March 16, 2007

Tostones recipe (twice fried plantains)



2 green plantains, the fatter the better
oil for frying
salt to taste

plantain slicesHeat oil in a heavy skillet or deep fryer to 375°F. Peel* plantains and cut into 1 inch slices.

frying tostonesPlace a few plantain slices in the hot oil and cook until tender and golden in color, about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining slices.

While the slices are still warm, smash them with your rock, a meat mallet, or a large flat bottomed cup until they are about 1/4 inch thick.

Smashing tostonesThis photo shows the size of the smashed tostones compared to one unsmashed one on the left. The size of the tostones will depend upon the thickness of the plantains and the thickness of the slices.

Return a few at a time to the hot oil, without overcrowding, and continue frying until crisp and deep golden, but not brown, about 3 more minutes. When they are perfectly done, they are crispy on the outside but still tender inside.

Tostone con mantequillaDrain on paper towels and season lightly with salt. Serve as a snack or side dish Honduran style with mantequilla blanca (similar to crème fraîche or a thin sour cream), Puerto Rican style with mojo, or Panamanian style with ketchup. They can also be topped with cheese or various other toppings or dips as an appetizer.

These tostones turned out yummy and this Popuolu has a good flavor. If you've never had plantains, you should know that they have no banana flavor. I don't much like bananas but I love plantains.

Tostones are very filling. As an appetizer, one or two good sized tostones would be more than enough. As a side dish with a full meal, one-half plantain per person would probably be enough.

Peeling Popoulu plantains*Peeling green plantains: If you've never used unripe bananas or plantains before, you'll find that you can't peel them the way you can a ripe banana.

Green bananas or plantains are peeled by cutting off the small part of both ends, then using the tip of a knife to slit the peel lengthwise trying not to cut into the fruit.

Peeling Popoulu plantainsUse your fingers or a knife to try to loosen and pry the cut edge of the peel away from the fruit. Once you have loosened the edges of the cut, you should be able to pull off the peel in sections.

I'm usually pretty good at this but these were very thin-skinned plantains which had to be peeled with a knife. Generally the peel is much thicker.

Color of cooked plantainI mentioned in my earlier article today that some sources referred to these weird shaped 'bananas' as plantains. This picture shows that whether I have Popoulus or another variety, they are definitely plantains and not bananas.

Plantains, or plátanos in Spanish, turn this bright yellow color when cooked. Bananas do not. Case closed!

It is a good thing that they were plátanos because tostones are supposed to be made with plátanos, not bananas. They may be made with bananas in some countries, but I think that would be highly frowned upon here in Honduras.

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