One of the most glorious aspects of living in the Dominican Republic is the food. The rice and beans, the bollo, the locrio – ah… lip-smacking good! I’m taking the risk that people will think I’ve transformed our family blog into a food blog with this post, but I can’t help it. I must share one of our absolute favorite meals we’ve learned to make over the last 2 years. At first, we thought it was a ton of work, but we’ve come to the realization that the pain is worth the price.
Fried Plantains and Salami
So, first, you have to buy some plantains. (They may look like big green bananas, but they definitely aren’t bananas.) You start by peeling the plantains and slicing them into 1 or 2-inch chunks.
Then, you’ll want to heat up the biggest skillet you have and add some oil. This is the part where you just try not to think about how much oil you’re adding and keep pouring until your pan’s a couple inches full of the good stuff. When the oil’s nice and hot, add your plantain pieces. Let those suckers sizzle for a few minutes, turning them every so often (unless your 3-year-old and 2-year old are fighting over a toy… Then just let the plantains sit and hope for the best while you play peace-maker in the other room.)
When they’ve turned a golden brown (the plantains, not your children), go ahead and pull them out of the oil. (I recommend making this meal if you’re at all stressed – this next step can be somewhat therapeutic.) Get ready for the biggest plantain-smashing party of your life.
Place a plantain inside your plantain-smasher-thingy. (I really should look up the technical term for this contraption.) Squish each one of those puppies as flat as you want them.
When you’re all finished, return the plantains to the piping hot oil for another go-around in the skillet.
While you’re waiting, you can cut up some salami so it’ll be ready for later.
After a few minutes, go ahead and take the plantains out of the skillet again. They should be hot and crispy (a bit like french fries) and ready for devouring.
Since you’ve got all that oil sitting there, you might as well fry up your salami slices. Throw the salami in the skillet for a couple of minutes. Beware of the “oil fireworks” that may ensue – you could get some crispy arms if you aren’t careful with the popping oil.
After the salami reaches its desired deliciousness, remove and serve with the plantains for a fantastically fried food-fest. (We like the plantains with a little salt and ketchup, but I’m not sure if that’s common Dominican practice.) Feel free to add some fruit on the side so you don’t feel like you’re eating at a McDonald’s greasepit.