Tostones con Salsa de Mojo – Fried Plantains with a Garlic Oil – sort of

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in Appetizers, Food Journal, Sides

Tostones con Salsa de Mojo – Fried Plantains with a Garlic Oil – sort of

Tostones – Tostones or  fried plantains are to Puerto Rican food what french fries are to American food. Wait, wait, wait, I don’t want to offend anyone. I’m not saying that they are the same food, or that they taste the same, just that they are generally served with the same kinds of foods. They are also a tasty replacement for fries in a lot of cases. At home, we eat them with hamburgers, our Cuban sandwiches, pernil, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans, fried eggs, and other stuff too (but do you really want to read a list right now), you get the idea. Here in the states, when I’m at home, I never really eat fast food, but when we go to Puerto Rico, I love to go through McDonald’s because they have tostones – are you listening McDonald’s? Can we get some tostones added to the menu here in AZ :D? Anyway, I think once you try these, you’ll be hooked because they are super delicious. Happy Cooking!

*There are no measurements for this recipe, just read the explanation for each one and you’ll know how much to use.
green plantains – Each plantain will make four or five tostones, to give you an idea of how many you need – my husband eats like four, my older girls and I eat around three each, the little ones have one or two, and my 16 year old eating machine eats like seven or eight or 15 :) or really until we tell him “chill out on the tostones and save some for everyone else”!
water – Use enough to cover the sliced plantains.
salt – It can be iodized or Kosher salt, but iodized is best to sprinkle on the tostones when they’re done.
garlic, minced – Again, the amount is up to you, I use one garlic clove per plantain.
oil – for frying, I use canola oil which is fairly healthy as far as oil goes, it’s made from canola seed (as if you didn’t know that already :D)
iodized salt – for salting at the end

1. Peel the plantains, this can be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before, they do not peel the same as a banana, what you want to do is lay the plantain down on a cutting board, cut off the very top and the very end, then slice down the plantain lengthwise just through the peel, then use your fingers to kind of pull the peel away.
2. Slice the plantains on a diagonal about one inch thick, (you should get four or five slices) it is important to slice them on a diagonal because you will be mashing them later and it will make it easier.
3. Place the plantains into a large bowl and cover them with salt water – how salty should your water be? Well, you want it to taste like the ocean (see my salt article), then add the garlic cloves and stir them around a little, instead of making your salt water separately, you can also just add the water, salt and garlic right on top of the plantains and hope for the best (that’s what I do) – but if it’s your first time making this, I recommend making the water separate so that you have a good idea of how much salt to add next time.
4. Let them soak for 15 minutes.
5. Drain them and dry them well-SAVE THE WATER-I do this by taking them out with tongs and putting them on a sheet pan lined with a cloth napkin, I then use another cloth napkin to dry them, remember, you are going to be frying these and water and oil are not friends, the water will make your oil pop out at you – aaaahhhhhh, and it will also make the oil break down faster.
6. Fry in the canola oil, heated to 350°F, for about seven minutes, if you don’t have a thermometer, look for the plantains to get bubbles all around them when you add them to the oil, they should also make that Kssssshhhhhh frying sound when you put them in, if your oil starts to smoke at all, it is way to hot, turn off the heat and let it cool off, do not move the pan unless you absolutely have to, if you are deep frying, you don’t have to mess with them while they’re frying, if you are pan frying them (they should still be covered in oil), turn them over half way through the frying time (it’s easier to use tongs then a spoon for this).

7. Remove them from the oil and place them on either absorbent paper towels, or a cloth napkin, I like to use a cloth napkins because some paper towel brands stick to the plantains.
8. OK, this is the mashing step, you can do this a few different ways, you can either place the plantains into a tostonera and close it which is the easiest way and the way I do it, if you do not have a tostonera though, you can use a paper bag, just place the paper bag on a flat surface, lay the plantain on top, fold the bag over it and push down at an angle with the heel of your hand, you can also use a cloth napkin in the same way, I have also seen this done using two plates but I think that way seemed the most difficult. If you are not using a tostonera, make sure you are super careful because they are hot, don’t forget, they were just in hot, hot oil. You can let them cool down for a few minutes if you want, it won’t hurt anything.
9. Dip them in the salt/garlic water that you saved, dip quickly, not like you would do a cookie into milk but like a fast dip.
10. Dry them off really good again like we did in step five.
11. Return them to the cooking oil, this time you want your oil at 375°F.
12. Cook them until they are crisp and golden, remove them from the oil and sprinkle them lightly with iodized salt, iodized is better for fried foods, again, if you haven’t read my salt article, now’s as good a time as any.
13. Garnish with mojo (my favorite), or hot sauce or ketchup and enjoy!

Mojo Sauce – Mojo is the delicious sauce that you put on top of the tostones. There are lots of different versions, the most important things to have in there are the oil and the garlic. I think beyond that you can use your imagination. I have tried adding cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, and olives just give you a few ideas. Here is the way I make it most often. This makes enough for around 20 tostones, depending on how much you use.

Ingredients for Mojo
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
15 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon oregano dry or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano

Instructions for Mojo
1. Place the vinegar into a small mixing bowl.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.
3. Add the garlic, salt and oregano and stir.
4. Garnish your tostones and enjoy!

*Just as a kind of little end note here, tostones make great bottoms to appetizers, I like to put “taco toppings” on them, but stack them nice and pretty. You can use them in place of crackers, or bread in your favorite tapa or canape recipes too.
**Also, you can make extra of these and freeze them, just do steps 1-10 and then freeze them individually. When you are ready to eat them you can put them into the hot oil (still frozen) and just continue with step 11.
Please Enjoy this How-To Video!

Do you want more info on the health benefits of Canola Oil?

Canola Oil Council

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