in the airport bar when we first arrived…
Anyway, I was strolling through Whole Foods the other day (how do I always end up there?! All that hard earned cash…gone) and walked by some plantains. I decided to buy a couple and try to recreate the deliciousness that is cuban style plantains. Plantains are usually served one of two ways: sweet or savory. Sweet plantains are super ripe plantains fried in oil. They need to be black though otherwise there’s just not enough sugar content and they’ll be dry, not sweet and moist. Another way they are served is savory. In this case, the plantains are unripe and green. You still pan fry them but after frying them for a few minutes, take them off, smash them, then fry again. These are delicious too.
Those are the two ways plantains are usually served in Miami, but I actually cooked them a totally different way: I baked them.
Looking back, I should have waited a little longer for the plantains to be even more black.
I cut the ends off, then peeled them. They look so much like bananas but do not taste near as good when they’re raw.
I greased a cookie sheet with coconut oil, then laid the plantains out after cutting them into 1/2 inch pieces.
I cooked them for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until they were brown and a little crispy.
They turned out really good! I think they’re better when they’re pan fried (obviously) but they still had that amazing flavor. If you’ve never tried plantains, I highly recommend them!
For now, I guess I’ll have to just eat plantains and daydream of South Beach. If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go listen to some Pitbull and have a mojito.