Here's a Cuban favorite of mine that's great to serve as an appetizer or with a meal. It's not a low-fat recipe (as implied by the "twice-fried"!) but it's definitely delicious and the Mojo Criollo dipping sauce that goes with it is the perfect compliment to these crunchy treats!
- 3-4 green plantains (yellow plantains are sweet and we don't want that for this recipe)
- canola oil (or vegetable oil)
- Tostonera (plantain press)
1. Take one plantain and with a sharp knife, cut the ends off. Then make a shallow slit lengthwise from the top of the plantain peel to the bottom, being careful not to cut into the plantain itself. Then take your fingers and separate the peel from the plantain. Remove the peel and discard. Do this for each plantain.
2. Cut the plantains into small slices, about 2 to 3 fingers thick.
3. In a large frying pan, pour enough canola oil to almost cover the slices of plantain (about 2 or 3 cups depending on the size of your pan). Heat the oil on Medium heat. Once the oil is heated, gently place the plantain slices in the pan and allow them to cook on each side until each side is golden (maybe a little brown, very little though!). *Cooking over Medium heat is very important because if you put the heat too high, the outside will cook too quickly while the inside won't cook through enough.
4. For this next step, you'll want to create a little assembly line to make the process more fluid. Grab a bowl filled with water and pour salt in it liberally. Make sure the salt is mixed into the water well. Place a thick layer of paper towels on your prep counter. Next to it place the Tostonera, next to that place the bowl of salt water, and next to that place another paper towel. Got that? ;) *If you don't have a Tostonera, you can use the flat bottom of a bowl.
5. One by one, remove the plantain slices from the oil and quickly place it on the thick layer of paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Then place the slice in the Tostonera and flatten. Dip the flattened plantain (tostones) in the salt water and then set it aside on the last paper towel. Do this for each slice.
6. Turn the heat up on the oil to Medium/High. Place the tostones back in the oil and fry until crispy and lightly browned.
7. Put a paper towel on the serving dish. Remove the tostones from the oil, place on the serving dish, and sprinkle salt on top. Serve with Mojo dipping sauce.
Mojo Criollo (Creole Garlic Sauce)
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 small yellow onion, very thinly sliced (almost translucent)
- 1/2 cup GOYA sour orange juice OR 1/4 cup sweet orange juice
- juice of 1/2 a lime and 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Use a mortar & pestle or a food processor to crush the garlic with the salt to make a thick paste.
2. In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, onion, and citric juices and let it sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
3. Right before serving, heat the olive oil over Medium/High heat in a saucepan until it's really hot. Add the garlic mixture (careful it might splatter), stir, and serve immediately. (Any extra sauce can be refrigerated and used later.)