Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains


Remember my last Kitchen Basics post where I showed you how to pick and prep some common (but sometimes tricky) tropical fruit?  Well, it was so popular that I wanted to share another of my favorite tropical fruits for you, the incredible plantain!

Why do I love the plantain?  First of all, it is so versatile!  You can use them for both savory and sweet dishes, which are completely different.  If you're unsure how to use them, well lucky for you that I'll be sharing two different recipes over the next couple weeks: one savory and and one sweet!



Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


The second reason is that I grew up in a household where these were used quite often, so it reminds me of my childhood.  However, if you have never eaten plantains, they are a very familiar flavor, most closely resembling a banana.  Unlike bananas, they are more starchy and tough, so they are not as good when eaten raw.  But once you cook them, they are about a million times better than a banana!


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


Now, let's get to the important info!


Things to look for:
  • Intact peels
  • For savory preparations: firm with yellow-green skin
  • For sweet preparations: almost completely black skin, soft but not mushy OR wait for the fruit to ripen


Avoid:
  • Peels with tears or breaks
  • Fruit with bruises or soft spots
  • Shriveled or moldy fruit


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip
Different stages of plantain ripeness, from green to black.  Source for picture on right.


Prep Method #1  (for softer plantains)

1.  Cut off both ends of the plantain.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


2.  Score the tough peel down the entire length of the fruit with the tip of your knife.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


3.  Peel away the skin.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


4.   Cut into your desired lengths.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip



Prep Method #2  (for tougher plantains)

1.  Cut off both ends of the plantain.

2.  Cut into three or four sections.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


2.  Score the tough peel down the length of each section with the tip of your knife.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


3.  Peel away the skin.


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


That's it!  All you have to do is get your plantain ready for some delicious recipes!


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip


So that's it for this edition of kitchen basics!  Remember for next couple weeks, I'll be sharing some recipes for plantains, both savory and sweet.  Until then, pick out some plantains at the store using my tips above!


Do you prefer savory or sweet plantain dishes?


Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Plantains on Diane's Vintage Zest! #cooking #tip




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7 comments:

  1. I didn't even know the difference about the starch... That's pretty cool. I'm excited to see what sort of recipes you post, since my husband and I both like to cook. (Found you through the Handmade Tuesdays link up!)

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  2. Yes, it's a huge difference! It's almost like eating a banana that is too green. Not great raw, but AMAZING in a recipe! :)

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  3. I've always wanted to try these! Yum! :)

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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  4. Yum! I love these fried and added to a salad, along with some fresh mango.

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  5. I've never had a plantain, but I've always been curious about them. Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

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  6. Ooo, that sounds interesting! Definitely worth a try next time. :)

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  7. They're amazing!!! I hope you try them out soon. :)

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I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)

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