Thursday, January 19, 2012

fried plantains + avocado salad

By Julie

I never want to see another Christmas cookie again. Or Christmas cake. Or Christmas pie. Or Christmas giant bowl of whipped cream. But namely the cookies. I baked like a madman and ate like an utter lard. I get to the point where I've stuffed myself so awfully and then I start to feel terrible about myself and then I figure aw fuck it what's another 10 cookies going to do when you've already eaten 23. It's really a pretty dumb mindset. And you'd think after years of reading stupid Shape magazine I'd be a little more rational. I can't decide if coming to terms with my inability to control my Christmas dessert consumption and just swearing them off, until maybe Valentine's Day sugar cookies, is a better way to go, or if I should strive to just be more reasonable when and if I do decide to eat some dessert. I guess I'd like to be able to just eat two cookies, but uh, yeah, probably not going to happen.
Anyway, enough about my lard tendencies. I did cook an amazing amount of food, and really awesome food, for Christmas dinner. And I have an amazing amount of leftovers, too. Joe left for the week, so it's just me trying to make my way through most of a ham, like 4 pounds of roasted potatoes, several pounds of roasted sweet potatoes with a brown butter vinaigrette, and a mountain of my famous brussels sprouts. I'm going to have to make some sort of soup out of the rest of the ham and then freeze it. There's just no way I'm going to be able to eat my way through it all. I was most excited about presenting to my friends on Christmas Day the roasted potatoes. If you've made that recipe I posted, then you know why. If you haven't, then you've been eating crap roasted potatoes and I hope you feel sorry. We were eating at my friends' house and so we carted all the food over there (they made their share of food too... it was a feast) and in a hurried we-gotta-make-it-over-there-in-a-timely-fashion move, I put the fresh out of the oven potato chunks in a big tupperware and drove over there. Piping hot potatoes give off condensation. Condensation makes gorgeous crispy potatoes soggy and disgusting. GAH. I can be excused for drowning my sorrow in Christmas dessert. I made a brown sugar cranberry walnut gingerbread upside down cake. I'm awesome.
Now I'm home alone, left with a fridge full of leftovers that I eat for three meals everyday, and that cake that I wasn't allowed to throw out shoved to the back of the fridge in an attempt to fool me into forgetting about it. I've started watching episode after episode after episode of old Biggest Loser. I do try to do other things while I'm watching it, like cleverly utilizing space on my 13 inch computer monitor and writing this blog post! On one episode, I think in the first season, they're at a restaurant and Jillian applauds some fat when he asks for no avocado on his salad. Avocado! Oh the fat! The calories! Obviously calories matter for the contestants, but that's such a shame to banish avocados. So in honor of that one guy, I decided to shun my leftovers for one meal, and make something with avocados.
I've told you about my obsession with plantains, I'm pretty sure. There was a time when I was eating one for breakfast every day. It got a little hefty. I had to swear them off for a little bit (I see a pattern emerging...) but I've reintroduced them into my life this year and I haven't gone too bonkers at all. I often times have a range of plantains in stages of ripeness on my counter. I like them all. I keep buying them green because I want to make mofongo. But I never get around to it and they just sit there and get black. Which is the case with the ones I used for this recipe.
If you can't get black-skinned plantains at your grocery store, which I usually can't at my normal one, you can either buy the darkest you can find and let them ripen on your counter, or you could just use them. As long as they're not super green, you can still make them the same way, they'll just be starchy. If they're really unripe, they're best for tostones, which maybe I'll post sometime. If you haven't had plantains before, wait until they're black until you use them. You'll thank me.

avocado salad
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 ripe avocados, sliced and scooped out
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

1. In a small bowl, marinate the red onions in the vinegar for at least 30 minutes.

2. In a larger bowl, place avocados, 1 tablespoon of the marinating vinegar, olive oil, and the drained onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and gently toss to mix. Alternatively, if you don't want to bash the avocado, you can place the sliced avocados on a serving plate and top with the reserved tablespoon of vinegar, olive oil, the drained onions, and salt and pepper.

plátanos maduros
2 ripe plantains
coconut oil or bacon grease
fresh lime juice
coarse sea salt

1. To peel the plantains, it's easiest to cut the ends off and then using a sharp knife, make two opposing vertical cuts and peel off the peel. There may be spots that stick, so just slice them off.

2. Use enough oil to be about a 1/4 inch deep in a heavy sauté pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Cut the plantains in 1 inch chunks and add them to the pan. Cook them about 3 minutes per side, until they are golden brown.

These sides are a delicious little meal or perfect sides for some pulled pork, or hey some leftover Christmas ham!

Oh look, it's my Linzer sandwich cookies. I hate you.

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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