I hope you haven't been waiting too long for this, although it is worth the wait. I've been a bit under the weather and softly kicking myself in the rear to update more often, I think the holidays will be my jumpstart, there are so many fun things I want to do, and so little time.
A few years ago I traveled to the Caribbean with a dance group I was on my last year of college. We visited Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Native to each island was the plantain. I remember being so far from home (homesick), and having eaten countless meals of beans and rice (not the ideal diet for dancers); I was delighted and relieved when we some members of our church made us a dinner that was very different. Fresh vegetables, fruit, and for dessert, baked sugar plantains. I asked the sister that made the dessert how she did it, and she just told me, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with sliced plantains. Easy right?
After being home for a few months, and wanting to share my experience with my love, I tried the baked sugar plantains. They were horrible. The plantains weren't soft, and they didn't taste even remotely close to how they were in the Caribbean.
Obviously, I didn't know you had to wait for the plantains to be completely black before baking them! So I tried it again, and although it's now been a couple years since the trip, all the memories of our experiences came flooding back when I tasted them done up right.
In late October, the annual plantain festival was held so I bought some plantains to celebrate. It took at least two and a half weeks before I could actually make them.
baked brown sugar plantains
1 plantain, black as can be **keeping it in a brown paper sack accelerates this
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
pinches of any spice you want, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, etc.
Wash and pat dry the plantain (with the peel still on). Slice the plantain length ways (aka hot dog way) and slice little slits perpendicular to the grain (hamburger way). Lay inside a baking dish. Spread 2 teaspoons of the butter on top of the plantain slices, and dot the bottom of the baking dish with the rest of the butter.
Mix together the brown sugar and spices, and sprinkle on top of the plantains.
Bake in a 375°F oven for about a half hour or until the plantains are bubbly and soft to the touch (of a fork, not your finger;).
Serve alongside some fresh vanilla ice cream, although that is totally optional. They're delicious alone.