Monday, October 25, 2010

Tostones (Fried Plantains)

Our friend Bobby, who writes a great blog about deep fried adventures, hosted a Deep Fried Thanksgiving Potluck on Sunday. In addition to a deep fried turkey, we sampled deep-fried stuffing, mashed potatoes, and of course sweet potatoes. Charlie and I decided to make tostones, or fried plantains, a dish we had loved during our trip to Nicaragua. These were very easy and really good! We couldn't cook them up fast enough for people. We served them with guacamole, but they're just as good plain or with some rice and beans.

Adapted from the Gourmet cookbook.


3 to 4 large unripe (green) or barely ripe (slightly yellow) plantains
about 2 cups olive, canola, or peanut oil for frying

1. With a sharp small knife cut ends from each plantain and cut a lengthwise slit through skin. Cut plantains crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces and, beginning at slit, pry skin from pieces. (Warning: this is a little trickier than peeling bananas!)

2. In a 12" nonstick skillet heat 1/2 inch oil over moderate heat until just hot enough to sizzle when a plantain piece is added. Fry plantains in batches, without crowding, until tender and just golden, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. With tongs transfer plantains as fried to paper towels to drain.

3. Remove skillet from heat and reserve oil. With the bottom of a heavy saucepan or a wide solid metal spatula flatten plantains to 1/4 inch thick (about 3 inches in diameter). This is the most fun part.

4. Dip flattened plantains into a bowl of warm salted water, 1 at a time. Heat reserved oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and fry flattened plantains in batches, without crowding, until golden, about 3 minutes. Use tongs to transfer tostones to paper towels to drain. Season with salt if desired.

5. Serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 18 to 24 tostones

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