Every house should have a plantain or two on the counter. I always have some lying around, they are great staples and are very versatile. More importantly, no matter what stage of ripeness they are in, they can be made into a delicious dishes.
Here is a little tutorial on picking out the right ripeness of plantain for the right flavor profile.
Green Plantain- These are obviously the least ripe and have a very starchy flavor and texture. There is very little sweetness to these plantains. In this stage they are best to double fried as tostones. Enjoy the recipe below.
Yellow Plantain- These are ripe and have a slight sweetness, but still aren't exceptionally sweet. The upcoming Beach Blanket Brunch Cookbook has a few interesting uses for these plantain, so stay tuned.
Dark brown to black- This is the sweet stage used for Maduros, or sweet fried plantain.
2 green plantain
1 cup of vegetable oil
½ teaspoon of salt
Peel the green plantain. It is important that the plantain be as unripe as possible. The riper they become the softer and sweeter they become. Slice the plantain into 1 ½ inch portions.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. The oil temperature should be about 300 degrees.
Lightly fry the plantain. Turning to brown evenly.
Remove them from the skillet. Place them on a dish lined with paper towels, allowing them to cool and removing the excess oil. Once cooled place between two sheets of wax paper and flatten with the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand.
Turn the heat up on the oil, bringing it to about 375 degrees. Place them back in the hot oil for a second round of frying. Remove them when they turn a golden brown and drain on paper towels. Salt lightly.