Our friends Shelley and Jens have a thing for stuff that is deep fried. Being from the south, Shelley grew up frying fowl, but Jens is Danish and just developed a taste for it after meeting Shelley (we think). In any case, their love is strong so for Jens’ birthday last month, they had a ‘bring stuff to deep-fry’ party. We had deep fried chicken legs and thighs and wings, battered deep fried shrimp, deep fried Twinkies (Better than un-fried I might add, although still disgusting), and of course we brought; Sandwiches. We were a bit shocked to discover this, but of course someone has done this before, and there is a famous sandwich called the Monte Cristo with turkey, ham and cheese, and served with sugar and jam on top; a sweet, possible dessert, sandwich. So, we made it (and it was good, but fattening like a neutron bomb in your belly). This was an evening party and we forgot our good camera, so please excuse the photo quality…
I miss plantains. For those who don’t know, it is the larger cousin of the banana. Unlike the banana it is typically cooked before eaten. I suppose one could just peel and eat it like you would a banana, but that would just be… well, wrong. My favorite way to enjoy a plantain is to fry it and simply eat as a side dish. Unfortunately, along with my strong accent, one of the things I lost in moving to San Diego is the ready availability of plantains.
Two weeks ago, I had a meeting in a neighborhood in San Diego known for it’s “ethnic’ population. Ehem… let me pause here to continue my fight against the application of this terminology. Why is this term reserved for non-Caucasians alone? Are they by some miracle of biology without shared cultural heritage that underpins the term ‘ethnicity’? But I digress, linguistic misapplication aside, I was lucky to be in an area of town with a fair share of Vietnamese and Filipino supermarkets.
As I drove through I remembered a plantain dish I once had in a Filipino restaurant many years ago. “Dare I hope?”, I wondered. I was not disappointed, I came out of the supermarket with a huge green plaintain. It took about one week to ripen, and the cooked fruit was a key ingredient in Anders’ breakfast last week Saturday.
(The other half found its way in a plantain flambé – my take on the banana flambe, something I am unable to make because of my one-woman boycott of the US commercial banana industry).