Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tostones

Are these cute or what?  Can you see the little banana shapes in the middles?  You know how I often say in my posts that I could never have invented this or that?  How it's so odd/genius/out of the box that it would never have occurred to me?  But I could have invented tostones, had I lived in a country where there were green bananas and I was hungry.  But I don't, and I didn't, so I tried plantains for the first time today.

Plantains are, apparently, much like bananas, only harder.





Here's what mine looked like prior to being experimented on.  They were pretty hard:

And cut into pieces:


As you can see, these plantains are green, and a taste test proved they tasted like regular green bananas: starchy and bitter, and not sweet at all.  But, my sources say, that's perfect for tostones. 

What you do is peel these pieces and chuck them into some oil heated to medium (You know how I say, "I never deep fry..."?) and deep fry them for a few minutes, until they look something like this:


They still seemed dishearteningly hard, but I did as instructed, and placed a piece between two sheets of waxed paper, pressed the bottom of a glass on top, and squished.  Hey, they squished pretty easily.  Friends, you do not need a tostone press.  The squished ones looked like this:


Then you put them back into the hot oil and fry them a little more, until they've had enough, and turned golden.  I had thought tostones would be soft and sweet, but they aren't at all.  They're crispy and starchy.  Some recipes come with an additional little sauce you can serve them with, very garlicky and spicy.  I didn't make that this time, but now that I know what to expect, I will in the future.  These things are delicious

I had them with the Cuban-style black beans from Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet, as well as some jasmine rice and mini-squashes steamed on top of it.  Yummmm....


A perfect Thursday meal, and it didn't take long to put together, either.



8 comments:

  1. They are cute; they remind me of pansies or little faces.

    Your dinner is vibrant!

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  2. Those are so good!!! My boyfriend's mom is Dominican and makes them for me whenever i come over:) She gave me a little press thing to make them but I'd rather have hers:):)

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  3. Okay...so ding dong me threw away a few plantains I bought because I thought they were bad...they were hard and bitter so I let them "ripen," then they did go bad :) Guess I'll have to try that one again.

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  4. I like these a lot, but what I really like is maduros - the same plantains, but ripe. They're actually best when the skins are totally brown. Just peel, cut, and fry (no need to squish) for an amazing sweet treat. Slightly less ripe, they are a great addition to soups, especially with beans and a lot of lime.

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  5. Whenever I hear 'Tostones' I think of 'Cahones'. The Tostones do look appealing.

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  6. Thanks, Rose and Allison. They really were good!

    Jenny, I would have done the same as you without my research ;-)

    Nichim, I only used one of the plantains in my tostones, so with the other one I plan to do exactly as you suggest! Thanks!

    Shenandoah, um, so do I.

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  7. When we were in Ecuador, I had my first plantains, and they were cooked in soup and tasted like potatoes. I've also had fried plantains that tasted sweeter. Yours look good, but I never deep fry anything, so once again, I'll probably have to come to your house to try one.

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  8. Well, Andrea, as you can see, I, another non-deep-fryer, have been making sacrifices for my VeganMoFo project. What else can I say...except that I spent some time with the old Nature Clean cleaning the grease off my stove and stove hood today. It all came off. Hey, I make no apologies!

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