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JJ Johnson—the James Beard Foundation Book Award-winning chef behind the "rice bowl concept" restaurant Fieldtrip in Harlem—is best known for cooking the food of the African diaspora. Here, he shares his super-flavorful fried plantains topped with hot honey and roasted red peppers. They are great as a side dish or even a vegetarian main dish.
Check out JJ on Cleo TV's "Just Eats with Chef JJ" and at the newest location of Fieldtrip in Rockefeller Center.
Pro Tip from JJ: To save time and effort, you can use store-bought roasted peppers instead of roasting your own.
Position an oven rack as close as you can to the broiling element in your oven, then turn the broiler to high. Line a sheet tray with paper towels and set aside.
Brush the red pepper with the olive oil. Place it on a baking sheet and broil, turning it occasionally with a pair of tongs, until the skin is completely blackened, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the pepper to a heatproof bowl and cover.
Meanwhile, cut off the ends of the plantains, carefully peel, then cut diagonally into 1 ½-inch pieces.
Once the pepper has cooled, remove the skin with your hands. Slice the flesh into strips, being careful not to include any seeds, season with salt and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place 1 plantain piece in the oil to test it. If it bubbles around the plantain, the oil is ready.
Place the plantains carefully in the hot oil, making sure to not overcrowd the pan. Cook, turning once, until they begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until soft and deep golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the prepared sheet tray to drain and season with salt while still hot.
Drizzle the hot honey over the warm plantains and top with the roasted peppers. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.