Gustavo A Mendoza, CFO/co-owner Brian Beal Moore Catering
Plantains are a staple in Latin American cuisine especially in the Caribbean region, and tostones are my favorite way to prepare them. Tostones are sliced green plantains that are pounded thin and deep fried until golden. At Brian Beal Moore Catering, we also find them to be the perfect vessels for a variety of delightful canapés as they have mild flavor and can support a variety of toppings.
Many regions compete for its origin and the recipe appears to be under two very distinct names depending on the country. They are called tostones in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and Haiti; they are called patacones in Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Peru. In West Africa, they are just called plantain chips.
In Venezuela particularly, tostones are simply sprinkled with salt and served primarily as a side dish. Be creative! and think about all the delicious toppings you can create. The possibilities are endless. Buen Provecho!
Ingredients 1 unripe/green plantain (the greener, the better)* 1½ cups of vegetable oil (enough for frying) 1 cup of water Garlic Powder (or 2 garlic cloves) Salt Olive oil Bowl
Add the oil to a small frying pan and heat it up on high temperature.
Mix the salt and garlic with the cup of water in a bowl, to create salty and garlicky water.
First cut the top and bottom of the plantain, just the tip. Then cut a slit from top to bottom through the skin, until you touch the pulp. Use a little bit of olive oil on your hands to separate the pulp from the skin, so that you avoid the pulp from blackening quickly.
Now cut the entire plantain in rounds of about half an inch each.
Fry the plantain rounds about 2 minutes on one side. Then turn and continue frying another 2 minutes on the other side.
Carefully remove the plantain from the pan and lay them on top of some paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Do not turn off the stove just yet.
Now you will flatten the rounds in to the famous “Tostones” shape. You can do this easily with a “Tostonera”, which is simply a wooden press created specifically to make Tostones. But if you don’t have one, you can use a mallet or the bottom of a plate. Make sure you don’t press too hard or the tostón will break. Leave them at about ¼ of an inch thick.
Dip each tostón in the salty/garlicky water mixture and then place them back in the pan to fry them a bit more.
Once golden take them out and lay them on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Sprinkle with salt and serve.
*1 plantain makes about 10 tostones (depending on the length and how thick you slice it).