I realized today that I seriously need to get some sort of tagging system set up for my blog so I can divide it into categories. I couldn't remember whether I'd posted this recipe or not and just spent the last 20 minutes of my life going through every blog post I've ever written to make sure. Bleh.
What are they, you ask? Twice-fried plantains. A friend of mine from Puerto Rico once showed me how to make them when I showed up at her house for lunch on time. I had no idea I was supposed to be an hour late! Gotta love learning new customs. I totally got the upper hand, though, because she taught me how to make these, and my kids love them.
Get some plantains. Two or three of them are enough to feed my family of four. You don't want them totally green or you'll never get the skin off, but you want them fairly green. Too much yellow and they get sweet, and then they're still great for dessert but not for tostones. (I once got stopped in the grocery store by a Jamaican woman who was convinced I had no idea how to cook plantains because I was buying them green-ish. She had never heard of tostones. And then after I told her what I did with them, a little old lady stopped me for this recipe because she was curious, too. Plantains are apparently cause for grocery store curiosity.)
Chop the ends off, make a big slice down one side of the skin, and peel.
Slice them on a bias. You want to make them about 3/4" thick. More isn't bad. What I'm showing here is about as small as you want them. You'll see why later.
Heat up some oil and fry them in batches. When they start turning brown all over (flip them as needed), pull them out and let them drain on paper towels.
Yes, it's a dark photo, but it at least gives you an idea of how they should look after their first fry.
Then you'll need a couple of plates or a bowl and a plate. You'll put one of the fried slices on the back of the plate and smush it as flat as you can with the other plate or bowl. I like to use something with a rim so they don't get *tooooo* flat. In Puerto Rico and other Hispanic countries, they actually have wooden tostone makers (kind of like miniature tortilla makers), but us gringos have to make do.
Once they're flattened, fry them again. Drain them and sprinkle them with salt before they cool. *NOTE*: Go light on the salt. It sticks to the tostones like crazy, and the flavor can easily get overwhelmed by sodium. My friend used seasoned salt, but I react badly to MSG, so I just use regular table salt. I'm sure Mrs. Dash wouldn't be bad, either.
They taste kind of like potatoes but have a slightly different flavor. I love 'em, and I hope you will, too!