December 11, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Tostones by a Cubana!

This week I'd like to share with y'all a traditional Cuban side dish which just so happens to be one of my favorites!  My mom was the best tostones maker ever!  And I am fortunate that my eldest daughter inherited her cooking talents.  I am really proud of my daughter and all her accomplishments.  She is multi-talented.  She is a professional make-up artist, hairstylist, photographer and Chef.  Yes, my daughter is worthy of being called a Chef.  Everyone that delights in her cooking always says "You should open your own restaurant."   I wouldn't doubt it if one day she did since her dream is to build an empire for her Familia.

Anyhoo, the recipe of the week is Tostones (pronounced toes-tow-nes).  Tostones are un-riped green plantains. I went to the neighborhood market Sedanos, one of the leading Cuban-cultured supermarkets in the City I live in, to purchase the plantains.  They are very economical at 4 plantains for $0.99 cents.  The greener the plantain, the better.  I brought home 8, we love plantains!
What makes the tostones special and unique, is that they are fried twice. They are really easy to make and are good served as either a side dish or as an appetizer.  You could even stuff them, but I will leave that recipe for another post. Today I will be sharing the traditional Cuban way of making tostones.  First, pour some aceite (Spanish word for oil) in a deep frying pan about 1/3 full.  We used vegetable oil in a large traditional Cuban pan we call cazuela.  Pre-heat the oil on high for 1-2 minutes, then reduce to medium high.
 While the oil heats, proceed to cut the ends of each plantain off with a sharp knife.  
Then with the same knife cut a slit straight down the length of the plantain making sure to only cut the peel and NOT through the plantain.  Loosen the peel along the cut and pull the peel off with hand.  After all plantains are peeled, cut the plantains into thick slices, about 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide.

Once the oil is hot and sizzling, fry the plantain slices for about 5 minutes, turning at least once.  Fry just long enough to make them soft at the pinch of a fork. That's how I know they are nice an tender inside.
Once you feel the fork go in smoothly through the plantain, that's when you know they are ready for the second frying.  But before the second fry, it's smashing time, which means bringing out the tostonera!
A tostonera (pronounced toes-tow-nair-uh) is a utensil used to smash flat the plantains to about half the size or as flat as you like.  If you do not have a tostonera, a paper bag works just as fine.  Fold paper bag in half, place the plantain in the middle of the paper bag, fold down on the plantain and smash down with palm of your hand or you can use the end of a cup or even a large spoon.
Once they are nice and flat, they are ready for the second fry.  Let the oil come back to a higher temperature,  fry plantains again, turning occasionally until gold brown on both sides.  When they are nice and crispy remove them and place on a plate over a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
Season with salt to taste, serve hot with lots of love and enjoy!
There you have it, a wonderful and easy recipe to serve as side dish or as an appetizer.  Enjoy!  Hope y'all try out the recipe and  come back and let me know how it turned out for you.  Happy Tuesday! 

D e l i c i o s o !



  1. Yummy! Que deliciosos se ven!

    Can't wait to try them.

  2. Aaaah this looks delicious! Bookmarking! Thank you for sharing it :)


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