Tostones, or twice-fried plantains, are a crispy and delicious taste of the tropics.
While there’s a lot to love about Texas cuisine, I often miss the flavors of South Florida, where my husband and I spent the first two years of our marriage.
The Miami area blends cultures and cuisines with an extra helping of tropical flair. From Haiti to Puerto Rico to Cuba, twice-fried plantains under some name are a tropical standard and one of my favorite Miami memories.
At most of the restaurants we went to, these savory treats were called tostones. Made from green or not-too-ripe plantains (similar to large, starchy bananas), tostones make a great side to serve with a big bowl of beans for a casual dinner, or a perfect snack to serve with your favorite tropical drink.
• 2 green or light yellow plantains (avoid those with many black spots, as they will be too ripe)
• Peanut oil (or another oil suitable for frying)
• Half a lime
1. Near your frying space, set up a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and line with paper towels if desired.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan or cast-iron skillet, heat about 2 inches of oil to 300-320 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. While the oil is heating, use a chef’s knife to slice off the ends of the peels of both plantains, then cut each plantain (through the peel) into 1 ½-inch chunks. For each chunk, cut down the side of the peel from top to bottom (cutting completely through the skin), and then remove the peel.
4. Fry the chunks (in 2 batches), turning with heat-proof tongs as necessary, until light golden all around.
5. Use the tongs to transfer the chunks to the prepared cooling rack as ready. Adjust the heat of the oil as necessary to keep the heat between 330 to 325degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Transfer the fried chunks to a cutting board and use a flat-bottomed drinking glass to smash each chunk to a ¼-inch-thick disk.
7. Allow the oil to come up in temp to 320 to 340 degrees.
8. Fry the disks in batches until dark golden and crispy.
9. Transfer the tostones to the prepared cooling rack as necessary, seasoning immediately with a few drops of lime juice and a good sprinkling of salt.
Tostones are best if eaten soon after frying, either on their own or with a simple dipping sauce of pureed garlic and olive oil.
Morgan Crumm is a mother, blogger, recipe-developer, and real-food advocate based in Dallas, Texas. More of her work can be found at Being The Secret Ingredient, a blog about food, life, and love.
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