Having not always been on the inside track of Cuban food, I ate the ripe plantains, or maduros, that came with the dish at restaurants. They’re something I’ve traditionally enjoyed – a bit of sweet with the savory; a nice balance to the food. However, once again, my husband opened my eyes to something new – tostones!
Tostones are also plantains, but they are unripe. Rather than that lovely caramelization the maduros get, tostones are fried crispy and sprinkled with salt and garlic. So, in a way, they’re more like really thick chips.
It actually took me a while to want tostones instead of maduros with my meal. I was so used to the sweet plantains, it was hard to change my expectations. However, when I cooked Cuban food at home, I always wanted to make sure my husband was satisfied. After all, food is love. So, I would buy the greenest plantains I could find in the store.
Then I would make him cook them.
I know that doesn’t sound right, but he makes really good tostones! At least, I think they are better than mine. Now he has a part to play in the Cuban food we make.
Below, is my husband’s recipe. Enjoy!
Ingredients (Serves 6-8 people):
- 6 unripe plantains (as green as you can find them)
- ½ cup canola or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Cut plantains into 1” thick round slices.
- Pour enough oil into the pan to coat half of the plantain slice (1/2 inch deep).
- Fry plantain slices in the oil until they just begins to brown (about 2 minutes on each side).
- Remove slices from the pan and set on a paper towel lined plate.
- Allow the plantain slices to cool, and use a second paper towel to flatten each slice evenly.
- Place flattened slices back in the oil and cook until golden brown.
- Remove from pan and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.