Tostones



Tostones

This is guineo (also called banano in Nicaraguan Spanish).  It’s very similar to a plantain, and is basically a cousin of the famous Chiquita banana.  You can eat it ripe, and it tastes sweet, like a banana, but you can also fry or boil it while it’s unripe and it comes out tasting like a potato.
Guineo; given to us by literacy students
So tostones (sounds like “toast-toe-nays”) are slices of unripe plantain or guineo that are smashed and fried.  They’re goooood, and are a perfect french-fry substitute.  Here's how to make them (and please excuse my ugly pictures - we don't have any windows in our kitchen here, so I have to use the flash :-)

First take a green (unripe) plantain or guineo and chop off the ends.  Then peel, like so…
Once peeled, cut into approximately 1” slices…
In a pan, heat up some vegetable or non-virgin olive oil (about ½ c) and when it’s hot, add the plantain/guineo slices.
When they’re turning yellow underneath, flip them over one by one to fry the other sides.
After they’ve turned slightly golden (or bright yellow), remove the slices from the pan with a slotted spoon (allow oil to drain) and put them on a flat surface.  I use a clean tin can, but you can use anything hard and flat, and you carefully smash each disc flat…
Place the flattened discs back into the hot oil.  This twice-fried method ensures super crispy crunchy tostones.  After a minute or two, flip each disc over, allowing them to turn golden-brown on each side.




When they’re golden brown and crunchy, remove them from the oil and onto a plate covered with a paper towel.  Sprinkle salt over them (like you would with fries) and serve with ketchup.  Enjoy!

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