Ah…Tostones! No they’re not a long forgotten Motown group, they’re twice fried green plantains. Cut to me spending a week in Puerto Rico for work and being served the most wonderful alternative to a french fry and….whoa! Where have you been all my life?!!? What are plantains you ask? Well they’re those humungo green (or black) bananas you see in the store. Sometimes they’re called cooking bananas. How are they different from the average nanner? Well, they have more starch than regular bananas – particularly when they’re green – thus they’re always cooked or fried. Think of them as a cross between a banana and a potato when they’re unripe. But back to my point; tostones! Serve them up with mojo (minced garlic sautéed in EVOO) and you’ll wonder why McDonalds isn’t serving these up instead. OH……and a HUGE shout out to my PR peeps (Betsy, Vimarie, Edwin and the rest of the bunch at CCMPR) for treating me to the best tostones in town.
- 2 large green plantains (do not buy them yellow or black for this recipe)
- ½ – 1 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Note: The oil should come up about an inch but no more than 1/3 of the side of the pan to avoid any grease fires
- Peel the plantains. Cut the top and bottom off, then slice the peel all the way through from top to bottom in several places. Use the blade to pry the peel off. Trust me…it’s not like peeling a ripe banana
- Slice the plantains into ½ inch pieces
- Mince the garlic and cilantro separately
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels
- Fry the plantain slices for 1 – 2 minutes on each side or until they begin to turn golden. Do this in batches if you needed to avoid crowding the pan.
- Remove from the oil and drain and cool on the paper towels for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté the garlic in the EVOO over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the garlic has softened and turned slightly golden. Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro. Voila…you have mojo!
- After the slices have cooled, flatten them to about ¼ inch using a meat mallet or the bottom of a dish.
- Fry the plantains once more until they’re golden brown and crisp.
- Drain on fresh paper towels and sprinkle with salt immediately.
- Serve hot with the mojo (garlic and cilantro) on the side!
- Pair this with grilled or broiled meats (e.g. steak, fish, chicken, burgers). Think about swapping out any roasted or fried potato with this recipe or just as an appetizer.
- Wash these lovely crisps down with a tall mojito!