Plantains with Mango Salsa

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

Plantains are a major food staple in the tropics of Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. Some countries enjoy the plantain raw like a banana, but for the American palate, I recommend cooking this starchy fruit to bring out the subtle sweetness.

Allow the peel to turn yellow with black spots on your plantains and let them soften a bit. Cooking at this stage will caramelize the sugars and make it more palatable for the American taste bud.

In this recipe I double cook the plantains called patacones or tostones. First I bake them shortly, and then smash and flash fry them into a super tasty "chip." Topped with mango' salsa, this dish takes me to the tropics. With eyes closed, I can feel the hot rain fall off the coconut palms, and tickle my nose, or maybe that is just the jalapeño. Enjoy!!!

Serve these with tropical foods for a beautiful match in flavors. Plantains, mango salsa, and roast chicken, dip them into guacamole, add properly prepared beans for an amazing side dish, or just eat them plain for a delicious treat.