Recently, I had the most difficult final during my time at Le Cordon Bleu in which I had to make an amuse bouche, appetizer, and entree. So I went with a Peruvian-inspired dish: citrus-marinated grilled chicken with a side of cilantro rice and tostones, or twice-fried green plantains. I figured, who else in class would bother breaking down and marinating a chicken within our limited time frame? Fortunately, it was a success: the chicken was super juicy and bright, complemented well by the savory but not-too-strong rice, and crunchy fried goodness of the plantains. The tostones recipe, adapted from Aunt Clara’s Kitchen is here for your cooking pleasure:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
2 green, or unripe plantains
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1. In a pot, heat oil to 350 degrees. Either use a thermomenter, or test the heat by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil starts steadily bubbling, it’s hot enough.
2. Peel the plantains and cut into 1-inch slices. Fry until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain. (Leave the oil on heat!)
3. When the plantains are just cool enough to handle, about 2-3 minutes, flatten them into discs. Ordinarily, you’d smash them using a tostonera, but you can just use the bottom of a metal or heavy bowl.
4. Fry them again, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. (You’ll know it’s the right color when you start salivating.) Remove and drain. Salt immediately and serve.
Watch the oil heat! The most important thing here is making sure your oil is hot enough but not too hot. And of course, don’t overcook the plantains!