Fried sweet plantains are a staple across Latin America and Africa. This method comes from chef Nina Sodji, of Okra African Grill in Omaha. who serves them as a side dish to her West African Grilled Chicken in Tomato Sauce (recipe also available on midwestliving.com).
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Use canola, peanut, corn or vegetable oil for frying. (Olive oil will smoke.) Add enough oil to skillet so plantain pieces are halfway submerged (1/2 inch deep).
Plantains are starchy cooking bananas. Depending on the dish, they can be eaten green or ripe and sweet (skin is dull yellow with lots of black splotches). To peel their thick skins, trim off the ends then score the skin lengthwise. Open the skin like a book to remove the fruit inside.