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tostones (twice fried green, unripe plantains) with mango and red onion salsa recipe

June 18, 2009

I like french fries.  You like french fries.  Everyone likes french fries.  Such a nationalistic food in fact that some US politicians attempted, out of displeasure with France’s perceived lack of ally support in 2003, to rename french fries freedom friesGet Over yourselves, People.

Back to the topic at hand:  if you take the french fry, add more flavor, a brighter color, and a crisper texture you’ll be left with tostones –delicious, crispy, twice cooked unripe green plantains.  In fact, given the choice of french fries or tostones I’ll always choose the latter.  Kicking things up a notch (ugh, bam…), the following mango and red onion salsa goes perfect on still hot tostones.  Eat up.

Ingredients, mango and red onion salsa:

1 ripe mango cut into small cubes.  NOTE:  the mango should be mostly red and fragrant.

Half of a medium red onion, diced

Half of a minced jalapeno.  Remove the seeds if you can’t take the heat.

Two-thirds of a medium sized cucumber, diced.  Do make a note to remove the bitter seeds before cutting up.

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Juice of half a lime.  Fresh, please.

A small handful of chopped cilantro, optional

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions, mango and red onion salsa:

This is a tough one:  mix all the ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for an hour.

Mango and red onion salsa

Mango and red onion salsa

Ingredients, tostones:

2 green, unripe plantains

Unripe green plantains in the raw

Unripe green plantains in the raw

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions, tostones:

Peel the plantains and cut into 1 inch pieces –NOT lengthwise.

Freshly cut

Freshly cut

In your favorite skillet add three-quarters of an inch of vegetable oil, heat until about 300 degrees, and add the plantain chunks.  No thermometer?  No worries –over medium heat, heat the skillet and oil for 3 minutes or so and you should be fine.

Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until just a bit brown.  Remove plantains from skillet.

Just flipped green plantains

Just flipped green plantains frying it up

Now the fun part:  if you have a tostonera, and who doesn’t these days, use to smash the plantain pieces until they are about one third their original height.  If you don’t have a tostonera, use a plate or glass to smash/press the plantain pieces until they are about one third their original height.

Tostonera

Tostonera

Smashed green plantain

Smashed green plantain ready for the 2nd frying

Crank the heat to high, add the smashed plantains back to the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until a nice golden color.  Drain over paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the mango and red onion salsa.

Serve with:

Mojitos, Medalla light, and sand between the toes.

The finished deal.  Eat up.

The finished deal. Eat up.

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