This is a typical Puerto Rican dish. The Diaz family flattens the fried plantains with a wooden press called a tostonera, available at Hispanic markets. But a brown paper bag can also be used. Mojito sauces are served on the side. Eddie Diaz serves tostones as appetizers but they can also accompany a main course. For this dish, dark green plantains are best.
- 2 to 3 very green plantains, peeled* and cut into 2-inch slices
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Mojito Sauce or Tomato Mojito Sauce (see related recipes)
Have ready a plate lined with paper towels and a medium bowl filled with cold, salted water. Soak the plantain slices in the water for about 10 minutes, then drain in a colander, shaking to remove any excess moisture. Set aside.
Fill a deep, heavy pan with vegetable oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Set over medium heat until the oil registers 350 degrees on a candy thermometer (or a cube of bread crisps and browns in 30 seconds). Adding a few plantain slices at a time (being careful not to crowd the pan), cook until they are golden brown, turning once or twice, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the slices to the paper towel-lined plate. Let the oil return to 350 degrees and fry the remaining plantains in batches. Reduce the heat to medium-low (325 degrees).
Have ready a brown paper bag that has been folded over several times into a square shape. While the plantains are still warm, place the folded bag over each one and press down firmly with your hands or a plate to flatten them to about 1/2 inch thick. Return to the hot oil in batches of 3 or 4. Fry until golden brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with fresh paper towels. Serve warm.
Adapted from Eddie Diaz's family recipe.
Tested by Hal Mehlman.
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