Adventures in Cooking: Fried Plantains

I've been trying a lot of new recipes lately, and have decided to keep track of them here. I want to try and do at least one a week, but first few weeks might be recaps of recent recipes I've tried. And since I'm normally a "can of this, can of that, cook for 20 minutes" kind of gal, trying REAL recipes that require REAL ingredients is an adventure for me (hence, the name of this post.) Some (like the homemade chicken pot pie without a can of cream of anything!!) have been wonderful. Others (like today's) have just been ok. And I'm sure pretty soon there will be some that are just awful! I just hope (and know that Mike does, too!) that those are few and far between!

So the first Adventures in Cooking installment (or AIC for short) is:
Fried Plantains (or Fried Paninis if you ask Cadence)

I've seen these on Food Network quite a bit recently, and finally decided to bite the bullet and try them myself. I found a pretty simple recipe on allrecipes.com - basically, toss sliced plantains in brown sugar, fry until caramelized, then sprinkle with salt. I figured "How hard could *that* be??" and bought some plantains when I went grocery shopping yesterday.

We decided to try them out tonight, but I'm not sure I bought plantains that were ripe enough. They were ok - had kind of a "caramel popcorn" taste to them, but they weren't the "manna from heaven" that everyone on Food Network made them out to be. Of course, I have no idea what a ripe plantain even looks like. Bananas, yes. Plantains, no. So, if anyone could give me some pointers, that would be awesome. Or, if you have a different recipe that will make them the awesome treat that everyone on the internets seems to rave about, that would be awesome, too!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) Spending a weekend away with family
2) Tax refund money
3) Loose teeth! (the 5 year old, not me!)
4) A boss that seems to appreciate me, and the work I do
5) A wonderful pediatric dentist

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