Archive for August, 2008

Rita’s Now Open

August 29th, 2008

ritas_3

If you read my post a few months back about St. Augustine you will remember me mentioning Rita’s Italian Ice.   Rita’s now has a location in Hermitage at 4219 Lebanon Pike.  All of the Italian Ices are vegan and delicious.  Mango is the best with Alex’s Lemonade not far behind.  Black Cherry is also a good choice as is Tangerine and Pineapple.  The vanilla is tasty as well.  Ok, ALL of the flavors are great!

I am partial to the beachside location in St. Augustine but it is good to have a location nearby.

ritasice

Free regular size Italian Ices through next week!  MANGO! MANGO!

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Perfect Plantains

August 2nd, 2008

You may have looked at the giant green banana in the produce section and wondered what to do with it.   Plantains are one of my favorite munchies.   Usually served with tropical dishes, plantains are starchy and sweet only when they have black spots or are completely black, a state you would not should not eat a typical banana in, at least I wouldn’t because eating a black spotted banana is improper and should only be done in secrecy as it will bring shame to your family.

You can prepare fried or baked plantains, crisp and salty or soft and sweet which I prefer and will discuss here.  Start with a semi-ripe plantain with black spots, not completely black.  The plantain should give lightly to a soft squeeze.  Peeling a plantain is not as easy as peeling a banana.  To start cut the ends off of the plantain and cut 4-5 vertical incisions down the length of the plantain only cutting through the peel.  Next, pull each strip of peel off until you have a peeled plantain.   Cut the plantain in half and then slice each half lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Arrange the slices in a shallow pan with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-low heat.   Don’t cook them over very high heat as the sugar content can cause the plantain to burn quickly.  About 8 minutes per side until dark brown flipping each slice as needed should do.   Occasionally, I’ll add a dash of allspice or cinnamon to the slices but most often I add nothing to them as they are perfect unseasoned.   When finished cooking move each slice to a plate with a paper towel to remove and excess oil then munch!

Plantain

Start with a semi-ripe plantain with black spots.   Yes, a Shun knife works best.

Plantain Ends

Cut each end off of the plantain before peeling.

Peeling Plantain

Cut the peel lengthwise 4-5 times down the entire length.

Peeling a plantain

Pull each strip of peel off individually to peel the plantain.

Plantain

Cut the plantain in half

plantain sliced

Slice each half into 1/4″ thick slices.

Cooking Plantains

Arrange slices in a pan over medium-low heat with 2 TBS of vegetable oil.

Cooking Plantains

Flip the slices when they become dark brown, about 8 minutes each side.

Plate of Plantains!

Yummy!

Veggie Burgers

Great served with my favorite junk-food, veggie burgers!

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