Recipe courtesy of Ann Vanderhoof, author of The Spice Necklace.
Garlic–Cilantro Aioli Dip
Peel plantains: Cut off both ends and cut each plantain in half crosswise. On each half, make three slits down the length of the peel all the way through to the flesh. Remove the sections of skin with your fingers.
Slice the plantains crosswise about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
Heat about ¼ inch (5 mm) of oil in a large heavy frying pan on medium heat and fry plantain slices until lightly browned on the flat sides.
As they brown, remove slices to paper towel to drain. Reserve oil in frying pan.
Cool a couple of minutes, then put slices in cold salted water (about 1 tbsp [15 mL] salt per cup [250 mL] of water) for about 5 minutes.
Drain. Place slices between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and pound to flatten. Slices should be about double the diameter, and a scant ½ inch (1 cm) thick.
Reheat oil in frying pan, and fry slices again on both sides, about 1 ½ minutes per side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately with Garlic–Cilantro Aïoli for dipping.
Put garlic in olive oil and set aside at room temperature to steep for about 30 minutes.
Remove garlic, and combine the oil with fresh lime juice, cilantro, and mayonnaise. Add salt to taste.
Tips: For a curry aioli: Heat the garlic oil in a small frying pan and stir in about 1 tbsp of curry powder. Continue to cook for a few minutes to remove the raw taste of the curry. Allow to cool, then mix with enough of the mayonnaise to thin to dipping consistency. Add salt to taste. Both dips can be made ahead.