TOSTONES CON MOJITO DE AJO (TWICE-FRIED PLANTAINS WITH GARLIC SAUCE)

I said a few days ago that we would talk about tostones at a later date.  Today is the later date.  Tostones are exactly what the title says, twice-fried plantains.  As you probably know, a plantain looks like a green banana, but is very different.  They can be cooked in various ways, but this my favorite.  They can served as an appetizer, or as a side dish.  Either way, just like potato chips, you can’t eat just one.  : )
TOSTONES

1  plantain
5 Tbsp canola oil
Kosher Salt

The first step is to peel the plantain.  If you have never cooked plantains before, remember, they may look like green bananas, but they are different.  They cannot be eaten raw, and the peel is thicker and tougher than a banana peel.  It must be removed with a knife.  If you are really adept at this, you can make a slit down the side and open the peel right off.  I can’t always do this.  If you can’t either, don’t feel bad.  As long as you get the peel off, that’s all that matters.  Here is a video of Jorge removing the peel the correct way.

Looks easy, right?  After peeling the plantain, you need to chop it into 5 or 6 pieces.   

Fry the plantain pieces in the canola oil until lightly browned.  (I got the oil a little too hot and mine are more than lightly browned on one side.  No bother; they were just fine.)   
When browned, remove and drain on paper towel.  Now they have to be flattened.  You can do one of two ways.  You can buy a tostonera which is made for this purpose, or you can use the bottom of a saucer.  The tostonera does not have to be expensive.  I think I paid $1.99 for this one and I found it in, of all places, an Amish store in Crofton, KY.  Go figure that one…. Anyway, here is how you flatten the browned pieces.
After flattening, return the pieces to the pan and refry until they are crispy. 
Remove from the pan, drain on a paper towel, and salt to taste.
And now, for the garlic sauce.  Some people want a dipping sauce for their tostones, some eat them alone.  Either way is fine.  I happen to like the sauce, so I serve it on the  side so that everyone has an option.  , but the changes are mine. 
GARLIC SAUCE
Adapted from  A TASTE OF PUERTO RICO by Yvonne Ortiz (PLUME, 1997)
8 garlic cloves
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. GOYA® Adobo
The easier, modern way is to use a food processor.  If you have a mini-food processor, even better.  Otherwise, you can use a mortar and pestle, and yes, I have done it that way.  The food processor yields a smoother sauce, though. 
So, that’s it!  Nothing to it!  So easy, and soooo good!  Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.Hans Christian Andersen



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