Have you ever cooked with plantains? They look like bananas, but act very differently. Each plantain is a packet of starch. Recipes for green platains, in fact, treat them more like a potato than like a relative of the banana. Tostones are a Puerto Rican delicacy made with plantains using garlic and frying plantain slices twice, and its delicious.
We, however are going with a use for black plantains. You wouldn't buy a banana that was mostly black, but if you want to make a sweet dessert with plantains, this is exctly what you want. As the plantain ages, the starches inside break down and mellow into simpler sugars.
Peeling the plantain is more difficult that peeling a banana. I recommend scoring the peel and getting an initial cut started before you pull the peel down off the plantain. What's inside looks a lot like a rich banana, with a slightly more intense golden tint. The fruit will be firmer than most green bananas.
This recipe is in the same family as bananas foster, and if you wanted to, you could add the liquor and extra butter to make a plantains foster. This is a little lighter and a little healthier than that classic Big Easy dish and is still delicious.
2 plantains, black peels, firm fruit, peeled, sliced into 1/2" rounds
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves together well.
Melt the butter over high heat in a medium to small skillet. Arrange the plantains in the skillet and sautee for about 30 seconds. Flip and sautee for another 30 seconds.
Add the brown sugar mix to the pan, sprinkling over all the plantains. Stir well to distribute sugar on plantains. If you can do the pan flip thing, flip the plantains in the pan repeatedly to coat them evenly with the butter and sugar. If you can't, stir occasionally, flipping the plantain slices over from time to time.
Continue sauteeing for about 5 minutes until the sugar carmelizes and the plantains get a nice dark coating of the mix.
Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.