Monday, September 24, 2007

No more fruitflies

My apartment has been plagued by fruit flies at various times this summer. Not just mine. Everyone on the first floor. Perhaps the other floors as well but I don't really have conversations with those folks. Their arrival was not really a surprise. They show up every summer. So I have learned to move quickly when it comes to fruit sitting out.

Over the last week, I have been enjoying fried plantains a couple of times. Two of the ones I had bought were green at the time but by Monday they were a lovely yellow. They needed to be eaten soon if I didn't want another reappearance of the pesky fruit flies. But one can only eat fried plantains so many times in a week.

Quite ripe plantains. They were green when I bought them.

Last Monday, while I was perusing my three Indian cookbooks, I came across the solution. (Yes, I own three Indian cookbooks. Are you surprised given the number of cookbooks I own?) I had originally planned to have these along with the vindaloo and the eggplant-tomato curry but then I got busy.

Stuffed plantains.

You cut the plantains into pieces about three inches long. Then cut a slit in one side, but not all the way through. In the slit, put a mixture of ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, sugar, turmeric, chili powder and a little oil. (The mixture was also supposed to contain cilantro but I was out.) Then warm up some oil in a pan -- around medium high, of course. Put some cumin seeds -- and black mustard seeds, if you have them (I didn't.) -- in the oil. Let them sizzle about 30 seconds or so. Then add the plantains, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Spicy sweet goodness.

And they went wonderfully with the mahi-mahi with salsa. I completed the plate with some romaine tossed with olive oil, cherry balsamic (Often I use raspberry balsamic but I figured that I needed something a little tart to counteract the other sweetness on the plate.), and a little black pepper.

I love the mahi-mahi and will probably serve it to guests in the future. Now I'm just playing with side dishes that would complement it. I welcome any suggestions.

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