I first spotted this dessert at a rustic outdoor restaurant in Texcoco, a small city northeast of the capital. A cook stood in front of a huge metal fryer set over an open flame, filled with thick slices of plantain. As a line of people watched, the cook removed a plantain slice from the bubbling oil, topped it with spoonfuls of condensed milk and finished with a dollop of chunky fruit jam. This fried plantain recipe is simple but heavenly: fruity and rich, the fruit creamy-fleshed from its time in the fryer.
– 2 large, very ripe plantains
– Rapeseed oil
– 1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
– 4 heaped tbsp strawberry or blackberry jam
1. Peel the plantains and cut them, from pole to pole, into three long pieces measuring 5mm–1cm thick.
2. Heat a large frying pan to medium or medium-high heat. Pour enough rapeseed oil to coat the base about 3mm deep. Line a plate with kitchen paper.
3. When hot, add the plantain slices in batches – they should sizzle, otherwise the oil isn’t hot enough. Cook for 2–3 minutes per side until dark golden brown. Drain on the prepared plate.
4. Place one warm plantain on a small serving plate and spoon a generous helping of condensed milk on top. Finish with a heaped tablespoon of jam.
– At home, I’ve tried substituting bananas instead of plantains, but the flavour isn’t the same, and bananas turn rather flaccid when pan-fried. Ensure that your plantains are as ripe as possible – the outer skin should be black.
– I like tart fruit jam with this, such as blackberry or strawberry.
Lesley Téllez grew up in a Mexican-American home in California and moved to Mexico in 2009. A love letter to the intricate cuisine of Mexico City, Eat Mexico unlocks the culinary identity of the city and showcases food from the city’s streets, markets and casual fondas.
Recipes range from the familiar tacos, enchiladas and burritos that we all know and love Mexican cuisine for, to the entirely unfamiliar. With stunning location photography, new ingredients to explore eclectic recipes to share and cultural adventures to engage in, ambitious cooks and armchair travellers alike will enjoy this book.
EAT MEXICO by Lesley Téllez is published by Kyle Books, and is available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk as a Hardback, priced £19.99.