The versatile fruit is as delicious in a skillet with tomatoes and eggs as it is alone, so why not make both?
By Sam Sifton
Good morning. Yewande Komolafe is in The Times this week with a fantastically detailed and informative treatise on plantains that will, I hope, encourage you to cook with the fruit more than you already do — which may be often or may be not at all. Of course she has recipes to help you on your way: one for plantains with jammy tomatoes and eggs (above), which calls for firm yellow plantains; the other for the plantain fritters known as mosas, which calls for super-ripe, black-skinned plantains.
And we’ve got plenty more on New York Times Cooking, with recipes for the fried sweet plantains known as maduros; for the fried green plantains known as tostones; for Ghanaian spinach stew with sweet plantains; for an asaro, a rich stew, of yams and plantains with crispy shallots; for caramelized plantains with beans, scallions and lemon; for mofongo and more. Just search “plantains” and see what delights.
Plantains for dinner tonight, then? If I haven’t convinced you, try Meera Sodha’s amazing chicken curry instead, or maple-baked salmon, or pork chops in cherry-pepper sauce with a side of plain spaghetti and a Lucali salad after. And we’ll always have tofu and green beans with chile crisp.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with table salt or the scent of tarragon, but John Williams’s terrific Times review of Jonathan Lee’s fourth novel, “The Great Mistake,” got me to buy the book. It may do the same for you.
Sometimes all I want to do is drive around Long Beach listening to Vince Staples: “Are You With That.”
Other times, I just want to watch Joe Coscarelli’s “Diary of a Song,” this time with Lorde, dishing on her summer jam, “Solar Power.”
Finally, you ever cook Tejal Rao’s vegetarian kofta curry? Or her toor dal? Once she traveled to interior Maine to cook with the chef Erin French and returned with an amazing chilled golden beet and buttermilk soup that is a marvel of carefully calibrated acidity. Her adaptation of Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor’s onion pie? Oh, boy. Tejal cooks with meats and fishes right alongside the best of them, but her vegetarian recipes are absolutely superb.
So it’s a delight to report that she’s starting a newsletter for New York Times Cooking that’s devoted to the pleasures of vegetarian cooking, and that will exist alongside this missive and the ones written by Emily Weinstein. It’s called “The Veggie,” and you can sign up for it here. Do that, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.
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