Tostones

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

    as an appetizer

Appears in

When you’re looking for an unusual appetizer for your next party, try tostones. They are twice-fried slices of green plantains (fruits that hail from the Puerto Rican and Cuban communities). Although I don’t often fry foods, when I do want that crispy and rich outer crust that comes only when you fry in hot oil, I always choose the right oil—one that can withstand high temperatures without dangerous smoking. I hope that you’ll choose wisely as well. I use almond oil for this recipe, but a refined avocado, sunflower, grapeseed, or safflower oil is also a good choice for high-heat cooking.

Ingredients

  • Sea salt
  • 3 green plantains
  • ¾ cup almond oil

Method

  1. Pour 4 cups of warm water into each of two separate bowls. Stir 1 teaspoon of sea salt into each bowl and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
  2. Peel the plantains: Cut off and discard the tips and cut each plantain in half lengthwise, then cut a lengthwise slit just through the peel, and peel back and remove the entire peel. Slice each plantain into 1-inch rounds, placing the rounds into one bowl of the salted water as you cut them. This process helps to keep your tostones moist. Place an absorbent kitchen towel or a double layer of paper towels on your countertop.
  3. Using your hands, lift the plantains from the salted water, shake off excess water, and lay the slices in a single layer on half of the kitchen towel. Using the other half of the towel, cover and blot dry the plantain slices. You’ll be using the kitchen towel twice, so leave it on the counter while your proceed. Line a cookie sheet with a double layer of paper towels (or with a brown paper bag) and set it by the stove. This will be for draining excess oil from the fried plantains.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Arrange the plantains in a single layer, without crowding, in the hot skillet. Fry them for about 6 minutes, until the underside is golden brown; using tongs, turn and fry the other side for about 4 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the fried plantains onto the paper-lined cookie sheet. Turn off the heat but leave the skillet on the stove.
  5. Using the bottom of a heavy coffee mug, press each fried plantain to flatten to about ¼-inch thickness and about 50 percent larger circumference. One at a time, dip each fried plantain into the second bowl of salted water, lift out, and shake off excess water. Set the plantains in a single layer on half of the kitchen towel. Lift the other half of the towel, cover and blot dry the plantains.
  6. Reheat the almond oil over high heat and fry the plantains for about 2 minutes per side, until deep golden brown. Unless you’re using a huge skillet, you’ll have to do this second frying in two batches because the slices are now wider. Drain them on the paper-lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all the plantains are fried. Serve warm.

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