You know what I realized I don’t eat enough of? Plantains. These banana relatives must be cooked before eaten, and their starchy potato-goodness is usually featured in African and Caribbean cooking. And while plantains can be used in stews or baked and served alongside fish and meat, my favorite way of eating them involves double frying them into tostones and dipping them into mojo, a garlic and olive oil condiment. It’s a perfect snack or a great way to start a meal. You could even use the tostones to dip into a giant pile of guacamole*.
(*and for the record I want everyone to know that my dear friend Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking is the only person I’ve met who is more addicted to guacamole than any other person I’ve met, present company included.)
Tostones Con Mojo adapted from Saveur
For the Tostones:
3 large green plantains
canola or vegetable oil for frying
For the Mojo:
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Put crushed garlic and a pinch of salt into a mortar and crush into a paste. Add the chopped cilantro and crush a little bit more. Add the oil to the garlic, salt and cilantro and continue to mix to incorporate. Once mixed, put into a bowl and set aside.
Remove the skin from the plantain. It can be tough to remove, try slicing both ends off and making a slit with the knife the length of the plantain. With your thumb, wedge it between the flesh and peel and remove the skin. Once the skin is removed cut the plantains into 1-inch thick rounds.
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet to no more than 350 degrees. Fry the plantains until lightly golden and then transfer to a paper towel to drain, about 3 minutes. With the bottom of a small pan or glass bowl, press the cooked tostones to flatten them to half their original thickness.
Return the flattened tostones to the hot oil and fry again until crisp around the edges and deeply golden. Once cooked transfer to paper towels to drain and then season with salt. Serve the tostones hot with the Mojo.