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The Mexican Cook Book (1971) – Platanos Fritos / Fried Bananas

May 10, 2013
The Mexican Cook Book (1971) by George and Inger Wallace. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

The Mexican Cook Book (1971) by George and Inger Wallace. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Wallace, George and Inger. The Mexican Cook Book. Concord, CA: Nitty Gritty Productions, 1971. P. 149 [TX716 .M4 W35 1971]

Long-time readers of this blog may remember my adventures (and mis-adventures) with baked bananas back in 2011

Some readers suggested that I might have better luck with fried bananas, and at last my opportunity to do arose when I found the Wallace’s recipe. Rather than being crisp-fried, these bananas are lightly fried and then simmered in orange juice that reduces to a kind of syrup.

Platanos Fritos / Fried Bananas

Frying bananasDuring fiestas bananas cooked this way are sold from hand carts and stalls all over Mexico, and eaten on the spot.

  • 4 large bananas, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 4 T. butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Rind of 1 orange, grated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

simmering bananas IIFry bananas in melted butter 1 minute on each side

Mix sugar, orange juice and rind; pour over the bananas.

Simmer until tender–about 15 minutes. Turn bananas and spoon syrup over them while cooking.

Serve warm with sauce made of equal parts sour cream and powdered sugar.

In the Kitchen

finished bananas

Distracted by other things, I made a major error when preparing this recipe last night. As you can see from the photos, I sliced the bananas cross-wise into rounds instead of length-wise as the recipe dictates.

Then, when I added the orange juice and began to simmer the bananas, I thought, “oh no, another case of a mid-century American author translating plátanos as bananas when it should be plantains!” I was certain that 15 minutes of simmering would completely reduce the bananas to inedible mush.

As it turns out, though, although the bananas did become quite mushy, they were quite tasty mush. I skipped the sour cream sauce due to dietary restrictions, but I think its addition would have made this a little like banana cream pie filling. It would also go well over vanilla ice cream.

I’m still not 100% certain whether this recipe is intended for bananas or plantains, but the former at least, does produce good results, even with less-than-perfect execution of the recipe.

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