Plantains…we have all seen them in the stores, sometimes green, but more often yellow with black spots so large I used to think they were past their life expectancy. The truth is, have paid little attention to them, mostly because their appearance put me off.
But then, one evening, watching The Amazing Race, the contestants were in Ecuador, which piqued my attention because we have friend from that country. Wouldn’t you know it, one of the challenges was to cook plantains!! They were making twice-fried plantains, called Tostones. Finally, a clue, and basically, a how to video right there, on prime time television!
I was very happy to surprise our Ecuadorian friends with a batch of these the next time they came over.
The technique is the same regardless of the colour of the plantain. Greener ones will be savoury and can be served as part of a meal. Salt them and dip them in ketchup, like French fries. The yellow and black ones are riper, and therefore sweeter. They are great for breakfast or dessert. I like these sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
Unfortunately there are no photos of my finished product because I was lame and forgot, but if you google Tostones, you will find many examples.
This makes 4 servings, about 120 calories per serving (without toppings, of course).
oil for frying
Heat oil in large skillet. You can either deep fry or just pan fry in a bit of oil. (I chose to deep-fry mine)
Peel plantains and cut into 2″ pieces.
Add plantain pieces to hot oil and fry until they soften and are golden on both sides. About 5 minutes.
Place fried plantains on paper towel covered work surface and gently press with bottom of a heavy glass or aa frying pan , squishing them until they are about 1/2″ thick.
Return flattened pieces to hot oil and fry until crispy. About 3 minutes per side.
Drain on paper towels, season with salt and pepper. Serve.