Sunday, May 23, 2010

my, what big tostones you have

Tostones with a little dab of hot sauce

I must have been Puerto Rican in another life. I can't get enough salsa music and I could dance to it all night long; it sings to my soul. And I adore Puerto Rican cuisine [as long as it's veganized, which is pretty easy to do]. The other day, I had a hankering for tostones. So I bought some green plantains -- 2 jumbo plantains for $1! -- and got to work.


I find it easiest to slice the plantains and then peel them.

Most of you have undoubtedly tried sweet plantains, which are delicious in their own right. But green plantains are a unique starch. You can use them in essentially the same ways you would use potatoes.  First, I sliced them in rounds about 1/2 inch thick and then peeled them. People always tell me to peel them first, but I find it easier to do it this way.


One of my most treasured possessions: my tostonera

Then, I pulled out the trusty tostone press that Lisa gave me. You don't really need one to make tostones; you can do the "smashing" with a flat spatula. But tostone presses are small, only cost about $5, and are super cool.


First frying

There must be 50 ways to make tostones [apologies to Paul Simon]. Every cook has his or her own recipe, so embellish as you will. But this is Lisa's recipe, via Aristedes, via Aristedes' mom, and via Wanda, so I do as I'm told. First, fry the plantains in canola oil. [I know, I know. I never fry anything. But tostones are the single exception I make!]. Then, drain on a paper towel and blot away any excess oil.


We're almost to the good part.

Place a slice in the tostone press chamber...and now comes the fun part....


The ultimate stress reliever.

Whack!


If at first you don't succeed, fry, fry again.

Then, fry the squished, flattened rounds again. [I know, I know. Let me repeat my mantra: "Moderation in all things, including moderation."] Drain on paper towels and sop up as much excess oil as you can. Eat as is, with a dab of hot sauce,  topped with refried beans, or anything else that would go well with a starch – which is just about anything.

18 comments:

doggybloggy said...

these are exceptionally good with a pulverized garlic and olive oil kind of sauce...mmmmmmmm

Jes said...

Mmm I love tostones! I just flatten them with an empty wine/beer bottle though :)

DJ Karma (VegSpinz) said...

That is simply awesome!

Catherine said...

Fried plantains are incredibly delicious! I think I ate them almost every day when I was in Haiti a couple of years ago!

Ian said...

A restaurant in my town serves them with a black bean dip, kind of like a hummus. Delicious!

Virginie Péan said...

I've never heard about tostone nor this tostone press. Continue publishing about Puerto Rican recipes, I love discovering it.

Millie said...

Love to hear people talk so well about our food, as a Puerto Rican I must admit tostones is one of my favorite side dishes. On my Latin vegan blog I post many of our PR cuisine and plantains take a big part in many of my dishes. Your tostones look great...keep up the good work.

http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

You have been on my blogroll for a long time.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Yum! I sooo want to come to Philly and hang out with your for the day!

urban vegan said...

Melanie: Come on down! Seriously!

vko said...

oh yum yum yum, we get those sometimes from an old school place in chelsea & they serve it with a mashed garlic sauce, so good. That press looks damn fun!! xo

Millie said...

Hola linda...check my blog you have won an award.

nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

I've never seen plantains in Australia. They look delicious and I want to try them so badly!

Anonymous said...

I was soo happy to find this site and even more so when I went to and saw Millie's site & recipes. However you really need a disclaimer Millie that you praise cock fighting and animal cruelty. That is not a good thing to help sell the island of Puerto Rico. The fact that you have a picture made me cringe. If it was supposed to be funny I def missed that cause it was hidden SO well.

Thank you Urban Vegan for the consistency and great recipes I am seeing on your site. Just bought your cook book excited for it too come!

urban vegan said...

Cock fighting? Oh, Millie. I stand against it...poor roosters do not choose to participate, and it can be deadly.

Vegease said...

Que Sabor!

I just got back from my Puerto Rican Vacation last week. Wonderful Vegan"able" food and many of the restaurants are eager to accomodate.

I'm working on updating my blog for the last few days, but have the first few ready and posted.

www.vegease.blogspot.com

Stop by.

Melisser said...

WHOA! A tostone press?!

Cynthia said...

What can I say? I LOVE the title of this post :)

The Craftaholic said...

you forgot to soak them in salted garlic water first! muy importante, my friend! And I agree with doggybloggy, these are traditionally served with a pulverized garlic olive oil!