An unusual and useful way to cook half - ripe plantains is to grill them. Cuban cook Maricel Presilla cooks the peeled and diagonally halved fruit over a low fire, basting with oil, or even better, with her delicious Mojo Agrio. Grill slowly, turning and brushing often with oil, until tender and creamy within.
Black - ripe plantains are superb cooked as you would ripe bananas, because they hold their shape for a longer time and are therefore able to absorb more flavors and develop more complexity.
PREPARATION: If you wish to peel the plantain before cooking, the way you go about it depends on the particular fruit and its stage of ripeness. Black - ripe fruit can usually be peeled as you would a banana. Other stages are unpredictable; most require this treatment: Rinse the plantain and trim the ends, Cuts fruit across in 2 - 4 sections, depending on size. The very thick, stiff peel is then cut lengthwise along its four ridges. Remove each strip of skin, starting at a corner and pulling slightly crosswise, rather than down the length of each strip. Remove woody fibers, if necessary, with a paring kniffe.
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: Plantain is relatively high in calories at 125 per cup. It is an excellent source of potassium, a good of vitamin C, and low in sodium.