Tostones are pieces of plantain that have been fried, smashed and fried again. Tostones are very commonly found in Carribean, Central American and South American cuisine and are especially popular in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic where my mother is from. To make these double fried plantains you'll need a Tostonera which is a wooden paddle with a flap and an indent in the center.
You can find these online for very inexpensive. If you live in Eastern Massachusetts, a lot of Market Baskets carry them and place them near the plantains (the Burlington, MA Market Basket is where I got mine). If you don't want to invest in a Tostonera, just use two flat surfaces like a cutting board and the back of a small skillet to flatten the plantains.
How to Make Tostones
Cook these Tostones in batches of 2, 4 or 6. You'll fry 2 plantains at a time so it makes sense to make them in even numbers. Six will give you quite a lot!
Add 36 oz of canola or vegetable oil to a wide pot and heat. In the meantime, prepare the plantains.
First make sure you bought a plantain and not a really green banana. Plantains are have a very tough peel and a starchy smell to them. Or ask your grocer for help. Also buy plantains that are green like the one above and not ones that have ripened. Those are yellow/brown and are too sweet for Tostones but delicious for other recipes.
Cut off the top and bottom of the plantain at an angle. Discard those pieces.
The peel of a green plantain is very tough to remove. It's not at all like a banana. My trick to getting the peel off is to cut open a slit lengthwise down one side.
And then down the other.
Get your thumb underneath the peel and start coaxing it away from the plantain. Discard peel.
Cut each plantain into six even slices at a diagonal. Above there are twelve pieces from two whole plantains.
When the oil is hot, add the chunks of plantains. I do this 2 plantains at a time. You can check to see if the oil is hot enough by testing it out with one piece of plantain and see if bubbles immediately for around it. If they don't, remove the piece of plantain and test a little later.
Cook the plantain for 2-3 minutes with the oil over medium heat. If you are brave, cook for 1-2 minutes over higher heat. Once the plantain starts to become golden brown, it's time to smash!
This process has to be quick so make sure you set up everything before hand. Get some paper towels down and put the tostonera on top. Make sure you have tongs handy too. Add the plantain to the tostonera.
Close the lid and SMASH!
This is what the end result looks like. Scrape off the smashed plantain with your tongs. Be careful not to break the plantain. Then add it back to the oil. Do this to all of the plantain pieces.
Fry for a couple more minutes.
Until they are crispy and golden.
Place them hot tostones on a plate with paper towel and salt them when they are hot. Continue with the other plantains if you are making more. You can add a paper towel over one layer of tostones to add the next batch so they all stay on one plate. Serve hot!
Tostones are great with
1) Ketchup or a Remoulade
2) Tuna (I know this sounds gross but it's really good)
3) Avocado slices or Guacamole
4) served alongside Rice, Salad and Steak or Sautéed Fish.
To Make Tostones You'll Need
36 oz of vegetable or canola oil
a wide pot
2, 4 or 6 plantains
a pair of tongs
1) Heat up 36 oz of oil in a wide pot over medium heat
2) Cut plantain top and bottom at an angle, discard
3) Cut a slit in the peel lengthwise on both sides
4) Coax peel away from plantain with your thumb, discard
5) Cut each plantain into 6 even slices and at a diagonal
6) Test oil with one plantain, if it sizzles it's ready
7) Fry two plantains at a time or 12 slices at a time
8) Fry 2-3 minutes or until it starts to get golden
9) Smash in tostonera and scrape off. Return to pot
10) Repeat with all of the plantain chunks
11) Fry smashed plantains until crispy and golden brown
12) Place tostones on top of plate which has been covered with paper towel
13) Salt while hot
14) Serve while hot