Its been said that "everything that is
old is new again." Much to my amazement, that
now includes "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show".
Much more to my amazement, it stars Robert De Niro!
I have not seen the movie but my favorite part of
the show was the story of Mr. Peabody, the dog who
"owned" a son.
"Sherman, my boy," as Mr. Peabody might
intone in a somewhat smarmy way, (especially for a
dog!), "Please set the 'Way Back Machine' to
the summer of 73."
Were going to a little place on Duval Street
in Key West called Café Expresso. But now the
dog and boy are gone and the memories are all my own...
Oh yes, shes coming into view quite clearly
now and although I cant remember her name, I
do remember some structurally challenged stretch pants,
a great gold-gilded, toothy smile topped with orange
I was helping some carpenter buddies of mine re-build
some tottering, wooden houses on the island. It was
numbing work, let me tell you. Man, could we eat back
Wed go to Café Expresso for lunch or
sometimes dinner. She was there either way. Dishing
out rice, pork chops, breaded steaks, fish stews,
bean soups and, of course, those sweet, honey-hued,
chewy-soft and heavenly fried plantains.
Plantains [a variety of the banana] were the first
exotic food I tried when I moved to Key West from
a little town north of Chicago that just nailed me.
They made the other things all so harmoniously delicious.
At first I didnt have the touch when I cooked
them at home. I had no abuela coaxing me to
"let them ripen, Chico! Let them turn almost
black if you want them to taste the way you like them
in the café." But you live and learn,
no? Green ones are good for chips and the black or
maduro ones are the ones for the sweet caramelized
Its those maduros that I use to make
an intense smoky, creamy sauce for my take on Roast
Pork Havana Nueva. There are a total of four sauces
on that dish, but seven times out of ten the ones
guests ask me about in the dining room is, "Whats
the one that is kind of golden and sweet?"
"Its the Plantain Crema," I tell them.
I love plantains.