Fried Fries?

Last night, I did something scandalous.

And sort of naughty.

I re-fried fried food.

After my genius fried rice episode the other night, I actually still had leftovers from my steak dinner.

Well…not actually the steak.  That sucker was g.o.n.e.

But I still had some chicken and all of my leftover sides to do something with, and simply reheating them just didn’t sound fancy enough.  And I’m a fancy lady.

Which is why I broke out my bottle of vegetable oil.  Nothing says “hey there” like a vegetable oil slick under your bottom lip.  Not that I would know…

The sides offered at Las Tablas are traditional (or what I assume are traditional) Colombian fare: potato, sweet plantain and yucca.  I’m pretty sure they’re all fried.  Not in a deep fryer, but fried nonetheless.

A while back, I had seen some chef on the Food Network make smashed plantains.  In fact, I’ve seen chefs make smashed and then fried potatoes, too.  Enter: my inspiration.

I sliced the remainder of my plantain into 3/4-inch coins.  However you prepare it, just make sure it’s cooked first before you do this.

Then I took a glass with a flat bottom and smashed each coin, like so:

You don’t want to smash the crap out of it, even though it’s tempting if you’ve had a long day and you’re really hungry.  I’m pretty much always hungry (thank you, Insanity and the newly reacquainted treadmill), so I had to rein it in on this one.

The smushed product should look a little like this:

I enjoy smushing.  I should make smushing a part of my everyday life, not just for special occasions.

Here’s where I got really crazy.  After I repeated this with the rest of the plantain slices, I did the same to the leftover (baked- I think?) potato.  And then I carefully placed them in a skillet with about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil, heated over medium high heat, like so:

Make sure they bubble and sizzle a little bit like this when you add them to the oil.  If the oil isn’t hot enough, they’ll absorb too much of it and get really greasy.  No bueno, por favor very much.

Also, don’t over crowd the pan.  If you do, you’ll bring the oil temperature down and the aforementioned greasiness will ensue.

Let them sizzle away for 2-3 minutes and then give ‘er a flip.  They should be a deep golden brown.  Once they’re done, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle immediately with a wee bit of salt and spices of your choosing (I used a Cajun spice blend).

I cooked up the rest of my yucca and heated up the chicken and served it all with some roasted broccoli.

Perfection.

I could sit here and argue with you that because this entire meal consists of whole foods, lots of veggies and lean protein that it’s pretty healthy.  Sure, there are definitely nutrients involved.

But you all saw the oil.  This isn’t health food.

But if the oil slick under my bottom lip is any indication, it’s worth indulging in.

Now go get thee some plantains!

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11 thoughts on “Fried Fries?

  1. LOVE plantains. Fried, re-fried, I’ll take em any way. Last summer I brought home leftovers from a Costa Rican restaurant (Irazu, in Bucktown), including plantain, and generously donated them to my husband. He happily ate them all… but when I got home, he said he threw out the plantains because he was too full to eat them. Seriously!?! Such a waste… should have done this…

  2. There used to be this little hole in the wall Peruvian restaturant here that served the BEST fried yucca and plantains. The closed. Now I have to fry them myself, which is cool since my homestay mom in Costa Rica taught me how to do it.

    FYI – you don’t have to cook the plantain pre-smooshing. You just want to use the blackest plantain you can find. They are the ripest and sweetest.

    • Good call. I’d imagine with the green plantains it would be helpful to cook them first, but if they’re ripe enough then hey! Although there’s just something about re-frying that makes my heart all aflutter.

  3. I love me some plantains. That method of cooking them look off the chain. I’m going to a Latin place for birthday lunch Saturday. Can’t wait.

  4. Love your smushing glass 🙂
    How are you liking Insanity? I’m a total Beachbody DVD addict! I have Turbo Jam, P90X, ChaLEAN Extreme and Turbo Fire, one day I want to do Insanity.

    Jen

  5. Mmmm…plantains good. 🙂

    I so hear you on month 2 of Insanity. I would be lying to you if I said that I completed it the way it was meant to be done. Especially the workout with all the push-ups. Who the heck are they kidding? I was on my knees the entire time. And when I say the entire time I mean definitely NOT the entire time.

    Happy Friday! Thanks for the sweet comment on my post. It meant a lot to me.

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