I haven’t done a food/cooking blog post in a really long time. I always mean to but I either forget to get my camera out to take photos when I’m cooking or my camera battery’s not charged when I do remember.
Well, this time I remembered 🙂
I watch a lot of cooking shows. Iron Chef, Top Chef, Julia Child, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, you name it I probably watch it. As long as there’s food, I’m there.
I’ve always been a fan of the instructional cooking shows on PBS and one day happened to catch an episode of Cooking with Daisy. Daisy Martinez is the host of the show and she specializes in Latin (i.e. Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.) cuisine. In that particular episode that day she was demonstrating a recipe for tostones. It looked really tasty and easy enough for me to want to give it a try.
I purchased the green plantains from my neighborhood Latin market. They’re surprisingly cheap and only cost $2 for 10 plantains. If you’ve never tried a green plantain I would say it has a rather bland flavor and, despite its appearance, is nothing like a banana. It actually tastes like a root vegetable, like potatoes, taro or yuca. There’s no sweetness to it.
And that’s basically all I needed to purchase to make tostones. The only other supplies needed are a pan, oil, and salt which I already had.
The most difficult part of making tostones is the prep work. Peeling the skins off the plantains is a pain in the butt. They look like bananas but they’re totally different. The plantain peel is much tougher, thicker and harder than a banana peel. In order to remove the plantain skin, I cut both ends of the plantain off first then scored the skin with a knife to help pry the skin off.
After peeling the plantains, I cut the plantains into 1-inch chunks which I then pan fried in hot oil for 1-2 minutes per side. As they cook, the plantains change from a pale color to a brighter yellow.
I had to do this step in several batches because I had so many plantains. As soon as one batch completed frying I removed it to drain on some paper towel-lined newspapers, and I immediately put another batch of sliced raw plantains into the pan to fry.
Once the fried plantain slices were cool enough to handle, I placed them in the tostonera and pressed them flat. The flattened plantain slices then need to be fried for a second time to get golden brown and crispy on each side. The longer you fry them, the darker and crunchier they’ll get. I like them really crunchy so I left them in the pan for longer than Daisy showed on her cooking program.
As soon as the plantains finished frying for the second time I placed them on paper to drain and sprinkled a little salt on them, and that’s basically the whole recipe.
On the tv show, Daisy served the tostones with a garlic sauce called a mojo. I had some leftover salsa so that’s what I served with my tostones.
I have to say I really enjoy tostones. They’re kind of like thick cut potato chips. You can’t have just one.