Introduction: Baked Sweet Plantains

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These Cuban-style sweet plantains make a side-dish that works beautifully with meat or extremely spicy dishes, though you can of course treat it as a dessert. Be sure to use extremely ripe plantains- the skin should be almost completely black, not just speckled.

Note: I used only moderately ripe plantains in this example, so they're not as melting and caramelized as they should be. They were still tasty, but next time I'll be more patient, and will update with proper pictures. When done right they're absolutely delicious.

4 plantains, very ripe, with black skin
1/2 cup light rum (or dry white wine)
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, cubed
ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to taste

- Preheat oven to 350F
- Peel the plantains, and split them in half. Place cut-side up in a casserole dish.
- Mix booze and sugar, and pour on top of the plantains. Grate spices over top, and dot with small butter cubes.
- Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes
- Turn plantains over, baste with juices, and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes until tops are golden-brown. (A few seconds under the broiler can help finish them nicely.)
- Serve hot, with a scoop of pan juices.

You can also fry plantains: green they make a garlicky, savory dish called Tostones while fried moderately ripe they go well with sweet flavorings.