Oven “Fried” Platanos Maduros (Sweet Plantains)

Continuing with my obsession of oven “fried” foods, I decided to try it with plantains.  I love fried sweet plantains especially with a good Cuban sandwich, or anything Cuban for that matter.  My first introduction, actually seduction, with fried sweet plantains was when a friend took me to Versailles, a Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles, CA.  When I took my first bite into a plantain, I thought it was just a banana.  But I soon realized that it was better than a fried banana.  It seemed sweeter and starchier… the perfect combo just like savory and sweet.

I’ve fried sweet plantains once before but I find frying foods too messy.  The smell of fried oil also seems to linger around the house for days, clinging to any fabric in the home.  So I try to avoid it at all cost.  So I thought the perfect way to get a fix of fried sweet plantains was to “fry” them in the oven.  It tastes good if you are looking for a healthier alternative.  It doesn’t caramelize the sugars of the plantains as well as frying, but it still sweetens it up.  I might have to suck it up once a year like a holiday and fry these suckers up the next time I want a real, authentic fried sweet plantain.  But this is definitely my “go to” healthier recipe for the rest of the 364 days in the year.

Oven “Fried” Platanos Maduros

2 very ripe plantains (yellow outer skin with black spots, somewhat squishy like a ripened banana when pressed)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel the plantains, and cut on a diagonal into half inch slices. Place into a medium-sized bowl and drizzle extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat.

Place the plantains onto a greased baking sheet (I found that the plantains stuck to the sheet even despite it being tossed in olive oil) and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the plantains half way through the cooking process. Cook until the plantains are golden brown and tender.