Tostones are twice-fried green plantains, a very popular side dish in Venezuela. I guess you could think of these as a latin version of the potato chip. You can eat them on their own, top them with some shredded beef or ceviche, or dip them in your favorite sauce. I think my favorite version is the one my grandma used to make for us: tostones topped with a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise and sprinkled with a Venezuelan grated cheese similar to crumbled feta.
As far as ingredients it doesn’t get much easier than this, all you need are green plantains, vegetable oil and some salt. A word of caution: be careful when handling these plantains, they can stain your clothes. Here is the preparation:
Peel the plantains and cut them in thick “chunks”:
In a saucepan or deep-frying pan heat enough vegetable oil and add the plantain “chunks”, letting them cook until they begin to get a golden brown colour, about 3 to 5 minutes. Take them out and place them on paper towels to drain the excess oil:
Pound the plantain chunks flat: I suggest you place each plantain chunk in between a sheet of plastic wrap and then proceed to flatten using any utensil that you have at hand, whether it’s a rolling-pin, a rock, or simply a plate that you put on top of the plantain and press down on. Be careful not to pound or press too hard, you want the plantain to be thinner so it can get crispy, but if it’s too thin it will crumble and fall apart.
Once flattened, the tostones are put back in the heated oil to be fried for a second time until they are golden brown and crispy, for about 3 to 5 minutes:
Take the tostones out of the oil and place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil; sprinkle with salt and serve: