I have been going around some Latin American countries in the last 5 years and when I arrived in Paraguay I did not know they do not know what Plátanos are. In my head everybody knew what plátanos were but the americans,,,,silly me, that is why traveling is good.
For my english speaking friends, there are two types of plátanos, the one that is a fruit and the other one which is starchy, bigger and you use it to cook. You can make chips, or you can boil it and make mashed plantains, you can make bread and of course tostones, which is what I am going to show you today. By the way, tostones is not the only way to call this recipe, it is also known as tachino, chatino y plátano a puñetazo, depending in where in Latin america you are.
Here in this picture you can see the difference between the plantains (green) and the bananas (reddish and yellow).
But Plantains can also be yellow when they are ripe…and there are delicious recipes with it as well, but that will be another day.
After all this Plátano lesson, lets start with the recipe.
– 3 0r 4 green plantains (the greener the better)
– oil to fry (what ever oil you prefer)
Let´s start the cooking…
Peel the plantains ,,,here is how:
When peeling plátanos or plantains, moisten hands and rub with salt to prevent the juices from sticking to your hands.
Cut off about 1 inch from both ends. Using a sharp knife, make 2 lengthwise cuts at opposite ends of the plantain. While holding the plátano steady with your left hand, use your right hand to slide the tip of the knife under the skin and begin to pull it away, going from top to bottom.
Then cut each plantain in 2 inch slices, put a frying pan on the stove with an inch or two of oil. Now that the oil is not that hot you add the plantain slices and keep the fire medium-high. Just add enough plantains to fill the pan but not too many that it will create a pile.
Once the plantain slices turn to a more golden color, you take them out of the pan…and remove the pan out of the fire.
Now it is the time to create the Tostones,,,one by one you take the plantain slice and smash it with the bottom of a cup or a bottle, assuming you do not have the tool that has been created for this ( it is not that important, don´t worry), see the pictures below…
Once all the tostones are created, then you put the pan in the fire again but this time let it get really hot and when it gets hot you add the tostones (do not put too many, there has to be some room for them to fry well) and fry them for a second time until you can feel with your spatula that they are hard and with a little darker golden color. Then you remove them from the pan and continue frying the rest of the tostones.
Now you add some salt and you can have them with guacamole, humus, any sauce or by itself. One of my favorite foods ever!