In her splendid cookbook, A Taste of Old Cuba (HarperCollins), Maria Josefa Lluria de O'Higgins offered this recipe (this is our adaptation) for a dish so adored by Cubans that they'll serve it with anything.
Plantains are far from plain—frying or cooking them enhances their sweetness.
Yield: serves 4
3 large, ripe (black-skinned) plantains
Peel plantains and cut on the diagonal into 1⁄2" slices.
Pour about 1" of vegetable oil into a large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. (Don't let oil cool down too much.) Fry plantain slices until they are almost black but not burned.
Drain and serve immediately, or keep them in a warm oven until serving time.