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Apr 19, 2010 06:49 PM

Sauteed or baked bananas - "platanos manzanas"

Many years ago I spent a summer in pre-Castro Cuba. I was served bananas in many ways. There were little green ones which were cut into discs and fried, some were baked, and I believe some were sauteed. I was a kid then, not into cooking, but I do recall that the bananas used for the dish I am after were ripened to the point of being brown and I thought they were called "platanos manzanas" -

The over-ripe bananas were cut lengthwise and either baked or sauteed and I think some sweetness (honey) was added.

Can you help me find the recipe? Thanks

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  1. You are thinking of "platanos maduros", which are sweet sauteed plantains. Manzanas are apples, and as I well know, memories falter in 50+ years.
    I used to mess with fresh plantains, but the frozen Goya brand is very good, and lets you spend your time preparing the rest of the meal. But you can surely Google a preparation of platanos maduros if you are a purist. Buen provecho. Y que Cuba sera libre algun dia.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Agreed, it's maduros. I was confused by "manzanas"; at first I though it was a plaintain/apple combo recipe that I had never heard of.

      Plaintains are usually very cheap in NYC, sometimes at 10 for $1.

      I like either the yellow (amarillo) or the black (maduro) ones sliced, fried and topped with a salty cheese, like feta or a melting cheese like jack or mozzarella. I've also had the maduros deep fried and served with mole poblano. Or just fried and topped with a little salt and hot sauce.

      You can bake the maduros, skin-on with ends removed, until very tender, or sauté thick slices in butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. Let the sugar caramelize and coat the banana. Prepared this way they make a nice topping for ice cream.

      Very ripe maduros also make great banana bread.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        Overruled, and now embarrassed: I do recall the term exactly, but realize it was not applied to plantains, but to small, very green bananas (same skin, linear striations, etc.) which were not sauteed but sliced into thin cross-sections and fried.

        But I do recall what I now accept is called platanos maduros and will seek the recipe. Thanks for the assistance.

        1. re: Gualtier Malde

          Looked around and FWIW it looked as though this one from Epicurious is one of the better ones:

          Thanks to all who replied.

        2. re: bushwickgirl

          I know this isn't authentic, but I've been doing a similar thing but adding a drizzle of maple syrup at the end instead of using brown sugar. Kind of a north woods adaptation of the tradition.

          And instead of using it as a topping for ice cream, I use top the bananas with just a bit of the ice cream. It feels indulgent but is relatively light.

      2. They do sell bananas here in Mazatlan called platanos manzanas. And, they have an apple favor. Never tasted them cooked, though. Or, long shot: could they have been platanos machos, which are plaintains? Those are most often prepared after the skins have blackened.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MazDee

          I was just at the market, and they are platanos manzanos, with an o. (I should have known that.)

          1. re: MazDee

            I'm glad to find another with the terminology. Fact is, I hadn't thought about these for some time and now I'm hoping for the taste again. If I can find some in Seattle I will try to duplicate the cooking process of slicing crosswise and sauteeing in butter. Trouble is I wasn't at all into cooking in my wasted "yout" and don't recall more than the vision of them in a stove-top pan.

            1. re: MazDee

              Yes, there is a type of baby banana called "Apple Banana" or "Manzana Banana". To me they are more like a baby plantain than a banana, as they are starchy and drying when eaten yellow, but become quite sweet as they turn brown.