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Crispy, Chewy, Sweet Fried Plantains

I love fried plantains. And just calling out “Plantains!” will get my kids running to the dinner table any day. Especially the way I make them. I will eat them any way you cook them, but I’m going to teach you the way I like them best.

First you have to choose a really ripe plantain. I mean, really ripe. I like mine turning black bordering on overripe. That is when they are the sweetest, and if they are not really ripe, they can end up tasting a bit stainy. I know that in those first world countries, they find a way to get their plantains to look pretty and yellow until they die. Oh, well, do your best.

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So for this recipe you need:

1 plantain

oil for frying

First of all, get out a large plate and put a square of paper towel on it to soak up the excess oil. You have to get this ready because you don’t want to be hunting around for it while your plantains are cooking.

Now I like to slice my plantains really, really thin. I aim for 1mm to paper thin. This is the difficult part, and also the most important part if you want them to be crispy. chewy delicious. 

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Now you put a thin layer of oil in your frying pan just to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium heat and wait for the oil to heat up

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Then you put your slices in the pan and wait until you see the edges turn brown. As soon as this happens, turn them over. A fork works best for this procedure.

See the pieces turning brown around the edges? Turn those first.

See the pieces turning brown around the edges? Turn those first.

You must stand over the pan because plantains burn very easily, particularly if you turn your back on them. They don’t like that. So make sure you stand and watch them. Check now and then to see if they have turned golden brown. Then, remove from the fire and place them on your plate.

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They should look like this.

Crispy, Chewy Delicious Sweet Fried Plantains

Crispy, Chewy Delicious Sweet Fried Plantains

And they should be crispy at the edges, chewy in the middle, and soft and sweet all at the same time. Yum!

And after they’re all gone, please come back and let me know if you liked them by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!

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Brown Stew Chicken

Brown Stew Chicken is a common Jamaican dish that is tasty and very easy to prepare. I’ll show you how.

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First you want one dead chicken. Live ones are way too much trouble. You can get chickens all plucked and cleaned at the supermarket. I suppose you already know this.

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, chopped up

1 small lime

Marinade:

1 onion – chopped

2 stalks skellion – chopped

3 cloves garlic – chopped

2 tbsp dark soya sauce/browning

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp ketchup

Add to pot:

1 tbsp oil (to brown chicken)

3 small tomatoes (chopped)

2 medium carrots (chopped)

1 cup water

2 tbsp flour

Note: Make sure that you use a DARK soya sauce. When you shake up the bottle, you should see the soya sauce almost stain the bottle. If the sauce looks light brown and translucent, you have to wrong type of soya sauce. This is where the chicken gets its dark brown colour. Alternately, you can use browning. Or you can use a bit of both.

1. Wash the chicken and rub with lime juice to remove the raw taste. Chop chicken into small pieces

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2. Chop onion, skellion, garlic finely. Mix with salt, soya sauce and ketchup to make the marinade.

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3. Rub marinade onto chicken and refrigerate for one hour. (Once I decided to skip this step altogether and still got a tasty stew chicken. You’ll see why in a minute)

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4. Heat large cooking pot and add oil.

5. When the oil is nice and hot, put the chicken in. Some recipes want you to scrape off the seasonings before you put the chicken into  the pot. If you think this will make a difference, go right ahead. Personally, I’m not keen on spending all that time picking tiny bits of skellion off my chicken pieces, and I can’t see why this would be necessary, so I don’t. After you put the chicken in, wait until the first side is brown, then turn over and brown the other side.

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6. Add about 1 cup of water to the pot.

7. Wait until water begins to boil, then add carrots and tomatoes.

8. Simmer for about 1 hr

Yes, I do simmer my brown stew chicken for one hour.  While it’s not strictly necessary to leave it for so long, the result is that all the flavours and spices mix into the chicken and make it extremely flavourful and tender, which is how I like it. 

11. Finally, mix about 1 tbsp corn starch with a small amount of water and add to the pot to thicken the gravy. You can remove the chicken first if you like, or not. Just wait a couple of minutes until the gravy is thickened and then you’re done.

And that’s it! Serve hot with rice and vegetables.

If you do try this recipe, please come back and write a review in the comments section. I would love to get your feedback.

Treasury of Desserts

kathy's blue wedding cake

As a teenager, Kathy Gauntlett had no idea which career path to choose and little inclination to choose one. When a school guidance counselor suggested that she examine the offerings of the then College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) in Kingston, Jamaica, she practically scoffed. However, as fate would have it, their baking technology course caught her interest, and she signed up.

Kathy had discovered her talent. From there developed her love of baking, and her life path was set. In 1997, she started her own business, lovingly named “Treasury of Desserts.” From her kitchen at home, she began to produce delicious and tasty desserts for a range of clientele.

Her offerings include beautiful wedding cakes, birthday, christening and shower cakes. She expertly bakes appetizing cookies, puddings, pies and tarts, but cheesecakes are her specialty.

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

In 2011, she was nominated Best Dessert Caterer of The Year in the Observer Food Awards competition. Her oreo cheesecake was a hit with the judges and she won first place.

Today she continues to produce scrumptious and delectable treats from her home in Kingston where she resides with her husband, Karl Tait, and her young daughter. She is currently searching for a regular outlet for her desserts in order to make her creations more accessible to the public.

You can find her offerings on her website at www.treasuryofdesserts.com or email her at treasuryofdesserts@yahoo.com. She can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TreasuryOfDesserts

Have you tried Kathy’s desserts? Tell us your favourites in the comments box below.

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