Cuban ground beef with fried plantains01.22.10

035“I’m sorry, you’re doing what with those bananas?”  That’s what everyone wanted to know when I started heating up the oil to fry the plantains.

“These are not bananas.  They are plantains.”  I didn’t have a plan for them when I purchased them, and as they sat on my counter, slow turning from green to yellow, yellow to black and yellow, I figured I’d better get off the stick and come up with a plan.

Of course, since I’ve never cooked with plantains before, I wasn’t sure where to start.  I thought about making muffins or something, but remembered that they are often used in savory dishes.  So I went internet diving to see what I could find.  Good ole Emeril had a recipe for a Pinon, a Cuban-style Beef and Plantain Pie. That sounded pretty darn good to me, but I thought the kids wouldn’t eat it if it was all baked together like that.  And then I found this recipe for Arroz ala Cubana that also sounded amazing.   I decided to riff off of both recipes and make Emeril’s beef mixture, but serve it over rice, and serve the plantains on the side.  Here’s what I started with (cribbed from Emeril’s recipe, sorta):

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