As promised, baked tostones to serve with the picadillo cubano recipe I blogged about this week. Tostones, are not as foreign as they sound. Essentially, they are cooked plantains. Plantains are a very common find on dinner menus throughout the caribbean, and if you ask me, very underestimated in the midwest, or anywhere I've ever traveled in the U.S. - territories aside. That being said, I have begun to see them on a much more regular basis in small quantities at most major grocery stores. You can usually find them close to the bananas. When choosing plantains, the ones that are brown are good to eat, so don't be fooled if they look a little like over-ripe bananas. That's just where you want them.
Plantains are similar in taste to a banana, although not as sweet, and have a texture closer to a potato. Green plantains tend to be more starchy, while ripe plantains will be slightly sweeter in flavor. Consider this your warning: they can be tricky to peel. Their skin is much tougher than a banana skin, and may require cutting off rather than peeling depending on your prowess in the kitchen.
There are a few ways to make tostones, the typical way being to heat some oil in a skillet and pan-fry them into delicious chips. If you want to go that route, I won't stop you. I've done it, and they are pretty dang yummy. On the other hand, if you are trying to avoid fried food and want a healthy, but equally tasty alternative, these baked tostones may be just what the doctor ordered. Literally. T thought these were amazing, and has been asking me constantly to make them again for a snack.
Give a man a hammer. Any sort will do. This was T's favorite part of this recipe. Besides complaining about how I should have made more because there weren't enough for him to eat...
Bake the tostones for an additional 15 minutes after flattening.
Allow them to cool slightly and serve warm. They will be crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Enjoy!
|Recipe from Skinnytaste|
BAKED TOSTONES | Yield: 4 servings | Total Time: 30 minutes
3 ripe plantains, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces (3 cups)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Peel the plantains and slice them into 1/2 inch slices. Put the slices in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt, toss to coat. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly brown on the bottom. Remove from the oven.
Using a meat mallet, heavy-bottomed glass or jar, or any other 'smashing' utensil you have in your kitchen, mash each piece to about a 1/4 inch thickness.
Flip the plantain medallions so that the browned side is up, and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Have you ever cooked with plantains?