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FRIED PLANTAINS

4 firm ripe plantains
vegetable oil for deep frying

With a small sharp knife cut ends from each plantain and halve
crosswise. Cut a lengthwise slit through skin along side curve.
Beginning in center of slit pry skin from plantain and with rippled
blade of a mandoline or decorating knife cut flesh crosswise into
1/8 inch thick slices.

In deep fryer or large deep skillet heat 1 1/2 inches oil to 375F
on a deep fat thermometer and fry 12 to 15 plantain slices at a
time, turning them, 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, transferring
as fried with a skimmer or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Season plantain slices with salt. (Plantain slices should be
slightly crisp on outside but soft on inside) Serves 8.

Ripe plantains have peels that are almost completely black whereas
the firm ripe ones called for in this recipe are mottled black and
yellow. Plantain slices are best served immediately but may be
made 1 day ahead, cooled completely, and kept in an air tight
container. Reheat plantain slices on a rack in a shallow baking
pan in a preheated 350F. oven 5 minutes, or until heated through.

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